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“...We need poetry more than ever to help us express what is mostly inexpressible: our deepest feelings and truths, our hopes and fears, our doubts, heartbreak, rage, and joy. In this time of anxiety, divisiveness, and xenophobia, it is my hope that poetry of active witness can reshape our engagement with each other so we can reimagine the world, address its wounds, and find a common hope.”

- Luisa A. Igloria, Poet Laureate of Virginia

Every fall, The Muse Writers Center hosts our annual fundraiser, The Book Lover’s Bash, to celebrate the literary arts and amplify creative voices in the Hampton Roads community. This year, however, the annual celebration at the Muse will look – like many things in our lives – a little different.

In lieu of the Bash, the Muse is hosting Diversity 2020: Dynamic Voices for Change throughout October and November. This series of virtual events centers and celebrates writers of color, from poets reading and discussing their work to a Young Adult Writers Panel to a storytelling night. Diversity 2020 will continue The Muse’s mission of providing a space for all writers in the community to come together, share ideas, and experience the power that words can hold.

We – as artists, as a society – must highlight underrepresented voices in our community and embrace the power of words to offer thoughtful and provocative commentary on the diversity in our society, highlighting inequalities and structural systems that need to be changed.

Each event in the series will feature several other organizations to support with donations. Scroll down for a full list of these organizations.

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Nov. 21st, 7 pm EST: Music and Verse

Live Streamed from The Venue on 35th and LIVE at The Muse Writers Center and Slover Library

Closing reading, Luisa A. Igloria

Schedule of Events

Oct. 16, 7 pm: Next: The Now Generation of Poets of Color

Oct. 17, 4 pm: Spotlight Panel

Nov. 7, 3:30 pm: Live Zine Workshop

Nov. 13th, 7 pm: Storytelling Night

Nov. 14th, 6 pm: Reading with Meera Dasgupta

Nov. 21, 3:30 pm: Fantasy Panel

Nov. 21, 6 pm: Teens With A Purpose

Nov. 21, 7 pm: Music & Verse


The Muse Writers Center



Richie Ammons VO

Cindy Carlson and Rich Goll

William Ayres

Jessica Chretien

Gillian Durham

Shawn Girvan

Beth Williams

Jane White


Diversity 2020 was created and organized by the inspired volunteer efforts of the 2020 Special Bash Committee: Kimberly Ammons, Rebekah Coxwell, Susan Deutsch, Sierra Foltz, Shawn Girvan, Gabriela Igloria, Luisa A. Igloria, and Jane White. Special Thanks to Richie Ammons for the beautiful Diversity 2020 logos.