Sylvia Dianne Beverly (Ladi Di) is an Internationally acclaimed poet, presenting poetry In London, England, at the Lewisham Theater. A collection of her work is housed at George Washington University's Gelman Library. She is a member of A Splendid Wake, Gelman Library, George Washington University.
Ladi Di as she is affectionately called is a founding member of the poetry ensemble "Collective Voices”. She is a proud member of Poetson the Green Line, Poetry X Hunger, Poetry Poster Project and Voices of Woodlawn. Ladi Di celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Host Grace Cavalieri, reading on her show "The Poet and the Poem" at the Library of Congress Experience. Also, she is a founding member of the Anointed PENS (Poets Empowered to Nurture Souls) Poetry Ministry, out of Ebenezer AME Church, an alum of Poets in Progress with Poet Laureate of District of Columbia, the late Dolores Kendrick. She is the author of two books (Forever In Your Eyes and Cooking Up South), both on Amazon. Recently her poetry appears in several International anthologies, Moonstone Press Anthology and as part of Mike Maggio”s 30/30 Series for National Poetry month 2021.
Ladi Di is also called "Love Poet". The late Dr. Maya Angelou is her hero. She is the proud Matriarch of her family. Celebrating Black History 2018, she and her family received posthumously for her Dad, a “Congressional Gold Medal” from the United States Marines. She is a Poet of Excellence in Prince George's County 2020 and Literary Leader in Prince George’s County 2022. Poetry is her passion.
Sainey Ceesay is the 2021 Prince George’s County Youth Poet Laureate. She is the Words Beats and Life 2020 Grand Slam Champion, A Joe's Movement Emporium Creative works alumni, a Kennedy Center Youth Council Member, and a facilitating teaching artist. She has performed nationally and across the DMV area for audiences like Brave New Voices, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art, Blues Alley Jazz Club, Planet Word, The Kennedy Center, and Busboys and poets. Sainey has also held the distinction of being the inaugural poet for the Mayor of Glenarden Cashenna Cross and the ceremonial poet for the Hyattsville Library Grand re-opening. She has appeared on BBC International news, NBC 4, Channel 9, PGCTV, Sojourn with words, the Poet Life Podcast, and WBL radio's “something to say”. Her poetry touches on mental health, blackness, identity as a Gambian-American, gender issues, and social injustice. She seeks to find and build community through her poetry and to encourage others to write and share their stories. She is currently an arts concentration student at Prince George's Community College
Diane Wilbon-Parks is an accomplished poet, visual artist, author, literary advocate, a Prince George’s County Poet of Excellence and Literary Leader. She has written two poetry collections and a Children’s Book. Diane is the founder of The Write Blend, a culturally diverse poetry circle, and a member of the Voices of Woodlawn. Diane was brought in as an Expert Consultant to the National Trust for Historic Preservation through a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. She celebrated the permanent installation of one of her poems and artwork as a permanent sign at the North Patuxent Research Refuge. Diane’s poetry has been featured nationally and internationally in newsletters, online magazines, in The Sailors Review - Zimbabwean Online Magazine, Maryland Bards Poetry Review Anthology; International Anthology, “Singing in the Dark,”; International Magazines, Wexford Women, and Beyond Words Literary Magazine. Her interviews are included in the 43rd and 44th Anniversary of Maryland State Poet Laureate Grace Cavalieri’s the Poet and the Poem at the Library of Congress. Diane is a USAF Veteran and Sr. IT Program Manager. She resides in Maryland.
The 4th Annual Poetry Contest winners are below.
Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman, Ed.D. is a cultural curator, community organizer, theatre producer, director, nationally recognized speaker, and multi-genre writer. She is the 2023 Poet Laureate of Prince George's County, MD.
Dr. Ali-Coleman is author of the children's book Mariah's Maracas and co-editor of the book Homeschooling Black Children in the US: Theory, Practice and Popular Culture. She is editor of the Liberated Muse anthology book series and has creative work and scholary writings featured in several books. Her plays have been staged, workshopped and read on dozens of stages. She is a member of the virtual writing group, Zora's Den, as well as a professional member of The Dramatists Guild, The Recording Academy (home of the GRAMMY awards) and the Association of African American Museums.
For over 20 years she has served in different capacities as an higher education professional, from teaching as an adjunct professor, serving as a faculty advisor of student publications, and a coordinator of a summer bridge program to working as the assistant director of residence life at an HBCU.
As an educator, she has created and led educational programs for over 20 years at numerous institutions, including Montgomery Community Media, Covenant House Washington, The Alliance of Concerned Men, One Common Unity, and Morgan State University. She is founder of the multidisciplinary arts group Liberated Muse and co-founder of the national education research group Black Family Homeschool Educators and Scholars, LLC (BFHES). She has maintained the youth development blog So Our Youth Aspire since 2006.
Dr. Ali-Coleman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (African American Studies and Mass Media) and a minor in Writing from the University of Maryland Baltimore, County; a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Towson University and a doctorate in education from Morgan State University.
She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Hurston/Wright Foundation.
15 YEAR OLD Precious Foreman of Landover, Maryland is the 2023 Prince George's County Youth Poet Laureate and an Honor Roll student with a passion for storytelling. She says she writes to express her complex emotions & messages to the world. Precious was awarded first place in the Hip Hop Workshops, "What Matters to You" 2022 poetry campaign and 2nd place in the Frederick Douglass Oratorical Speech Contest. Precious was a Junior Arts Scholarship recipient in September 2021, and was the Middle School Global Journey Scholars award winner for that year. Precious will spend her year as YPL embarking on a reading tour of various PGCMLS Libraries, participating in writing workshops, and implementing a campaign along with her fellow Youth Poet Ambassadors to bring the spotlight on teen mental health awareness.