Announcing the 2020 DC Poet Project Finalists

At the fifth and final preliminary round open mic event this past Saturday, March 7th, featured poets Kim B Miller, Gregory Luce, and Anne Becker selected Mecca Verdell the winner, completing selection of the 2020 DC Poet Project finalists. Join us Saturday April 4th to hear the finalists perform and vote to select the 2020 Poet Project winner — reserve a ticket using the eventbrite here.

Day Eight publishes a book by the winning poet. Click on the year to read about the books by the 2017, 2018 and 2019 project winners.

The 2020 DC Poet Project Finalists

Laura McCarty – selected by poets Venus Thrash and Daria-Ann Martineau

Merkury Gold – selected by poets Kevin Wiggins, Naomi Ayala, and Shaquetta Nelson

Kiane Thomas – selected by poets E. Ethelbert Miller, Regie Cabico, and Antwone Ross

Kenneth Something – selected by poets Jeffrey Banks, Malik Crumpler, and John Johnson

Mecca Verdell – selected by poets Kim B Miller, Gregory Luce, and Anne Becker

The 2020 DC Poet Project was made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wells Fargo Community Foundation and partnerships with Brink Media, the Anacostia Coordinating Council, Marthas Table, and We Act Radio.

Laura McCarty’s creative writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Lunch Ticket, descant, Jelly Bucket, the St. Petersburg Review, among other publications. In 2016, she was a selected reader at the Inner Loop, a finalist for the Diana Woods Memorial Award in non-fiction, and a semi-finalist for the Disquiet International Literary Prize in non-fiction. In 2018, Laura realized a lifelong dream when she completed her MFA from American University.

Merkury Gold is a poet/ rapper from Washington DC and is well known throughout the city for his street performing show called Beat Roulette. He encourages neighbors/ passersby to speak to inspire and speak whats on their hearts in the form of rapping or poetry to help bring DCs growing diversity closer together. His overall goal: make all that enjoy his art smile.

Kenneth Something is a poet, playwright, educator and organizer. However, he is best described as an artivist. His poetry, though often uncomfortably honest, examines everything that comes with being both Black and same-gender-loving. Like many of the great poets he admire, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, he seeks to deconstruct the ideas that encourages individuals feel inferior or superior to others. 

Kiane Thomas is an author, actor performer, facilitator, coach and entrepreneur who has shared her poetry in venues including Busboys and Poets, Mayorga Coffee House, Storytellers, Organic Soul and the Synergy Center.  She is Administrator for the Poets, Writers and Creative Scribblers facebook group where she creates a virtual safe space for creatives, and she hosts an open mic at the Busboys and Poets in Anacostia every third Tuesday night. Miss Kiane uses her poetry to foster hope, healing, and social change, and as a Licensed Graduate Social Worker, enjoys melding her profession with her passion by helping others to access levels of personal healing, empowerment and growth through the power of poetry and creative expression.

Mecca Verdell is an author, actress, teaching artist and poet. Mecca first garnished national attention after winning Brave New Voices, an international youth poetry slam. Since then Mecca has been traveling the country performing, teaching and building upon the intersection of activism and art. She is a voice for Black women everywhere.