Explore how the craft of writing can inspire and fuel the imagination. This new monthly literary reading series features local poets and authors, as well as an open mic for interested audience members.

Free of charge. No reservation required. Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth in the Long Reach Village Center. Open mic presenters are asked to keep their readings to five minutes or less.

Sponsored by Howard County Poetry and Literature Society and coordinated by Laura Shovan, Ann Bracken and Linda Joy Burke.

The schedule includes:

Tuesday, June 13, 7-8:30pm

Carla DuPree is the executive director of CityLit Project. She has spoken at national tributes to Toni Morrison, Lucille Clifton, and Maya Angelou, the debut of Baltimore’s Listen To Your Motherspeaker series, and has been a county/state judge for NEA’s Poetry Out Loud competitions. She won an MSAC Individual Artist Award in Fiction, and a 2016 Rubys Grant for $8,000 to complete the first draft of her novel. Her fiction has appeared in journals and anthologies, and she’s contributed to Women in Clothes. She’s the former Vice Chair of MSAC, chairs their Diversity Outreach Committee and completes a six-year stint in 2017. She is HoCoPoLitSo’s former executive director and producer of The Writing Life.

Susan Muaddi DaraaSusan Muaddi Darraj is the author of The Inheritance of Exile, which was a finalist in the AWP Book Awards Series and named ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year (Short Fiction). She is a fiction editor for Barrelhouse Magazine and co-founder of the annual Conversations & Connections Conference: Practical Advice on Getting Published. Her new book, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named winner of the AWP Grace Paley Award for Short Fiction and the American Book Award, and shortlisted for the Palestine Book Award. She is a two-time recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council.