City Scene

Book Festival to Welcome Maryland Poet Laureate

The Gaithersburg Book Festival, planned for Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at City Hall, is honored to host a tribute to Maryland’s new Poet Laureate, Grace Cavalieri, the author of 20 books and chapbooks of poetry. She’s had 26 plays, short-form and full-length, produced, and founded, produces and hosts “The Poet and the Poem,” for public radio, 42 years on-air. She is also the poetry columnist/reviewer for The Washington Independent Review of Books. Among honors Grace holds 2013 AWP’s George Garrett Award, the Pen-Fiction Award, two Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, the Bordighera Poetry Award, two Paterson Poetry Awards, the Folger Library Columbia Award, The Washington Independent Review Lifetime Achievement Award, and The CPB Silver Medal.

The tribute will be moderated by Rose Solari, also a poet, and the publisher of Cavalieri’s of career-spanning, multi-genre book, “Other Voices, Other Lives: A Grace Cavalieri Collection.”

“Grace’s gift for community-building is legendary, but her attention to poets and their work always feels deeply, preciously personal. Writers across the country have tales to tell of her offering the right word at the right time, and remark on her ability to inspire both those new to poetry and seasoned professionals with the power and beauty of the written word. What is most astonishing to me is how she built this role from scratch: while many other poets and mentors of her stature operate from a base of academic or other institutional support, Grace has carved an independent path out of her genuine and inspiring passion for poetry,” according to Solari.

As a part of the tribute, Katherine E. Young, former Poet Laureate of Arlington, will speak about the tradition and role of the Poet Laureate in our culture, and why Grace so beautifully suits the post. Reuben Jackson, a jazz scholar and radio host as well as a poet, will talk about Grace’s groundbreaking work in getting poetry on the radio and Elizabeth Hazen, a young poet and one of many to have been mentored by Grace, will talk about Grace’s tremendous track record of supporting and nurturing other poets and Cavalieri herself will speak about, and share some of her work.

Cavalieri is the judge for GBF’s first High School Poetry Contest and will be on hand to announce the winners at the book festival.

Three City Council Positions Open in Next Election

Residents will cast their ballots for three City Council members on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The terms of office for Council Members Neil Harris, Ryan Spiegel and Robert Wu expire in November.

Candidate Packets for this election cycle will be released on May 9. Candidates must file a petition for candidacy with the Board of Supervisors of Elections via the City Attorney’s Office. The petition must be signed by at least 100 city residents who are registered voters.

City to Recognize Fallen Soldiers

Loyalty and patriotism will be on full display as the City of Gaithersburg joins the nation in honoring all who have given their lives in military service at its Memorial Day Observance on Thursday, May 30, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Christman Park, 304 West Deer Park Road. The observance will include reference to the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of World War II. The public is invited to join the mayor and City Council, junior mayor, city staff and honored guests in a tribute to those of all generations who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Joining the May 30 observance will be guest speaker Commander Roger K. Lunde, United States Navy (Retired).