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lowercase reading series

April 3, 2014

lowercase Sarah LawsonA good volunteer organization is more likely to be a great one if they treat their volunteers well. 826DC, which normally works to foster children’s literacy, must be a great organization because they’ve put together the lowercase reading series to promote their volunteers who write.

This month, Petworth Citizen and Reading Room hosted a lowercase night of poetry and short fiction. Did I mention Petworth Citizen has black lager on tap? How is it I’ve never had a black lager before? Can you guess it was delicious? But I digress.

Sarah D. Lawson kicked off the lowercase event. She’s the founder and slammaster of the Beltway Poetry Slam. Sarah teaches writing workshops throughout Washington D.C. and the environs. For lowercase, she captivated the audience with four poems, three of which she’d just composed for National Poetry Writing Month. I especially enjoyed the piece about her attendance at a writer’s workshop. In the briefest of phrases, Sarah captured and conveyed the emotions thirty-five women on a journey that for some meant discovery and for others meant a dead end. The piece brought tears to my eyes.

lowercase Tara CampbellThe rest of the night included several other great writers and readers, but my favorite was Tara Campbell, an Alaska native with a strange penchant for crossover science fiction. Recently published in Luna Station Quarterly and Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers, Tara read “Happy Planet Nursery” from the latter. This piece was something of a benevolent sergeant’s instruction manual for interspecies caregivers. I hope its reading begins a long tradition of audience participation at lowercase. In other words, every lowercase audience should be required to chant along “I will not misplace the waste” whenever they are asked, especially by the luminous Tara Campbell.

lowercase was a lot of fun. Watching the volunteers get to know each other after the readings was a treat. I definitely recommend the series, especially if the next session is held alongside a bar serving black lager.


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