AQ Poets Claudia Gary & Bryan R. Monte to Read at Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD, 27 Oct. 2022, 7 PM

AQ Poets Claudia Gary & Bryan R. Monte to Read at The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD, 27 Oct. 2022, 7 PM

Amsterdam Quarterly poets, Claudia Gary and Bryan R. Monte, will read from their books, Genetic Revisionism (Loudoun Scribe) and On the Level: Poems on Living with Multiple Sclerosis (Circling Rivers), at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, Maryland, 20815, on Thursday, 27 October 2022, at 7 PM. Afterwards there will be an open mic as long as time allows.

Claudia Gary

Bryan R. Monte

In AQ19, Gary’s collection, Genetic Revisionism, was called ‘an impressive, short collection of formal poems, (rhyming couplets and quatrains, sonnets, villanelles, etc.), about the sciences and maths, remarkable in its scope and artistry.’ She’ll be teaching the workshop, ‘Whole-Brain Poetry’, once again at The Writer’s Center beginning 20 November. The workshop is on Zoom, so anyone anywhere in the world can sign up for it. Complete information and registration can be found at

Monte’s book, On the Level: Poems on Living with Multiple Sclerosis, about overcoming physical, psychological, and social barriers, has been praised by writers on both sides of the Atlantic. T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize winner Philip Gross, (The Water Table), commented: ‘These poems [bring] readers…to the experience of MS in their own bodies as well as in the mind. But, the grace of the writing, its tenderness and often humour, lift us.’ US author of Who Says You’re Dead, Jacob M. Appel, praised On the Level as being ‘In the spirit of Sarah Manguso and Porochista Khakpour, Monte transforms his own body into a literary landscape. An arresting debut.’

Both books will be available for purchase at the reading

Please note: Reservations are required in advance for this reading. Please reserve at .

AQ Writers’ Group Celebrates 10th Anniversary

AQ Writers’ Group Celebrates 10th Anniversary

On Sunday, 17 October 2021, four members of Amsterdam Quarterly’s Writers’ Group raised a glass to celebrate their group’s 10th anniversary. Unfortunately, due to past Covid restrictions, the members hadn’t seen each other and discussed their work face to face since their last physical meeting in Amsterdam on 16 February 2020 before the Covid-19 restrictions went into effect.
      Group members found a videoconference a refreshing change from the group’s previous practice of sending feedback to each other via email. Group member Simon Brod set up the meeting’s communication link and sent the invitations.
      This writers’ group meeting discussed and/or critiqued five pieces: three poems, one memoir, and one essay. Sandhya Kirshnakumar sent a poem for consideration about a weather warning in Amsterdam, Bryan R. Monte, a poem about searching for relatives in Trento, Italy, and Simon Brod, an enigmatic poem about the creation of an idea or a child. Darya Danesh submitted a memoir about the accessibility barriers people with disabilities face at a public concert. A fifth member, bart plantenga, was unable to attend due to his return from Ameland the same day. However, the group sent him feedback on his essay on gun violence and popular music, and bart also sent the group members feedback on their work. Lastly, long-time writers’ group member, Pat Seman, a regular for the past eight years, was also unable to attend because she was on a return journey from Greece. She sent her best wishes and emailed she looked forward to rejoining the group in November via videoconference.

Darya Danesh, Amsterdam Quarterly Writers’ Group Virtual Meeting 17 October 2021, screenshot, 2021. Writers from upper-left window clockwise: Simon Brod, Bryan R. Monte, Darya Danesh, and Sandhya Krishnakumar. Not shown are AQ Writers’ Group members bart plantenga and Pat Seman.

      The AQ Writers’ Group was founded in 2011 and is open to writers who have been published in Amsterdam Quarterly and who live in the Netherlands. The Writers’ Group’s next meeting will be on 21 November 2021. Contact group leader Bryan R. Monte at if you would like to be considered for membership. AQ

Four AQ Writers Win Poetry Awards

Four AQ Writers Win Poetry Awards

Four Amsterdam Quarterly writers, Jennifer L. Freed, Bill Glose, Sigrun Susan Lane, and Bryan R. Monte, won major poetry awards in the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.

Jennifer L. Freed, (AQ20, 21, 22, 23, 29 & 31), won The Samuel Allen Washington Prize, judged by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, from The New England Poetry Club, an annual award, for a long poem or poem-sequence. Her poem, ‘Cerebral Hemorrhage’, is based on the events surrounding her mother’s stroke in November 2018. The poem sequence is now part of a full-length manuscript which she completed last spring and which currently seeks a publisher.

Freed said she ‘was so happy I squealed and jumped up and down. However, there is a certain sadness, too, due to the poem’s content, and also because I couldn’t share the poem or my excitement with my parents. Unfortunately, relentless depression is a side effect of the brain damage caused by mother’s stroke.’

Bill Glose, (AQ28), won first place in the 2020 Main Street Rag Poetry Award. He received $1,000, publication of his manuscript, Postscript to War, and 250 copies of his book. He will also appear in a Main Street Rag interview in 2021.

Glose said he was ‘overjoyed when the editor, M. Scott Douglass, called to say he’d won the award. Many of the book’s poems had already been published in journals and several had won individual awards.’ The Main Street Rag Poetry Award has been given since 2002.

Sigrun Susan Lane, (AQ27 & 28), won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for her chapbook Salt. The award is named for Josephine Miles, who was a University of California at Berkeley professor and a prominent poet, writer, critic and thinker. The awards were presented in a virtual ceremony.

Salt is about the sea life, the mollusks and echinoderms that live on the shore near Lane’s home. Lane said: ‘I have been beach combing since I was a child. The beach is my favourite place in the world.’ She also said her prize ‘came as a complete surprise’ and that she was ‘happy to be in such lofty company as Jericho Brown’, who also received a PEN Oakland prize.

Bryan R. Monte, AQ’s editor, shared second place in the 2021 Hippocrates Open Poetry and Medicine Prize competition for his poem ‘À l’Apollinaire?’ about the Spanish flu, AIDS, and Covid pandemics. Anna Bernard, Keki Daruwalla, Anna Jackson, and Neena Modi were the judges. The Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Prizes have been given annually to medical professionals, medical students, and non-medical professional poets since 2010.

The ceremony, which included the poets reading their winning poems, was held virtually in May due to the ongoing pandemic. Monte’s portion of the reading can be viewed at He will receive £250 and publication in the 2021 Hippocrates Poetry Anthology. Monte commented, ‘The reading was very exciting, because we didn’t know which place we had won until the moderator, Donald Singer, called our names to read. Also, it included readers from around the world, some in time zones earlier in the day or even in the next day.’

Amsterdam Quarterly Marks Three 10th Anniversaries in 2021

Amsterdam Quarterly Marks Three 10th Anniversaries in 2021

In 2021, Amsterdam Quarterly was scheduled to celebrate three 10th anniversaries. However, due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, two of these three anniversaries could not be celebrated.

The first anniversary would have been in January 2021 and marked the 10th Amsterdam Quarterly yearbook launch party and reading at the American Book Center in Amsterdam. AQ would have celebrated this event on 29 January 2021 with writers published in AQ in the past year, members of the Amsterdam Quarterly writers’ group, and an enthusiastic audience. The AQ 2020 Yearbook features work in in eight genres: art, essay, fiction, memoir, news, photography, poetry, and reviews. However due to lockdown restrictions, no physical event could be held, and the 2021 yearbooks were posted to 63 contributors in 12 countries in five continents with the assistance of Maria and Steven at the ABC.

The second anniversary was the 10th anniversary of the website, which would have taken place sometime in May 2021. is AQ’s original website and URL, which has served AQ well for the last decade. It would have also marked the date of Amsterdam novelist’s Philibert Schogt’s first interview with AQ in 2011.

The last anniversary, which hopefully will be celebrated in person, is the 10th anniversary of the AQ Writers’ Group, which has run continuously since October 2011. During this time, the writers’ group has met at three locations, the last of which being the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg Café and Brasserie. Here the group met every third Sunday (July and August excepted), to discuss each other’s work and to take in a bit of Amsterdam’s rich artistic scene. However, since March 2020, the AQ Writers’ Group has met virtually. AQ publisher/editor Bryan R. Monte, the group’s leader, hopes the group can soon return to meeting physically after this summer so that ‘we can finally celebrate at least one of AQ’s three 10th anniversaries in 2021.’

AQ Writers’ Group Meetings Go Virtual Due to COVID-19

AQ Writers’ Group Meetings Go Virtual Due to COVID-19

[Amsterdam] On 19 March 2020 the Amsterdam Quarterly monthly writers’ group meetings went virtual due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first time the writers’ group, which had met physically for over nine years every third Sunday of the month, (July and August excepted), met virtually and has continued to do so due to Amsterdam’s social distancing policy banning people from different households from gathering and, in some Amsterdam neighbourhoods, requiring face coverings in public.
      Initially group leader Bryan R. Monte was apprehensive about the effect of the new virtual medium on the group’s participation and productivity. ‘At first, I thought it might decrease attendance and the effort writers put into their participation.’ He soon discovered however, that the virtual meetings actually increased attendance and participation. ‘Perhaps this was due to people at home having more time and quiet to produce their critiques at their own pace.’
      Group member bart plantenga agreed. ‘Meeting in Amsterdam at the Stadsschouwburg…was a delight of old Amsterdam, with theatregoers dressed in their finest. Now we exchange writing via email and, as impersonal as it may sound, the exchanges of comments are quite spirited, generous, and helpful.’









Pat Seman, Amsterdam COVID-19 Social Distancing Signs, photos, 2020

      Pat Seman, one of the group’s longest attending members, commented ‘I was able to maintain contact with the group whilst in Crete, with plenty of time and leisure to read and receive feedback. It’s helped keep me up to the mark with my writing.’
      Simon Brod added ‘Of course we miss the live interactions of people. However, the need to communicate remotely motivates an even more careful reading before giving comments.’ All AQ writers’ group members are looking forward to spring 2021 when they might be able to meet physically in Amsterdam again to celebrate AQ’s tenth year of publication.
      The AQ writers’ group is open to anyone previously published in Amsterdam Quarterly Yearbook, who lives in the Netherlands and who is willing to meet regularly in Amsterdam when that is permitted again.

The Beat Goes On—Stratford Teaches Beat Poetry Writing Workshop

The Beat Goes On—Stratford Teaches Beat Poetry Writing Workshop

[Palm Beach, FL] On 7 March 2020, poet Meryl Stratford (AQ 12-13, AQ 15-20, AQ 22-27) led a poetry workshop, The Beat Goes On: The Poetry of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Diane Di Prima, for the Palm Beach Poetry Festival (PBPF).

Blaise Allen, Meryl Stratford, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, photo, 2020

Thirty years ago, Stratford studied with Ferlinghetti and Di Prima at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Her challenge was to compress that six-week experience into two hours of class time, starting a variety of projects that participants could follow up on later. These included:
Write a poem about love, an animal, or the sea— an assignment from Ferlinghetti
Write a poem about whatever is trying to get your attention—an assignment from Di Prima
Write a chant, a love letter, a myth, or a manifesto inspired by a selection of Beat poetry.

One experience from Ferlinghetti’s workshop, to the audible disappointment of some the participants, was impossible to recreate—drawing from a nude model. Instead, the participants were invited to write an ekphrastic poem—inspired by one of Picasso’s erotic drawings.

Blaise Allen, The Beat Goes On Poetry Workshop, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, photo, 2020

Ferlinghetti’s iconic poem, ‘I Am Waiting’, proved a good warm-up. Michael O’Mara wrote:

‘We’re waiting for your light,
              a frosted refrigerator bulb, when we yank you open shouldn’t it come on?
We’re waiting for your syllables,
              to spill like rune stones into Autumn color & change, Winter freeze dried remains
waiting for your Carvel birthday cake face
              to soften as we risk another imaginary French kiss brain freeze,
waiting for your arms to Venus di Milo
              the invisible quarry of our quantum embrace . . .’

According to Stratford, Ferlinghetti was familiar to most participants, but for some, Di Prima was an exciting discovery. One woman said: ‘I love this poet!’

Amsterdam Quarterly Celebrates Ninth Yearbook

Amsterdam Quarterly Celebrates Ninth Yearbook
Nine A’dam/NL-Resident Contributors Present

On 24 January 2020, Amsterdam Quarterly held its ninth annual yearbook launch party and reading at the American Book Center in Amsterdam. Present were nine Amsterdam or Dutch-resident writer and/or artist contributors—the most ever at an annual reading—and an audience of approximately 25. Readers included Nina Ascoly, Nathan Beck, Simon Brod, Darya Danesh, Sarah Kinebanian, Sandhya Krishnakumar, Bryan R. Monte, bart plantenga, and Pat Seman.

Amsterdam Quarterly 2019 Yearbook Party Readers, 24 January 2020. (L. to r. Nathan Beck, Sandhya Krishnakumar, Darya Danesh, Bryan R. Monte, Simon Brod, Pat Seman, bart plantenga, Nina Ascoly, and Sarah Kinebanian

Highlights of the Amsterdam Quarterly 2019 Yearbook include art and a photoessay by Ladislav R. Hanka, fiction by David Butler, Susan L. Lloy and Pat Seman, an interview with Susan S. Lloy, memoirs by Darya Danesh, Daniel Hudon, Bryan R. Monte, and bart plantenga, photography by Demi Anter, Nina Ascoly, Jury S. Judge, Keith Moul, and Bob Ward, and poetry by Nathan Beck, Simon Brod, Sandhya Krishnakumar, Ian C. Smith, Meryl Stratford, David Subacchi, and Jon Thompson, among others.

Amsterdam Quarterly was founded in 2011. Its mission is to publish, promote, and comment on writing and art in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the world. AQ is published four times annually: online in the spring, summer, and autumn, and in the winter as a print-on-demand compilation anthology. AQ produces theme-based issues. The issues for 2019 were Media (AQ24), Amsterdam (AQ25), and Borderlands (AQ26).

Themes for 2020 include Beginnings/Endings (AQ27, now online), The Weather (AQ28, reading period April 2020), and Choices (AQ29, reading period July 2020). Since its founding in 2011, AQ has published work in twelve genres: art, articles, drama, essays, fiction, interviews, memoirs, news, photoessays, photography, poetry, and reviews.

Amsterdam Quarterly 2019 Yearbook Launch Party/Reading

Amsterdam Quarterly 2019 Yearbook Launch Party/Reading American Book Center

16 Jan. 2020 (AMSTERDAM) On Friday, 24 January 2020, Amsterdam Quarterly will celebrate the publication of its ninth annual yearbook with a launch party and reading at the American Book Center, Spui 12, Amsterdam from 6 to 7.40 p.m. Admission is free.

Readers for the evening will include Nathan Beck, Simon Brod, Darya Danesh, Sandhya Krishnakumar, Bryan R. Monte, Sarah Kinebanian, bart plantenga, and Pat Seman who will read brief excerpts from their fiction, memoirs, or poetry.

Amsterdam Quarterly was founded in 2011 to publish, promote, and comment on writing and art in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the world. The Amsterdam Quarterly 2019 Yearbook features work in eleven genres: art, articles, essays, fiction, an interview, memoirs, news, a photoessay, photography, poetry and reviews. In particular the AQ 2019 Yearbook includes an interview and fiction by Canadian and former Amsterdam resident Susan Lloy, art and a photoessay by Czech-American artist Ladislav R. Hanka, photography by Demi Anter, Nina Ascoly, Jury S. Judge, Keith Moul, bart plantenga, and Bob Ward, as well as fiction, memoir and poetry by Amsterdam residents Nathan Beck, Simon Brod, Darya Danesh, bart plantenga, and Pat Seman, plus work by other writers and artists from around the world.

AQ 2018 Yearbook Party readers. l. to r.: Simon Brod, bart plantenga, Jasmine Nihmey Vasdi, Amina Imzine, Bryan R. Monte, Darya Danesh & Pat Seman.

During the month of January 2020, Amsterdam Quarterly will be reading for work related to the theme of Beginnings/Endings. The next 2020 reading periods are April 2020 (Theme: The Weather) and July 2020 (Theme: Choices).

AQ Writers Read at The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, Maryland

AQ Writers Read at The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, Maryland

On Monday, 21 October 2019, four Amsterdam Quarterly writers read their work at the The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The audience heard from Claudia Gary, Hiram Larew, Bryan R. Monte, and Irene Hoge Smith.

Claudia Gary read poems from her new chapbook, Genetic Revisionism: Poems Inspired by the Sciences and Mathematics (Loudoun Scribe, 2019), and from others collections in various formats including a triolet ‘Monet’s Water Lilies’ (AQ15) and rhyming quatrains ‘Fixed Up’ (AQ16) and ‘Exurbia’ (AQ26). Hiram Larew read five poems, including one entitled ‘Achill Sound’, which is scheduled to appear in the 2019 Bridgewater International Poetry Festival Anthology and which he read as a way to introduce the anti-hunger poetry initiative, Poetry X Hunger, (, launched with the support of the United Nations and the Maryland State Arts Council. Bryan R. Monte read a selection of poems from his unpublished collection On the Level: Fifty-five Poems about Living with Multiple Sclerosis. Irene Hoge Smith read from her unpublished piece The Good Poetic Mother: An Epistolary Quest, a series of letters to her mother, the poet FrancEYE.

After the reading, Amsterdam Quarterly’s publisher/editor signed copies of the Amsterdam Quarterly 2018 Yearbook. The AQ 2018 Yearbook is not for sale and is only available to audience members at AQ readings.

Amsterdam Quarterly writers at 21 October 2019 The Writer’s Center Reading. L. to r. Hiram Larew, Bryan R. Monte, Claudia Gary, and Irene Hoge Smith.

Amsterdam Quarterly and publisher/editor Bryan R. Monte mentioned in Het Parool

Amsterdam Quarterly and publisher/editor Bryan R. Monte mentioned in Het Parool

On 2 February 2019, Amsterdam Quarterly and its publisher/editor Bryan R. Monte were mentioned in an Het Parool article ‘Boekenmachine: Eigen beheer. Van enkel exemplar tot toonbanksucces’. (Book machine: Self-management. From single copy to commercial success’)

In a section, entitled: ‘Delen van kunst and literatuur’ (Sharing art and literature), reporter Marc Kruyswijk interviewed Monte about why he had used the American Book Center’s Espresso Book Machine to print AQ’s yearbook for the last eight years. Monte stated he used the EBM because he could print as few or as many copies of the AQ yearbook as he needed.

AQ Publisher/Editor Bryan R. Monte before Het Parool interview, Maria Minaya, photo, 2019.

Monte emphasized also that the AQ yearbook is not for sale, but is only for writers whose piece or pieces appear in the AQ yearbook that year, for AQ reading audience members — only one copy per address to be environmentally-friendly — and for the AQ Writers’ Group members.

The article ends with Monte praising the EBM crew, Maria and Steven, who have printed the yearbooks, for their years of assistance. Monte states: ‘They ensure the editions always look a little bit better. If they say something can be done differently, I follow their advice without hesitation.’