As I think about the events of the past year, I am filled with an enormous sense of thanks to my fellow faculty members and everyone who has helped to get Spectrum to work as a reading series. Several special thanks are in order.   

A special thanks to the talented, versatile web master Martin Swanson who consents to designing the Spectrum web site with me (when he is accustomed to designing alone). Because he is most often busy and most often representing our best and brightest in another country for the United States government, we had to establish a virtual work table upon which to build the web site this year.  The result is the unique and beautiful site that you see. The virtual work table is cooking up other text related projects with an ease that is really remarkable! Mr. Swanson has performed an invaluable service in bringing the presentation of poetry into the 21st century. Spectrum can not afford his consultant fees; so his continued willingness to do this – with a small honorarium- as a service to the arts is greatly appreciated. Don’t hesitate to contact him or me with questions or suggestions in regard to the site. The virtual work table will make it easier to correct errors or add additional information to the site. Many people had problems accessing the site last year. If you have any problems accessing any part of the site at the MICA .edu address, contact one of us immediately. Email to Martin is the fastest way (

 A special thanks to my comrades at LINK: A Journal on the Arts in Baltimore and the World,,  for their amazing work on the promotion of the award winning readings from “The 2002  Tradition of the Scribe” series at Theatre Project.  President and Dr. Kathy O’Dell, Poetry Editor Moira Egan, Radar   (Martin put in Radar’s email here) editor David Crandall and  LINK volunteers impact our arts community in tremendous ways on a daily basis. Their participation in the 3 Theater Project readings was key to the kind of audience that attended and the creation of memorable reading experiences. 

I want to also thank Theatre Project, under director Ann Fullwidler’s leadership, for providing such a wonderful facility for those readings.  It  was the kind of community effort that is poetry, when it works, smile.  Spectrum largely owes the Baltimore Magazine nomination as Baltimore’s Best Poetry Reading series to the work of  Swanson, O’Dell and Fullwilder.

I can’t say enough thanks to the students (from MICA and beyond), the writers –especially our Baltimore Writers Alliance, supporters -and community people who have attended Spectrum readings since I have been organizing them. From the time of  William Kenter, Joseph Cardarelli and several years under John Yau to the present time, we would like your documents, comments, pictures, etc. for our Retro-Spectrum file.  Send them electronically to the web master or better still, come visit with me at MICA and bring them. Don’t give me precious documents that I have to return, smile.  Photocopies should be fine.  I’d love to talk with you on any Monday after I finish class from 4:00p.m. till whenever!  Please note that I usually leave the office at 6:00p.m., if I  am not expecting visitors. 

I need to say a big special thanks to all of our readers this year! Your time and talent are invaluable gifts at this time. To have Spectrum be the beneficiary of such wealth, is an amazing act of generosity! 

Finally, I would say “everything must change.”  The reading series at MICA has persevered in one form or another for many years.  I am sure that with your support, it will continue to persevere.  Join me this year,  in this dance with Post Modernism.  Call me (best during office hours on Monday) if I can be of any help. Schools interested in having these are other Spectrum poets visit with them, please contact me directly.

                                                 Blessed  Be


Chezia Thompson Cager, Director
Spectrum of Poetic Fire

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