Launch of the DC Poet Project

Talent is equally distributed through the population, but opportunity is not. It’s impossible for a poet to rise in the profession without a book. And you can’t get a book contract without a lot of individual poems published in the right places. And to get a lot of individual poems published in the right places you have to have the time to make submission after submission over a period of years. That means people without that kind of time to dedicate are unintentionally excluded from the top ranks of the profession. For that reason, Day Eight, with partnership and support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Lisc DC, DC Public Library, Brink Media, Upshur Street Books, individual donors and sponsors, and the featuring poets, is launching the DC Poet Project.

The DC Poet Project is a poetry reading series with open mic. At each event the Featuring Poets will select one ‘winning’ open mic reader to receive a $100 cash award, and invitation to compete at the final event for a book contract.

Read on to learn more about the featuring poets and partners in this project.
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From Gregory Luce

As you know, Day Eight strives to support the arts in all forms. One of the most important ways we accomplish this vital task is by providing a space where artists can showcase and write about their work. In 2016, we expanded this endeavor with our revitalized poetry publishing program. As Board Chair of Day Eight and Literary Editor of our journal Bourgeon, I am very proud to have published poems by a number of fine poets this year. For example, in November, Megan Alpert took us to China:

“In Xi’an I’d wake / in the dark, unable to find my hands. / Remember how we went for oranges? / We held them, sweet and tart, the only bright things / in the sudden fog.” (from “Kahee and the Dark“)

In May, J.D. Smith tried to sell a farm:

“You get the feed lot’s smell from that direction. / The stream is muddied by a neighbor’s goats. / Let’s step inside. The gun rack’s over there. / This far from town, you’ll want a gun somewhere.” (from “Working Farm for Sale“)

And in August, Kate Horowitz wrote of a mysterious kitchen fire:

“There is no fire extinguisher / In the photo of the kitchen fire; / Perhaps my boyfriend / Had gone to get it. Still my mother and I / Are not leaving. My sister / Has reached for her camera.” (from “Kitchen Fire“)

These excerpts should give you some idea of the variety and excellence that we have been privileged to share with our readers. Please visit and read them all if you haven’t already.

If you, like us at Day Eight, value and appreciate such work and would like to see more, please consider an end-of-the-year gift to Day Eight. You can make a secure donation here:

Thanks for your support and Happy New Year!


Gregory Luce

Board Chair

Day Eight at DCPL DC Author Fest

Day Eight is pleased to announce that Robert Bettmann has been selected to be featured in the DC Public Library’s DC Author Fest.

Download the DCPL Author Fest Guide here.

Board Chair Gregory Luce will be headlining a special reading of Bourgeon poets including Naomi Thiers, J.D. Smith, and Don Illich. The reading will take place in the main branch library at 2:30, but you’ll be able to find Gregory and the poets at our table there for much of the day.

Come on by!