Photo Credit: Dan Zak, Washington Post
Washington has seen its small-press and self-publication movements, its spoken-word renaissance, its uniting of activist poets in the Split This Rock Poetry Festival, and the anchoring of reliable venues like Busboys and Poets and Beltway Poetry Quarterly -- these separate communities, the old and young, the living and the dead, the scholarly and the streetwise, have a place in the anthology.
"We're living in a historical place in historical times in a city that monumentalizes itself," says District writer-editor Dan Vera, 44, as the reception wanes and poets wrap themselves in scarves. "Sometimes you feel trapped in amber, but you try to catch the normal in poetry."
As she ties up small talk with guests, Roberts has other projects on her mind, like putting down a literary history of Washington in book form in a couple years. But first, 1,500 copies of "Full Moon on K Street" will go out, perhaps answering for some people the question "Washington has . . . what, exactly?"
It has Reed Whittemore's "gray facades/Of pillar and portal."
It has Sterling A. Brown's swarmed alleys and deserted pool rooms along Florida Avenue.
It has May Miller's "Cool magnificence of space."
It has Betty Parry's red and yellow roses in a back yard in Brookland.