Meet our Poets & Writers

The Founder

little pi

Patti Ross

Patti (Spady) Ross graduated from Washington, DC’s Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts, The American University and The Keller Graduate School of Management. As a lifetime learner, Patti holds a certificate in Writing for Social Justice from the University of California, Berkley. After high-school graduation, she performed with several local theatre companies in the Washington region. In addition to her performance career, she used her college degree in print media to freelance several of her journalist pieces gaining publication in the Washington Times and the Rural America newspapers. A few years ago, Patti rediscovered her love of writing and is sharing her voice as the spoken word artist “little pi.” Her debut chapbook, St. Paul Street Provocations, was released in 2021 by Yellow Arrow Publishing; she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “Indemnity”. She is a former board member for the Maryland  Writers Association. Patti is the first Poet in Residence for the AA Food Bank in partnership with PoetryXHunger.

Follow her blog at:

Amazon author page:

St. Paul Street Provocations at Yellow Arrow Publishing

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The Partners

Terri Simon

Terri Simon’s poetry chapbook, “Ghosts of My Own Choosing,” was published by Flutter Press in 2017. Her second chapbook, “Ringing the Bell,” was published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House in 2021. Her work has appeared in “The Avenue,” “Third Wednesday,” “Poetry Quarterly,” “Ariel Chart,” “Bay to Ocean 2019,” and other print and online journals and anthologies. She’s been a featured reader at several poetry reading series in central Maryland. She grew up in Mount Vernon, NY, studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Laurel, Maryland with her husband and dogs. She can be found at and on Facebook at

Amazon author page:

Ringing the Bell at Clare Songbirds Publishing House

Kari Martindale

Kari Martindale is a spoken word artist and writer. She discovered her love of poetry after two decades of writing and editing in other genres, including travel and children’s. Kari’s poetry has been published in Pen-in-Hand and featured in Berks Bards’ Bardfest 2021, among other events, and will be featured in Maryland Bards Poetry Review 2022. Kari sits on the Board of Maryland Writers’ Association, where she is President of the Frederick Chapter and a member of the conference committee. She has a Master’s in Linguistics and a background in translation and interpretation and has visited all 50 States and 37 countries. Kari values kindness over politeness and justice over peace.



Instagram: @Karilogue

Twitter: @martindale_Kari

The Members

Jay Hall Carpenter

Jay Hall Carpenter is an author and artist living in Maryland. His written works include plays, musicals, children’s books, and poetry. For several years he published The ACE Occasionally, a small literary humor magazine. 

Photo credit Julia Lehman

Angela Dale

Angela H. Dale writes poetry for adults and picture books for children and the adults who read to them. Her poetry has appeared in The Skinny Poetry Journal (a skinny is an amazing poetic form, NOT a body type), Borderlands, Naugatuck Review and elsewhere. Her picture book debut BUS STOP, illustrated by Lala Watkins, hits shelves October 4, 2022.

Zorina Exie Frey

Zorina Exie Frey is a spoken word poet, SEO content writer, writing instructor, graphic designer, and video editor. Her poems are published in The American Journal of Poetry, Oyster River Pages, and Chicken Soup for the Soul, I’m Speaking Now. Zorina also contributes as a co-editor for South 85 Journal and hosts Writing Class Radio’s First Draft Happy Hour.

You can follow her at FB, IG, and Twitter: @zorinaexie  

Or join her at First Draft Happy Hour, Wednesdays at 6pm Est.

May Kuroiwa (coo-row-ee-wah)

A decade after Hawaii’s queen was forced to sign the Bayonet Constitution, making the kingdom a US territory, May Kuroiwa’s grandparents emigrated from Japan to work as field laborers on a sugarcane plantation. Her mother was pregnant with her first child – May’s eldest brother – when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. May worked as a nurse and, after studying microbiology at Douglass College, in medical research. Her short story, “Just Like the First Time”, won the 2020 Chautauqua Charles McCorkle Hauser Prize. May is researching a one-act play, “George Floyd Greets Ashli Babbitt at the Pearly Gates”. She lives in Havre de Grace with her husband, a Dutch-English-German-Irish-Slovenian-American.

Patrice Smith

Patrice Smith, life-long resident of the Washington DC area, long term educator and astute observer of the human condition has melded her experiences to become both a poet and a spoken word performer. Patrice is the ultimate educator, having worked every level from kindergarten through college and taught both English and non-English speaking students. As a mentor teacher, she has used her vast experience to train the next generation of teachers. After years of professional achievements, Patrice is fortunate to have transformed her profession into her passion.

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Janet Walenta

Janet Walenta worked in eldercare recreation for 25 years. She is now active on the local poetry open mic scene in suburban Washington, D.C.