Poetry…The Sea Of Possibilities 


Like music, poetry conveys countless emotions: joy, anger, longing, for starters. It is, to quote the poet- vocalist-bandleader Patti Smith– a sea of possibilities.
The poets featured at this year’s Kensington Day Of The Book Festival will provide broad, moving and accessible works for the mind and heart.


Stay tuned for our 2019 Poetry program!

Here are our 2018 Poets who made last year’s festival a great success…

Special Guest Readers


Waberi photo_copyright free (2)Abdourahman A. Waberi  1:35 to 2:00

Abdourahman A. Waberi is a critically-acclaimed writer born in 1965 in what is today the Republic of Djibouti, a tiny country squeezed between Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea. His work has been translated into a multitude of languages. A current columnist for the French newspaper Le Monde and the Samuel Fischer visiting professor at the Szondi Institute of Berlin’s  Freie Universität in Fall 2016, he teaches French and Francophone Literature and Creative Writing at George Washington University in Washington DC. In recognition for his commitment to multiculturalism and linguistic, ethnic, and religious diversity, he won the 2016 Words to Change Prize. His second collection of poetry, Mon nom est aube, is forthcoming in English as Naming the Dawn (Seagull Books, March 2018), translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson.


Come hear a bilingual reading in French and English of Mon nom est aube, by Abdourahman A. Waberi, from Djibouti, translated into English by Nancy Naomi Carlson. Come enter this poetry collection’s lyrical and personal world that reflects a deep spiritual bond with the power of words and the history of Islam, and makes a case for tolerance. You won’t be disappointed!

merrill leffler
Merrill Leffler  1:05 to 1:30
Merrill Leffler is the author of three books of poems: Mark the Music (2012), Take Hold (1997), and Partly Pandemonium, Partly Love (1984). Leffler is editor of Dryad Press. He has taught literature at the University of Maryland and US Naval Academy, and was a senior science writer at the University of Maryland Sea Grant Program.

(photo from Beltway Poetry Quarterly)


 Music by Roman Kostovski


Featuring Readings by:

Poets from Summer Poetry Workshop:  11:10 to 11:30

Jose Ballesteros & Poets from “Knocking on the Door of The White House: Latina and Latino Poetry in Washington, D.C., (2001 – 2009)”:  12:35 to 1:00

Alberto Avendaño

David Camero

Robert Girón

The Federal Poets:  2:05 to 2:30

Don Illich

Judy McCombs

Richard Epstein 

Paul Grayson (read by Richard Epstein)

Mary Sesso

Poets from the Kensington Row Poetry Series:  2:35 to 2:55

Judith McCombs

Miles Moore

Nancy Allison

Luther Jett

Q. R. Quasar

Poets from the DC-Area Literary Translators Network (DC-ALT):         3:00 to 3:15

Danuta Kosk-Kosicka

Indran Amirthanayagam

Burgi Zenhaeusern

joining DC-ALT will be poets from the Korean Literary Society of Washington:          3:15 to 3:30

 Young-Key Kim-Renaud

Ingee Kim

Hyun-Sook Park Han

 (with special thanks to Ms. Jane Mi Hee Yoon, president of KLSW)

Poets from the William Meredith Foundation and Poets-choice.com  12:05 to 12:30

 Tom Kirlin, reading the poetry of Martin Galvin

Laura Brylawski-Miller

Elisavietta Ritchie

Kurt Olsson reading for The Writer’s Center and Poet Lore  3:35 to 3:40


and also the Twinbrook Tellers 11:35 to 12:00

The Twinbrook Tellers of the Dogwood Dogs 4H Club are a group of young storytellers, ages eight to eighteen who tell tall-tales, folktales, literary stories, real-life adventures, and poems.  They perform at many local festivals and storytelling events and have been a highlight of the Kensington Day of the Book Festival for many years.


Masters of Ceremonies


nancy-naomi-carlson-0Nancy Naomi Carlson  

Nancy Naomi Carlson has received grants from the NEA, Maryland State Arts Council, and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County for her translations and non-translated work. She is the author of seven titles, and her translation of The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Dipper by Abdourahman Waberi (from Djibouti) was shortlisted for the “Best Translated Book Award” last year. Her work has appeared in APR, The Georgia Review, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner…[More]

indranIndran Amirthanayagam  

Indran Amirthanayagam is a multilingual poet and author of 13 books, including the Paterson Prize-winning The Elephants of Reckoning, Uncivil War, a history in poetry of the Sri Lankan war, the Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems, Ventana Azul, and his latest Il n’est de solitude que l’île lointaine. Amirthanayagam has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the US/Mexico Fund for Culture. His poem Juarez won the Juegos Florales of Guaymas, Sonora in 2006. Amirthanayagam is a member of the United States Foreign Service. He has a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Haverford College.