Cold Verse: December Poems FlyerAt the end of an eventful year, please join us for meditations on the month of December and its attendant holidays. Cold Verse features a host of local and regional poets reciting their favorite verses, including many original compositions.

Joe Alterman studied music at New York University, where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Jazz Piano Performance. Alterman has performed at many world-renowned venues including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Birdland and New York’s Blue Note, where Alterman has opened, many times, for Ramsey Lewis. Alterman has released four critically-acclaimed albums, his most recent being 2018’s “More Cornbread”.

Bob Ambrose, Jr. is an environmental engineer retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development. He has been writing poetry since 2009 and has been active in the Athens, Georgia Word of Mouth community. Bob has been featured reader at events in Athens, Cincinnati, and Austin. He posts on his blog site “Reflections in Poetry.” His first book of poetry, Journey to Embarkation, was published in 2016 and is available at Avid Bookshop.

Donna O’Kelley Butler serves as the Branch Supervisor of the Bogart Library, where she entertains and enlightens hundreds of patrons, school children and teachers with her renditions of folktales, legends, myths and historical tales.

Michelle Castleberry is a writer and therapist living in Oconee County. Next year, she will open her own telemental health practice and hopefully improve her gardening.

Bowen Craig is a local writer and publisher. Co-founder of Bilbo Books Publishing and author of Keeping Away from the Joneses, Hitchhiking with SalmonA Look to the Future Through the Eyes of an Eighty-Year-Old Pirate. He co-founded a local arts website with another writer and former library employee, Mark Katzman. He also runs a “high intellect comedy” essay website called Heretic Picayune, inspired by Nikola Tesla, Heretic Picayune is a home for articles which go against the grain of current thinking.

Bob Deck is a native Georgian but he also was career US Navy, moving 11 times in 20 years, living in Greece, Italy and Diego Garcia. He enjoys reading, exercise, and working at the Bogart Library.

Tammy Gerson may be a retired librarian, but she keeps busy with a multitude of projects. Besides her love of reading all genres, she participates in a contemporary musical ensemble at her synagogue. She loves drumming, cooking, and having fun with her Maltipoo, Luna. Tammy lives in Athens with her husband, and has two children and three grandchildren.

Juliana Gray’s third poetry collection is Honeymoon Palsy (Measure Press 2017). Her fiction has appeared in Hobart, and her humor writing has been featured in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. An Alabama native, she lives in western New York and teaches at Alfred University.

Japhy Mitchell is a poet and librarian who lives with his dog Tarkovsky. His poems have been published in several online and print publications, including Scissors & Spackle, First Literary Review East, streetcake, and more.

Alice Mohor was born and raised in New Jersey, but has lived in Athens since 1972. She taught in several Clarke County schools. Alice wrote a rhyming poem to open and close each of her elementary physical education lessons, and continues to write and has published two books of poetry.

Jay Morris is an Athens native currently based in Atlanta, GA. While in Athens, he was heavily involved in the poetry scene — often reading at events hosted by Athens Word of Mouth, Spoken Word UGA, and various community organizations. Jay also co-founded and hosted the Goetry Open Mic series at Go Bar before moving to Atlanta. He finds that yoga, cooking, writing, listening to music, and video chatting with friends have helped breathe a little light into life while sheltering in place.

David Oates has 30 years experience teaching writing. He hosts the “Wordland” radio show on WUGA in Athens GA. He is the author of two collections, Drunken RobinsShifting with My Sandwich Hand, and over 100 of his poems have been published in magazines. He is the emcee of Athens Word of Mouth Poetry. Oates received his master’s in creative writing from the University of Illinois—Chicago.

Joy Ovington has enjoyed a lifetime of working in all aspects of performing and holds an MFA from the Florida State University / Asolo Conservatory for Professional Actor Training. Favorite roles include Witch #3 in MacBeth and Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. While not working in Library Administration, she enjoys choir singing and working with theatre companies around town.

Clela Reed is the author of seven collections of poetry. Recently Silk (Evening Street Press, 2019) won the Helen Kay Chapbook Prize and then the 2020 Georgia Author of the Year in chapbook competition. A Pushcart Prize nominee, former English teacher, and Peace Corps volunteer, she has poetry published in many journals and anthologies.

Theresa Rice has served as a creative consultant to artists, writers, and arts organizations. She has done all manner of writing, from press releases to novels, catalog copy to short stories. She loves old fashioned poets like Emily Dickenson, Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, and Walt Whitman.

Lorraine Thompson is the Head of Drama at Athens Academy in Athens, Ga. In addition to being a theatre educator, she is also a published playwright, storyteller, and actor. She LOVES sweaters.

Eddie Whitlock manages the Library Store and coordinates volunteers for the Athens-Clarke County Library. He is the author of two books: Evil is Always Human (2012) and POTUS of the Living Dead (2014). He is currently working on a sequel to his first novel.