When Teresa Carson recently asked me 3 interview questions about Girl Talk, she wanted to know how I select the poets each year. I replied that I try "to include women who actively support other poets." Then last Saturday at the Girl Talk reading one of our poets talked about the various contributions some of our women poets have made and continue to make to the poetry community.
While putting away my materials and cleaning up my work space, I glanced over this year's list of names and noticed how many of these women poets contribute in a variety of ways to the poetry community. Here's a list:
Teresa Carson—maintains the CavanKerry blog and uses it to promote not only the work of CK poets but also the work of other poets.
Jessica deKoninck—hosts poetry salons at her home for her poet friends with new books.
Sondra Gash—for years curated a reading series at the Women's Resource Center in Summit, NJ. Now she hosts salons at her home.
Marcia Ivans—created and hosts Poetry and Pastries, a monthly open reading for area poets.
Vasiliki Katsarou—created and hosts a reading series at Panoply Books in Lambertville, NJ.
Adele Kenny—hosts a long-running series at Carriage House in Fanwood, NJ. Recently named Poet Laureate of Fanwood in recognition of her service.
Gina Larkin—created and serves as editor of the Edison Literary Review.
Deborah LaVeglia—hosts Poets Wednesday, the longest-running poetry series in NJ, at Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge, NJ, and facilitates workshops there.
Julie Maloney—created the Meet the Author series at the Bernardsville Library. Twice a year she invites a poet or prose writer to come and be interviewed, engage in a Q&A with the audience, and do a book signing. Several years ago she created Women Reading Aloud. Using the Amherst Writers and Artists Method, she leads workshops, some with yoga, some at retreat locations, and one on a Greek island.
Charlotte Mandel—founder of the Eileen W. Barnes Award Competition, sponsored by Saturday Press, to publish a first book by a woman poet over 40. Served in this capacity from 1981 to 1992.
Marilyn Mohr—for 20 years hosted a reading series at the JCC in West Orange, NJ.
Priscilla Orr—previously ran the Idiom Reading Series at Sussex County Community College. Now is editor of The Stillwater Review.
Christine Waldeyer—founder and editor of Adanna, a journal of women's poetry.