Thiaw, Baby!

July/August 2013


Welcome to Thiaw, Baby!, a newsletter about my little corner of the poetry scene. It is my intent to keep you informed about my current book tour and upcoming poetry events in Central PA and beyond. Feel free to share it with other literary enthusiasts!

MJT interviewed by Art Scene with Erika Funke

Former Poet Laureate of Hanover, Melanie Simms, is teaming up with Maria James-Thiaw for a poetic celebration of the Susquehanna at the Sunbury River Festival in Sunbury PA on August 17th. The performances will be at 12:00 PM and a book signing will follow. You can access the radio interview here:

Tri-County Poets Go Deep at New Grounds Coffeehouse

On Saturday, July 13th, York PA welcomed Three Deep, a tri-county spoken word showcase hosted by Carla Christopher, York’s poet laureate, and Tiger Rose of Harrisburg. This event was held at New Grounds Coffeehouse on Market Street. Poetry dignitaries from Hanover to Lancaster were in place to see performances from the top spoken word artists in Central Pennsylvania.

Though a fuse blew affecting the lighting and air conditioning, the huge crowd continued till the very end, mesmerized by the powerful words of their poetic peers. Rappers, singers, and poets of all ages graced the stage and “spit” wisdom about topics from mental illness, to racism to sensuality.

It was hard to tell if it was the broken air conditioner or the way the poets fired up the mic that had the crowds sweating! Three deep was such a success that there is already talk of a “part 2.” For more information about upcoming spoken word events, you can connect with Carla YorkPoetLaureate Christopher on Facebook or Twitter.


The Verdict by Mariathepoet

Heavyword Poetry Slam Returns to Central PA

The 10th annual Heavyword Poetry Slam will be held on Saturday, October 5th at 6pm at Coakley’s, 305 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, PA. The cost is $5 to watch the show and $10 to compete. The top winner will walk away with $200 and gift certificates from local businesses. To register, send your fee via paypal to or mail check or money order to Maria Thiaw, English Department, Central Penn College, 600 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093.Proceeds will benefit The Better World Workshop.


Poetry, drama, music and books! What else can you ask for?

Saturday, August 17th

Sunbury River Festival, Sunbury PA

Saturday, August 24th

Happy Nappy Day/Poets in the Park

12 to 8, Reservoir Park, State Street, Harrisburg, PA

Hosted by Jubair Freeverse Yother and Maria James-Thiaw

featuring rappers, poets, vendors, free hair products and other giveaways

YorkFest, York, PA

12:45 Featuring Maria James-Thiaw

Thursday, August 29th

Scoozi's Afterdark:

Central Pen Literary E-zine & Contemporary Writers of Color Class present: The NCommon Poetry Slam and Multicultural Fest

hosted by Cat & Pat

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Saturday, August 31st 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Book signing at

Mountainside Books, Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112 (Next to Giant)

Candlelight Poetry Night featuring Maria James-Thiaw

Dinner, poetry and hat show

New Hope Baptist Church in Steelton, PA

5:00 - 9:00 PM

Friday, September 6th

Reading and Book signing

Poetic Soul at the The Soul Restaurant, 33 Rank Avenue, Lancaster, PA

Hosted by G.I.

$10.00 cover, BYOB

8 PM

Saturday, October 5th

The 36th Anniversary of Nathaniel Gadsden’s Writer’s Wordshop

100 Poet’s Reading

State Museum of Pennsylvania

10 AM – 12 PM

All day, arts fest at Little Buffalo State Park...Not saying I'll be there....not saying I wont be!

Saturday, October 5th

11th Annual Heavyword Poetry Slam

Coakley's Bar in New Cumberland, PA

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

$10 to Slam, $5 if you’re just watching

Judges: Maria James-Thiaw, Craig Czury, G.I. (Arthur Brinson), Tamika SuNn Johnson, & Ryan Mergen

Host: Carla Christopher

Saturday October 12th

Candlelight Poetry Night at

Cupboard Maker Books,

Performance and Book signing

Refreshments by Tastefully Simple

Rt. 15 Summerdale, PA

6:00 PM

Wednesday, October 23rd

Reading and book signing

Barnes and Noble,

Fruitville Pike, Lancaster

Hosted by Le Hinton

7 PM

Schedules are subject to change so follow me on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates. You can also visit my website:

I am booking workshops for the Fall on creative writing, performance poetry, post-blackness in art and diversity issues. Contact me to set up an event for your school, conference, or organization.

Bio - Maria James-Thiaw

Maria James-Thiaw is the author of 3 poetry collections and one spoken word CD. She is known for dynamic performances and literary craft. This graduate of Goddard College is a professor at a small private college in Central PA. Her latest book, Talking "White," was published by postDada Press in conjunction with iUniverse and explores the issue of intra-cultural bullying and post-blackness theory within the Black community.