In preparing for a kind of overhaul of this blog, I've developed a bunch of regular departments that I'll roll out periodically. One of these departments will be unveiled today: Around the Beltway. In this feature, I will highlight a local arts organization (esp. literary arts). As you all know, there are LOTS of arts organizations around DC. So this ought to be easy, right? Well, I hope so. Btw, before I forget, keep checking back to this blog. It will have a new name by the end of the week.
Today I'm going to start "Around the Beltway" with the literary journal Beltway Quarterly. BQ publishes poetry from poets "who live or work in the capital." They publish a really diverse range of poets, and that includes the work of first-time authors and Pulitzer Prize winners alike. The most recent issue is something special: an audio issue! You can actually HEAR poets reading their work. As I'm typing this I'm listening to Fred Joiner read "Song for Anacostia." The sound is terrific, crisp and clear, complete with background jazz. And I love it.
Other poets in this issue include Thomas Sayers Ellis, Grace Cavalieri (who's reading at the Center on December 7th), Kenneth Carroll, Joel Dias-Porter, and Reb Livingston. Plus lots more. Check it out here.
Kim Roberts is the indefatigable editor of BQ. I met her recently at a poetry event at The Writer's Center (and you may recognize her from the "Last Word" column in the latest issue of The Carousel. In addition to gathering together great poets and great poetry, Kim does something that members of the WC should be aware of: she puts together a resource bank at BQ. This bank includes grant opportunities for writers, conferences, literary blogrolls, new books, readings, and more. It's an excellent resource for area writers.