This category contains 15 posts

Natasha Trethewey Named Poet Laureate

Originally published in Washingtonian. Natasha Trethewey has been named the 19th US poet laureate, succeeding Phillip Levine. Trethewey, 46, joins a distinguished line of poets who’ve held the coveted post at the Library of Congress over the years, including W.S. Merwin,Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, and Rita Dove. Her duties will begin in the fall. In a statement released today, the … Continue reading


Groundbreaking Poetry Troupe Reconvenes in Washington

Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the late 1980s, the Dark Room Collective helped foster a generation of African-American poets, from Thomas Sayers Ellis andSharan Strange to Major Jackson and Kevin Young. More than two decades and two Pulitzer Prizes later, the group reunited at the Lutheran Church of Reformation on Capitol Hill Monday for a reading at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s … Continue reading

Fixing Daddy, #7

Fixing Daddy He tips to the thermostat, adjusts it to heat the house before she awakens, decides what to make for the first of four meals he’ll prepare that day. An alarm only he can hear summons, and he’s by her bed, rolling the insulin vial between his hands like a lemon, warming the clear … Continue reading

Murillo Returns

Poet John Murillo (Up Jump the Boogie) will be in DC this weekend leading a workshop for Split This Rock and giving a reading at Bus Boys and Poets with KatyRichey. There are still spaces left for the workshop, I believe. You should contact Sarah Browning at browning@splitthisrock.org for registration or further details. Here’s a clip … Continue reading

Poetry 101

Since I left college, I’ve learned that sometimes the professor who always offered honest critiques helped you grow as a poet much more than those who praised you and made you feel great. I caught up with Jon Woodson, Ph.D and asked him a few questions. His perspectives about art—poetry in particular— are always interesting … Continue reading

Four Days Away…

Teaching Soon-to-be Moms Poetry

Yesterday, I finished the last poetry workshop of my short poet-in-residence for the Arlington Public School program. I enjoyed each school in a different way. There was a funky charter school. The students didn’t have school bells. They called their teachers by their first name. They were pretty hip and very energetic. Sadly most of … Continue reading

Register Now. Less than Three Weeks Until Festival.

Deep Breath

This is just a short note to update Words Matter readers that I appreciate all of the support you all have given me these past four months. The numbers are unbelievable–hundreds of folks are logging-on to see what’s going on in this virtual world I’ve created. For those of who you may not know the great … Continue reading

Thirteen Years Later and Still Got the Jones

This was the film where I first saw myself on screen. This was the film where everything was jazz, cool, yet real. This was the film that showed relationships as I came to witness and experience them. I just wrote an essay for TheRoot about why this film has endured for so long. And how … Continue reading