Hosted by Harris Gardner,

Kirk Etherton,

and Lucy Holstedt

ZOOM CLOUD RECORDING: Saturday April 17, 2021 12:22 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) .Me5x3d$ 

12:30 Zoom opens, Greetings

12:40 U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo 

1:00 Cedar Gate Writers: Anna Holstedt                Kirk Etherton, Lucy Holstedt

1:20 music by Julian Dinwoodie

1:30 Kathleen Aguero

1:50 Richard Hoffman

2:10 Q & A with the poets

2:25 music by Beatrice Greene

2:40 Fred Marchant

3:00 Charles Coe

3:20 Q & A with the poets

3:35 music by Thea Hopkins

3:50 Lauren Marie Schmidt

4:10 Special Guest Martín Espada.

4:30 Q & A with the poets

4:45 music by Julian Dinwoodie

4:55 wrap up

U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo​ is a Leominster, MA born Zimbabwean-American-grown author, actress, singer, stylist and educator who has performed nationally and internationally in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Portugal, and Ireland. She is a featured Storyteller on ​GBH “Growing Up Black Part 2” Stories From The Stage an​d is a 2021 recipient of a ​Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship ​from the Arts and Business Council in Boston.​ ​Her poetry collection ​“​Soul Psalms”​ (She Writes Press​) was described by ​David Updike​ as “written in a fearless female voice tempered with optimism and healing possibilities of love.” She  worked on two films that showcased in the recent Boston Globe Black History Film Festival: "Memoirs of a Black Girl" (as wardrobe stylist), and "Code-Switching" (as advisor), a film about three generations of METCO students, exploring identity and belonging.  U-Meleni  is a member of the ​New England Poetry Club​ and an advisory board member of ​Write On the Dot. ​ She is also a fitness advocate and marathoner who has run over 45 races, and was interviewed on the Emmy Award-winning "Basic Black" on GBH. For more info;

MUSIC: Julian Dinwoodie is an L.A. - based songwriter, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Born in the San Francisco Bay Area and self-taught from an early age, Julian first took to the stage at an open mic at age 4. To this day, he has tackled numerous genres including Classical, Jazz, Folk, Funk, Rock, Alternative, and R&B, and studied writing and production at Berklee College of Music. Prior to choosing a career in music, Julian studied film in the Performing & Media Arts program at Cornell University, and worked under the wing of Director/Producer Josh Greenbaum in Los Angeles. He has directed, produced, and scored two short films of his own.  

Julian also writes and produces his own original music, which can be found on all major streaming platforms. Julian enjoys giving his songs a splash of psychedelia through robust harmonies, polyrhythms, and orchestral arrangements."

Cedar Gate Writers: Anna Holstedt, Kirk Etherton, Lucy Holstedt.

Cedar Gate Writers is a bi-coastal group that's been meeting virtually (and sometimes in person) for several years. Each "session" is self-contained: we agree on a prompt (a word, and perhaps a form: poem? short fiction? instruction manual? apology note?). Then we spend about an hour writing our own, individual pieces, which we proceed to read aloud to the others.  This is great fun for us, and we're often amazed at the results--which can range from humorous to serious to "other."

  • Anna Holstedt lives on the West Coast and used to run an art gallery. She has been writing for years, but only lately has been sharing her work. A number of her poems have appeared in recent issues of Ibbetson Street.

  • Kirk Etherton is a writer and visual artist. He has published poetry in a number of local journals, and is a co-producer of the Boston National Poetry Month Festival.

  • Lucy Holstedt is a professor at Berklee College of Music; she is also a poet, and co-producer of the Boston National Poetry Month Festival.

Kathleen Aguero’s latest book of poetry is After That. She has published nonfiction in The Tower Journal and Solstice Literary Magazine. She teaches in the low-residency Solstice M.F.A. in creative writing and in Changing Lives through Literature, an alternative sentencing program. She also conducts creative writing for caregivers workshops privately and through adult and community education centers.

Richard Hoffman has published four volumes of poetry, Without Paradise; Gold Star Road, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the Sheila Motton Award from The New England Poetry Club; Emblem; and his latest, Noon until Night, winner of the 2018 Massachusetts Book Award for poetry. His other books include the celebrated Half the House: a Memoir, the 2014 memoir Love & Fury, and the story collection Interference and Other Stories. His work, both prose and verse, appears in such journals as Agni, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Consequence, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, The Literary Review, The Manhattan Review, PN Review, Poetry, Witness and elsewhere. He is Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, and nonfiction editor at Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.

MUSIC: Thea Hopkins. Performing songwriter Thea Hopkins describes her music as Red Roots Americana. Her 2018 EP "Love Come Down" was nominated for a 2019 Indigenous Music Award in the folk category. A member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Thea was selected by the Western Arts Alliance as a 2019 Native Launchpad Artist. Thea's 2019 performances included the Kennedy Center (DC) and the Summertyne Americana Festival (UK). The Washington Post called her “a standout writer.”  Her song "Jesus Is On The Wire" was recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary in 2004 and, in 2010, with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. 

Fred Marchant is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which, Said Not Said (Graywolf Press), was recently recognized as an "Honors Book" by the Massachusetts Book Awards. Earlier books include Full Moon Boat, and The Looking House (both from Graywolf). His first book, Tipping Point, won the 1993 Washington Prize, from The Word Works, and was reissued in a 20th anniversary second edition. 


Marchant has co-translated works by several Vietnamese poets, including Tran Dang Khoa, Le Chi, and Vo Que, the work published in Hanoi. He has qalso edited Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, a selection of poems Stafford wrote while in Civilian Public Service as a conscientious objector in World War II.


An emeritus professor of English, he is founding director of the Poetry Cenetr at Suffolk University in Boston. He teaches workshops in various venues, from the Veterans Writing Group in the Bay Area to the Hudson Valley Writers Center to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Fred Marchant is a winner of the May Sarton Award from the New England Poetry Club. It is an award given to poets "whose work is an inspiration to other writers."

Charles Coe is the author of three books of poetry: All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents, Picnic on the Moon, and Memento Mori, all published by Leapfrog Press. He is also author of Spin Cycles, a novella published by Gemma Media. Charles was selected as a Boston Literary Light by the Associates of the Boston Public Library and is a former artist fellow at the St. Botolph Club in Boston and a current artist-in-residence at the Manship House in Gloucester.

 A short film by filmmaker Roberto Mighty, “Peach Pie,” was based on his poem, “Fortress” has been shown at film festivals nationwide. Another short film, “Charles Coe: Man of Letters,” also by Roberto Mighty was named “Outstanding Documentary Short” at the 2020 Roxbury Film Festival.

Charles was a 2017 artist-in-residence for the city of Boston, where he created an oral history project focused on residents of Mission Hill. He is poetry editor of “Multiplicity,” an online literary journal published by Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Mass, and associate editor of “About Place,” an online literary journal published by Black Earth Institute.

Charles has served as poet-in-residence at Wheaton College and at the Chautauqua Institution in New York State and is an adjunct professor of English at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, and Bay Path University, where he teaches in both MFA programs. He is co-chair of the Boston Chapter of The National Writers Union, a labor union for free-lance writers and editors.

MUSIC: Published international poet Beatrice Kujichagulia Greene, an African American native of the Bronx New York now resides in Boston, MA.  She has received a City of Boston Opportunity award and a Vermont Studio Center grant and a Creative Entrepreneur fellowship from the Boston Arts and Business Council.  Her poetry appears in The Bones We Carry, Writers Without Margins, Mojo Extra Anthology, The Lunar Calendar and Oddball Magazine.  

The United Nations Women’s Reporting Network commissioned her to compose and perform a piano composition entitled Spirit Warriors.   Women experiencing violence based on religion, culture or tradition and those reporting this are honored in this piece.  Recently Beatrice composed and performed a piano composition entitled The Other commissioned by Violence Transformed, a local organization.  

She interweaves poetry and music at the Lunar Calendar celebrations, Saturday Sessions Parker House and the Boston Poetry Festival.  During her one woman show of the poetry and life of Frances Harper, 19th century black woman abolitionist, Beatrice plays trumpet interludes between dramatic reading, biographical and historical notes.  This has been performed at the Raab Lecture Hall at the Boston Public library. 

Lauren Marie Schmidt is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing; The Voodoo Doll Parade, selected for the Main Street Rag Author’s Choice Chapbook Series; and Psalms of The Dining Room, a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen in Eugene, Oregon. Her work has appeared in journals such as North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Nimrod, Painted Bride Quarterly, PANK, New York Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, The Progressive, and others. Her awards include the So to Speak Poetry Prize, the Neil Postman Prize for Metaphor, The Janet B. McCabe Prize for Poetry, and the Bellevue Literary Review’s Vilcek Prize for Poetry. Her fourth collection, Filthy Labors, chronicles her volunteer teaching experience at a transitional housing program for homeless women in her native New Jersey.  Schmidt is currently at work on a Young Adult novel.

Martín Espada (Special Guest) has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His most recent book of poems is called Floaters. Other collections of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016), The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006) and Alabanza (2003). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). His honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.