Speaking of…

You’ve come to grips with it:
no one’s in the audience. 
Every day, you hear yourself,
reverberating in the mic, 
saying the same things in different ways,
repeating your truths like mantras, 
your words like they came from the mountain. 
You must be doing something wrong, though.
Nothing is happening. Nothing is changing.
Nothing nods its head in recognition.  
It must be your thin voice 
has not been burly enough, godly enough,
anything enough—enough to grab 
at the ear of the world,
give it shake, pull it alongside you.
Make them understand the possible. 
So there you sit, feeling shelved,
on the lip of all you imagined,
voluntarily collecting dust.
Are you kidding me? 
Get up. Change your clothes.
Slick back your courage and inhale. 
The next words you say
are the ones that matter most. 
Tenacious. Resilient. 
Bouncing off the walls
of an acoustic world.
Go ahead and speak loudly.
We’re listening. 

-Katherine Gotthardt

Katherine Gotthardt

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, hails from the Northern Virginia/D.C. metro area. She considers herself a writer by nature and by trade, having begun writing for fun as soon as her mother helped teach her to read. An active part of the literary community, Katherine is current president and a founding member of Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Katherine has been a Prince William County Poet Laureate nominee and was the winner of Inside Nova’s 2019 and 2020 Best of Prince William award in the category of author. Her poetry and prose book Get Happy, Dammit: Staying Inspired and Motivated in an Often-Unhappy World received a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association. Katherine's children’s book, A Crane Named Steve, hit number one in its category on Amazon in 2019. Katherine then took first place in the free verse category of Loudoun County Library Foundation’s 2020 Rhyme On poetry contest for her piece "Discussion Topic." The Prince William Arts Council and Poet Laureate Circle awarded her the 2020 Outstanding Poetry Project Award for her leadership in Write by the Rails' Poems Around Town poetry installation. In 2021 Katherine earned second place for "Aftermath" in a Poetry Society of Virginia national contest and the regional Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence in the category of Individual Artist. She won first place in the Virginia Writers Club statewide Golden Nib contest in the poetry category for her poem "Kayak." Katherine was recognized as a PW Perspective 2021 DMV Best Business award winner in the category of author. While Katherine is well-known for her poetry, she also has established a solid reputation for writing articles, columns and short fiction. She is a full-time marketing writer for a government contracting company and is published in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has authored ten books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water, Bury Me Under a Lilac, Late April, A Crane Named Steve, Get Happy, Dammit, D.C. Ekphrastic: Crisis of Faith and Thirty Years of Cardinals Calling. She uses proceeds from her books to support giving back initiatives.
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