An Evening of Poetry, Art, and Music

On February 22, 2017,  Kensington Row Bookshop will host a free evening of poetry, art, and music led by the talented poet-musician, Wing-Chi Chan.  Chan’s poems will be read by Curt Hansen, and other attendees include Michelle Chung and Shelia Carter-Jones. The reading will begin at 7pm, and an open session will follow the main event.

An “Uppity Girl” Takes a Stand

On January 21st, a familiar face will be joining the online branch of the Women’s March on Washington. Kathi Wolfe, author of the Stonewall Chapbook winning book “The Uppity Blind Girl Poems,” will, along with a range of others with disabilities, post their stance on Donald Trump’s Presidency.  The Online March on Washington  was created to enable those who can’t make the visit to D.C able to have their voices heard. And what better voice to be heard than one of our own?  The Online March will occur during Trump’s inauguration and is open for everyone with disabilities to participate.

BrickHouse Books Prose Editor to be Featured in “The Quiet Circle ” Literary Magazine

BrickHouse Books Prose Editor Charles Rammelkamp is adding a new notch to his belt with a featured poem in the flagship edition of the online literary magazine, “The Quiet Circle.”  Entitled “A Ghost of the Confederacy,” the poem can be found in it’s entirety in the link below on page 32. Enjoy!


Editing Tips for Writers of all Levels

“One last thing about good editing: It’s an act of friendship, not an act of hostility. Professional-level edits—the kind that would occur on the copy desks of major news magazines—make the writer look smarter. So if a skillful editor revises your work, be grateful, never resentful.” – Bryan A. Garner

Here is the rest of this fantastic article about conversational writing styles and editing advice!



Be in the Know About Kensington Row

On Wednesday, September 28th, the Kensington Row Bookshop will play host to a poetry reading/open mic night.  Starting at 7pm, this event will feature the works of W. Luther Jett and Karran LaLonde Alenier.  Budding poets will have the chance to show off their talents following the official readings.  The reading will be free to the public.

A Very “Uppity” Birthday Celebration!

Save the date for September 23rd, because BhB’s very own “Uppity Blind Girl,” Kathi Wolfe, will be doing a poetry reading on her birthday!  She, along with fellow poet Micheal Davis are taking on the Poet Experience at Zu Cafe’ from 6:30 to 8:30pm. And make sure to bring some compositions of your own for the open mic portion of the evening. You won’t want to miss this incredible display of talent!

“Uppity Girl” Kathi Wolfe, Helen Keller, and hot dogs

“Uppity Blind Girl Poems” author Kathi Wolfe’s latest triumph comes in the form of a simple poem involving  an unlikely trio: Helen Keller, a hot dog, and love. This Stonebrook Chapbook Competition winner penned a memorable piece hailed as ” a poem filled with sex just as much as love,” Wolfe gives Keller a new life as someone other than the saintly disability advocate in her own unique way.

To get your own taste…here’s a review of “She Loved Hot Dogs So Much.”


Apple of Sodom named a “must-read”


Congratulations to BrickHouse Books author Mary Hoffman for the glowing review of her book Apple of Sodom! In the words of Rosemary Barkes, a reviewer with the Pen Woman Magazine, the book is “an educational, eye-opening, heart-wrenching and exciting peek into the lives of those who deviate from the norm” and “a must-read.” Click here to read the full review or here to purchase Apple of Sodom.

Review of Mata Hari

EyeoftheDayMataHari-1080x675Congratulations to our prose editor Charles Rammelkamp for an exciting new review in the Green Hill Literary Lantern! The reviewer praises Rammelkamp’s book Mata Hari: Eye of Day as “a narrative that reifies the centrality of the Mata Hari tale, while also modernizing it to appreciate how timeless a warning it really is of the double standard applied to this “double agent,” which still seems difficult to shake in 2016.” Click here  and scroll down to see the full review or here to order Mata Hari online.

Fairness for all lifers, not just juveniles

Please enjoy a letter to the editor of the Baltimore Sun by BrickHouse Books author and prison rights activist Walter Lomax. The letter was published in the Sun on 7/4/2016 and is excerpted below. Click here to read the full article. 

“Maryland traditionally had a parole expectation built into its prison system as a mechanism to control behaviors. People serving parole-eligible life sentences were paroled after serving 20 to 25 years. These programs were discontinued in 1993 following a tragic domestic murder-suicide by a participant, and state corrections officials moved all 134 lifers from pre-release to medium-security prisons. In 1995, then-Gov. Parris Glendening announced that no one serving a life sentence in Maryland would be paroled.

Without incentives for a change in behavior, the system fails. […] By relieving the governor of [the responsibility to grant parole], it would remove the appearance of politicization in decision making. This can be done by striking the sections requiring the governor’s signature. This is why legislators should seriously consider approving those changes. They will restore faith in the system, giving those incarcerated incentive to change and remove politics that unnecessarily waste taxpayers dollars that could be used other places. While we recognize that those who were juveniles are deserving of a second chance, we also recognize that all persons should be treated fairly in the criminal justice system.”

–Walter Lomax, Executive director of the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative.

Reflections on Orlando


The Pulse club shooting in Orlando recently served as a stark reminder that, while gay marriage is now legal, the fight for LGBTQA safety  is not yet over. BHB author Kathi Wolfe reminds us in her article “Orlando bursts our bubble of complacency,” published by the Washington Blade, that “love must carry the day” as the modern gay rights movement continues to pursue equality. See her full article here.

Summer Events

Summer is the season for festivals and we have some great events coming up! Please see below for a quick summary or check our Events calendar for a more extensive list.


Painting by Zsudayka Nzinga. For more, see her online gallery at

July 8 (6-9pm) – Zed’s Cafe July Open Mic – Featuring two husband and wife duos, poets Teri Cross Davis and Hayes Davis and artists Zsudayka Nzinga and James Terrell. Enjoy readings by the poets and live painting by the artists in this cozy Silver Spring cafe. Don’t forget to bring your own work to share after the reading! For more information, see the event’s Facebook page or the Zed’s Cafe website.

July 23 (1:30-3:30 pm) – A Poetry Extravaganza – Poems will be read by a diverse spectrum of poets at George Washington University’s Estelle & Melvin Gelman Library. There will also be a music demonstration “On Synchronization Of Poetry Imagery”by Wing-chi Chan. The event will be followed by a reception. For more information, see our Events Calendar.

August 4 (7-9pm) – Cracks in the Road – An open mic for people of color & allies responding to recent acts by law enforcement. Read your own work or the work of others, sing, or support by listening. Sign up begins at 6:30 pm. Co-hosted by Regie Cabico, Doritt Carroll, and Teri Cross Davis.

August 5 (6-9pm) – Zed’s August Open Mic – This month’s open mic will feature Kathi Wolfe as the opening reader and former featured reader Cort (CL) Bledsoe as an MC. Bring some of your own work to read after the features or just stop by and listen.

Disabilities, Poetry, and Kathi Wolfe

Kathi Wolfe is well known for her series of poetry, entitled “The Uppity Blind Girl Poems.” In this latest article describing the beauty and complexity of poetry based upon writers with disabilities, Wolfe joins a plethora of other gifted writers who chose to depict the life of those who face unique challenges on a daily basis.

To read the full article, check out the link below!




Smell of Salt, Ghost of Rain: A Review by Le Hinton

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Memory is one of the most uniquely human attributes. We learn and improve our lives, enrich and deepen our current experiences through remembering the past. Much, if not most of the poetry that we write and read, quote and re-quote is rooted in the using of the past to illuminate our present. Some poets do this much better than others.

One of those poets is P. Ivan Young, and in his recent collection, Smell of Salt, Ghost of Rain from BrickHouse Books, we witness a wondrous poet going about his poetry work with such craft and emotion we linger and return to his poems time and again.

Young’s talents are on display in the very first poem, “Contortion,” a poem that begins innocently with the lines

The apartment doors
open like boxes
and we unfold.

and proceeds to unfurl the bodies of the stories behind the doors in the speaker’s apartment complex. It is those stories that twist us, tangle our lives, and somehow we are able to contort our days into some semblance of a life.

For the full review and purchasing options, please visit the “Buy Our Books” section.


A “Splendid” Opportunity


A Splendid Wake 4

4th Annual Program Celebrating Poetry in the Nation’s Capital —1900 to the Present

Friday, March 18th, 2016 from 6:30-8:30 P.M. at George Washington University Gelman Library, Suite 702, 2130 H Street, NW, Washington, DC (near Foggy Bottom Metro stop). Free and Open to the Public!


Join us for our 4th incarnation of A Splendid Wake as we continue our work of documenting poets and poetry movements in the Nation’s Capital from 1900 to the present. Our focus this vernal equinox is on Grace Cavalieri’s selected radio broadcasts of The Poet and the Poem; Letras Latinas in DC with Francisco Aragón and Dan Vera; and Crossing Borders: Literary Translation in DC with moderator Barbara Goldberg, and panelists: Roman Kostovski, Nancy Naomi Carlson, and Vivian Wang.


Recipient of the Silver Medal for Broadcasting from Corporation of Public Broadcasting, prolific poet and playwright Grace Cavalieri presents excerpted recordings of Sterling Brown, first Poet Laureate of Washington DC and author of Southern Road; Lucille Clifton, National book Award winner and author of Blessing the Boats; Ann Darr, one of the first women pilots in World War II and author of Cleared for Landing; Roland Flint, Georgetown University professor and author ofEasy; Essex Hemphill, jazz poet and author of Conditions: Poems; May Miller, the most widely published woman playwright of the Harlem Renaissance and author of Halfway to the Sun; Belle Waring, author of Refuge and Dark Blonde;and Reed Whittemore, former Consultant in Poetry to The Library of Congress and author of The Mother’s Breast, The Father’s House. Cavalieri will read poems from her memoir Life Upon the Wicked Stage.


DC area-based poets Francisco Aragón and Dan Vera discuss Letras Latinas, the literary initiative of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies and how that initiative has been carried out in DC, which includes collaborations with the Library of Congress, various branches of the Smithsonian Institution, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and Split This Rock Poetry Festival. Aragón established Letras Latinas as part of his work at Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. Dan Vera is author of Speaking Wiri Wiri, the inaugural winner (in poetry) of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize.


The panel Crossing Borders: Literary Translation in DC will discuss the history and present-day state of literary translation, with examples drawn from Czech, French, Chinese, Hebrew, and Kurdish. Particular challenges unique to each language and culture will also be discussed.



Splendid Wake Wiki:  http://wikis.library.gwu/dcpoetry/index.php/Main_Page

Splendid Wake-up Blog:

Splendid Wake-up

Welcome to Splendid Wake-up: a blog associated with Splendid Wake, a greater Washington DC area project that documents poets and poetry from 1900 to current day.