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Poet In Progress Reading Series 2017

15th Annual Poet-In-Progress Reading Series

The Poet-In-Progress program serves local poets who demonstrate great promise by providing them a unique opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and embrace future career prospects.

Saturday, April 8 | 6:30 - 8 pm

Folger Shakespeare Library | The Haskell Center
(located across the street from the library)

301 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003
RSVPs are requested. Please click here.
To request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Kali Wasenko at [email protected] or (202) 724-1445 at least seven (7) days prior to the event.

Participating Poets: 

Brenda Bunting

Brenda Bunting is a socially conscious Author, Poet and Spoken Word Artist. Residing in Washington DC she performs at events promoting equal rights and social justice. She recently presented her poems at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival in Bridgewater, VA.  A University of Kentucky alumna with her B.A. in English Brenda has been published in newspapers, anthologies and journals. She advocates for the therapeutic use of writing poetry for mental and emotional wellness and healing from traumatic events. She a life member of the Kentucky State Poetry Society (KSPS) and is working on her book of poems, “In the Hands of Clay Gods”

Quote:  “I AM ENOUGH. I used to want to write like Maya, preach like Moses, dream like Martin and inspire like Malcolm. But one day I realized those visionaries would be pleased if they saw I was striving to be the best that Brenda could be.”

Mary Stone Hanley

Mary Stone Hanley, PhD, is a poet, playwright, educator, scholar and researcher. Having written her first poem at eight years old, she has spent a lifetime as an artist and 40 years as an educator and arts activist.  Forever learning, she is currently a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program at American University, DC with a focus on poetry. Her poetry was featured in the Beltway Poetry Quarterly (Fall, 2015).

Quote: “Life is like music, you just have to know how to dance with it.”

Carolyn Joyner

Carolyn Joyner has been featured in many publications and anthologies, including: Obsidian, Amistad, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly magazines, Gathering Ground, Beyond the Frontier, Mass Ave Review, and the 2004-2005 Cave Canem annual collections.  She is a former WritersCorps and River of Words Project instructor, and was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Cave Canem.  She has a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins University.    

Quote:  “I pray in poems.” by Polish poet Anna Kamienska

André Brenardo Taylor

Born Andre’ Brenardo Labrew in Washington D.C. in the year 1955, Brenardo is a poet and songwriter who epitomizes the power and the beauty of the word.  From this Artesian flows, paintings, sculptures, sonnets, quilts, upon them phrases built from observations of the presents of his past. 60 years unmasked, from a Father, Brother, Nephew, Uncle, Son who served in the U.S. Navy, and still navigates the world. His eclectic perspective is reflective of all that he’s encountered in reality and dreams.  Ethnic, and political, historic, and spiritual,  and still he writes…

Quote: “Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.” by Marcus Garvey

Surekha Vijh

Sue has been writing poetry since childhood. Although she has had the opportunity to read her poetry at Edinburgh Book Festival, Frankfurt Book Fair and Madrid Biennial Poetry Festival when she was a student at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, being a part of the Poet in Progress program has helped her grow as a poet and as an artist. A print and broadcast journalist, she writes on current affairs, arts and culture and produces and hosts a local TV show called, “Passion for Life and Inner Splendor.”

Quote: “It is the cosmic dance of nature, sound of words and panoramic beauty of vibrant colors that inspire me to write. For me poetry and journalism complement each other- one has the urgency of time and space while the other is beyond any barrier- that is the beauty of poetry.”

Bernadine Watson

Bernadine (Dine) Watson began writing plays and poems at 12 years old and for many years made a living writing about social policy issues. A native Philadelphian, Dine has performed her poetry in numerous venues in Philadelphia and the Washington, DC area. In 2015, three of her poems were selected for inclusion in the Painted Bride Art Center’s Re-Place-ing Philadelphia project. Her poem "Annie" won the 2001 Philadelphia Celebration of Writing award for poetry. Dine also continues to write on key social issues and has been published in the Washington Post’s She the People blog and Health and Science section. She is a member of Writing the Body, a poetry workshop in Takoma Park, MD and teaches poetry at Arts For Our Children in Washington, DC.

Quote:  “As I am a poet I express what I believe, and I fight against whatever I oppose, in poetry.” by June Jordon

Dolores Kendrick | Poet Laureate of the District of Columbia

Native Washingtonian Dolores Kendrick was appointed Poet Laureate of the District of Columbia on May 14, 1999, by mayoral proclamation. Her award winning book, The Women of Plums: Poems in the Voices of Slave Women is now in its 20th year of publication. She adapted this book for theatre at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her other publications are Through the Ceiling, Now is the Thing to Praise, and Why the Woman is Singing on the Corner. She is one of the top ten African-American poets writing today. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Award and the prestigious Anisfield-Wolf Award. She has been commissioned to write poems that have been included on a sculpture in downtown Washington, DC and inside the WMATA Metrorail system. Ms. Kendrick has been selected to join the International Literary Hall of Fame for writers of African-American descent. At the request of a Chinese Cultural Delegation, her poem about Shanghai has been translated into Mandarin and sent to China.

Alumni of the Poet in Progress Reading Series:
Abdul Ali | Carol Beane | Sylvia Dianne Beverly | Stanley Stocker Edwards | Isabella Gelletich | Mary Stone Hanely | Sistah Joy | Carolyn Joyner | Angela Redman | Stan Stewart | Surekha Vijh | Bernadine Watson