All the Imagination Can Hold…with Nancy Naomi Carlson, Reuben Jackson & Special Guest Poets


The title of the late poet/critic Kenneth Koch’s essay on the work of Frank O’Hara — “All the Imagination Can Hold” — is also a perfect description of the poetry to be featured at this year’s annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival.  Free verse, metered ruminations, youthful and seasoned voices… bring your imagination…your family…your friends… They will thank you!

Masters of Ceremonies – Festival Poet Laureate Nancy Naomi Carlson & Reuben Jackson

Special Guest Poets

Elizabeth Rees

Elizabeth Rees is the author of Every Root a Branch and three award-winning chapbooks.  A fourth chapbook was published by March Street Press.  Over 350 of her poems have appeared in journals, including The Southern Review, Agni, Partisan Review, New England Review and Kenyon Review, among many others.  She has taught widely: Harvard University, Boston College, Boston University, Macalester College, Hamline University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Howard University, and in the graduate program at Johns Hopkins University.  She is a poet-in the-schools for the MD State Arts Council and also teaches at The Writer’s Center, and privately.  

Robert L. Giron

Robert L. Giron is the author of five collections of poetry, and editor of three anthologies. His poetry and fiction have appeared in national and international anthologiesamong other publications. He was born in Nebraska, but he describes himself as a transplanted Texan, with family roots that go back over four centuries, who lives in Arlington, Virginia. He discovered recently that his ancestry covers most of Europe and the greater Mediterranean area—just a man of the world. He currently is an associate editor for Potomac Review, the editor-in-chief of ArLiJo, and is the founder/publisher of Gival Press.

With more readings by…

Music by Roman Kostovski

Roman Kostovski  is a singer/songwriter, poet and literary translator.  He has taught Czech at George Washington University and worked as a Central and Southeastern European Media Analyst at Georgetown University.  He translates poetry and prose from Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian, and Slovak into English. His translation of Arnost Lustig’s Porgess was published by Northwestern University Press in 2006, and his translation of Viktor Dyk’s Czech classic The Ratcatcher was published by Plamen Press in 2014. He founded Plamen Press in 2013, a print-on-demand publishing house for the promotion of literature from Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe throughout the English-speaking world. He works and resides in Silver Spring Maryland.

Masters of Ceremonies – Nancy Naomi Carlson & Reuben Jackson

Reuben Jackson

Reuben Jackson is an archivist with the University of the District of Columbia’s Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. From 2013 until 2018, he was host of Friday Night Jazz on Vermont Public Radio. His poems have been published in over 40 anthologies, in a volume entitled fingering the keys,  and the recently published Scattered Clouds (Alan Squire Publishers) which came out in October 2019. His music reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, Jazz Times, Downbeat, Jazziz, the Jazz Journalists Association website, and on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Jackson taught poetry for 11 years at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and taught high school for two years in Burlington, Vermont. In addition, he was an archivist and creator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Duke Ellington Collection from 1989 until 2009.

Nancy Naomi Carlson

Festival Poet Laureate

Nancy Naomi Carlson is a poet and translator and has authored 10 titles (6 translated). An Infusion of Violets (Seagull Books, 2019), her second full-length poetry collection, was named “New & Noteworthy” by the New York Times, reviewed by the Washington Post, and honored on Beltway Poetry’s “Ten Best Books of 2019.” Her translations have been finalists for both the Best Translated Book Award and the CLMP Firecracker Poetry award, and she has received two literature translation grants from the NEA. Decorated by the French government with the French Academic Palms, her work has appeared in such journals as APR, The Georgia Review, The Paris Review, and Poetry. An associate editor for Tupelo Press, she was elected to a seat on the Board of Directors for the American Literary Translators Association, and also is a founding Board member for DC-ALT.