Iota Reading Series (1994-2017)

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The Iota Poetry Series ran for 23 years out of Iota Club and Cafe, located at 2832 Wilson Blvd. in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, VA. Meeting monthly on Sunday afternoons, the series usually had two featured readers followed by an open mic, except for the All Open reading every August, and the Anniversary reading every September (which consisted of a large group reading featuring everyone who had read in the prior year, who were invited back to read a few poems, eat cake, and raise a toast). The host for the entire 23 years was Miles David Moore. The owners of the club, Stephen V. Negrey and Jane Negrey-Inge, were particularly welcoming, only closing down the reading series when the club itself closed, "the victim of neighborhood redevelopment plans that inevitably proved too difficult and expensive for the club to survive," as Moore wrote in a post-closing tribute.

Two CDs celebrating the reading series were recorded by Minimus Productions, produced and edited by Terence Mulligan, Martha Sanchez-Lowery, and Miles David Moore. Poetry Alive at Iota: The Iota Poetry Series 10th Anniversary Reading featured 40 poets, and was recorded live on September 12, 2004 and released in 2005. Poetry Alive: The Iota Poetry series 20th Anniversary Reading featured 32 poets, was recorded live and released in 2014, and included a chapbook. Poets who appeared on both recordings include: Karren LaLonde Alenier, Mel Belin, Dean Blehert, Pam Blehert, Grace Cavalieri, Tod Ibrahim, Geffry King, Lyn Lifshin, Judith McCombs, Miles David Moore, Terence Mulligan, Richard Peabody, Kim Roberts, and Martha Sanchez-Lowery.

In April 2016, the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division presented Moore with a special Award for Service to the Arts in Arlington County. The Iota Series remains the longest-running reading series in the history of Arlington, VA, and one of the longest-running in the entire DC Metro region.

Moore writes movingly about hosting his final reading in the series in Scene 4 Magazine: http://www.scene4.com/milesdavidmoore/2017/09/farewell_to_iota.html To read Moore's bio, see: https://wikis.library.gwu.edu/dcpoetry/index.php/Miles_David_Moore

Dan, Grace, Kim, Miles.jpg Award.jpg

Submitted by Kim Roberts, September 2017.


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