• In Voices of Woodlawn, Maryland poets give voice to the erased lives of slaves at Woodlawn.

  • Join us to listen to novelist and poet Pat Valdata, and share our writing with fellow writers.

  • Join us to listen to Grace Cavalieri, Maryland’s tenth Poet Laureate and author of 26 collections of poetry, as well as 20 plays.

Feb 5

First Friday - February 2021 - Voices of Woodlawn

In Voices of Woodlawn, Maryland poets Diane Wilbon Parks, Patrick Washington, Sylvia Dianne “Ladi Di” Beverly and Hiram Larew, joined by poet and harmonica player, Cliff Bernier, give voice to those enslaved at Woodlawn, a Virginia plantation.

Mar 5

First Friday - March 2021 - Pat Valdata

Join us to listen to Pat Valdata, fiction writer and poet followed by Open Mic. Pat's newest novel, Eve’s Daughters, was published by Moonshine Cove in November 2020.

Apr 2

First Friday - Aril 2021 - Grace Cavalieri

Join us to listen to Grace Cavalieri, Maryland’s tenth Poet Laureate and author of 26 books and chapbooks of poetry and 20 short-form and full-length plays.

First Fridays

On the first Friday of each month, MWA host a featured reader/speaker with an open mic to follow. Writers, performers and lover of verse are invited to spend time sharing work and experiences in support for the lonely sport of writing and building a supportive group of MWA writers.

Hosted by Patti Ross who graduated from Washington, DC's Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts and The American University. After graduation, she had a brief career in the arts and several of her journalist pieces were published in the Washington Times and the Rural America newspapers. Patti has rediscovered her love of writing and is sharing her voice as the spoken word artist "little pi." Her debut chapbook, St. Paul Street Provocations, will be released in 2021 by Yellow Arrow Publishing. She currently serves on the Board for the Maryland Writers Association, as well as several other non-profit organizations in the Baltimore region. Patti lives in Ellicott City, MD. You can follow her blog at: https://littlepisuniverse.wordpress.com and https://www.facebook.com/ecpoetryandprosemic

Link to Register / Attend https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvd--hqD8qH9wqroozp6AkVVxIPg6jxfar
To receive call-in information for the meeting, be sure to register in advance at the above zoom link.

Open Mic Sign-Up: To register as an open mic speaker please email Patti Ross at [email protected] and request to be added to the list of open mic speakers. Patti will notify you when you have been added. Please be sure to have 5 minutes or less of reading (approx. 3 poems) to share with the group. Once you have logged on to the Zoom session be sure to check the Private Chat section for notification of when you are on deck (or next). If you have a book or coming event, be sure to announce to the group during your time.

Featured Guest: Our featured Poets/Performers are asked to prepare 20 minutes of material to share with the group. If you are interested in being a feature reader please email Patti at [email protected].

First Fridays is a monthly online event and will continue through 2021. Thank you for all your support in this endeavor.

Peace & Poetry.

First Friday - February 2021 - Voices of Woodlawn

February 05, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

In Voices of Woodlawn, four poets give voice to the erased lives of those enslaved at Woodlawn, a Fairfax, Virginia plantation that is now a historic estate. Maryland Poets Diane Wilbon Parks, Patrick Washington, Sylvia Dianne “Ladi Di” Beverly and Hiram Larew confront the sadness, anger, injustice and confusion of such a past and its haunting legacy. They are joined by poet and harmonica player, Cliff Bernier, in a powerfully unsettling program of witness.

The performance will be followed by a Q&A session with the artists. There will be no Open Mic this month. Click here for details about MWA First Fridays.

Link to register / attend: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvd--hqD8qH9wqroozp6AkVVxIPg6jxfar

About the Performers:

Clifford Bernier’s The Silent Art won the 2010 Gival Press PoetryAward. He appears on harmonica in the Accumulated Dust world music series.

Diane Wilbon Parks is a poet, visual artist, and author. One of her poems and artwork has been installed as a permanent sign at the Patuxent Research Refuge - North Tractin Laurel, Maryland.

Sylvia Dianne Beverly (Ladi Di) is an internationally acclaimed poet, presenting poetry In Brixton, London, England, at the Lewisham Theater. Her most recent honor is Prince George’s County Poet of Excellence 2020.

Hiram Larew’s poems have appeared widely and have been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes. His Poetry X Hunger initiative is bringing poets from around the world to the anti-hunger cause.

Patrick Washington was forged in Washington D.C.’s vibrant U Street Arts community of the 1990’s, and as part of several dynamic ensembles over the years, is known for moving seamlessly between classic styles of poetry and hip-hop. He will begin 2021 serving as Poetry Director for Words Beats & Life, Inc.,as well as running the Youth Poet Laureate Program for the DMV region.