Discovering poetry, tango and shaved heads


City honors poet laureate appointee with dough, not wine: Unlike Chaucer, Englands poet laureate of 1389 who was compensated with wine, the first-ever Alexandria City Poet Laureate appointee will experience a slight increase in the pocketbook, not the wine-cellar. Selected for a three-year term, local poet Mary McElveen is armed with a $500 stipend and $3,000 budget. A lover of poetry, Councilman Ludwig P. Gaines pushed forward the proposal and easily brought consensus to the appointment of McElveen, 58, a retired chemistry teacher. The role serves to promote the art of poetry, producing work for special city events and occasions which give voice to our emotions in a way that regular dialogue cant capture, explains Gaines.

Additionally, Gaines is confident that McElveens poetic gifts will tighten the community, bringing depth, realism and beauty to public expression. McElveens unpublished poetry won the singular admiration of the Council over 17 other candidates.

The right side of the razor: On Saturday, March 17, an unusual St. Patricks Day event is scheduled. To benefit pediatric cancer research, Del. David Englin and Councilman Rob Krupicka amongst others will have their heads shaved. The St. Baldricks Foundation has organized the event held at A Likely Story Childrens Bookstore at 1555 King Street from 3 4 p.m. Pledging a portion of sales during the event, the bookstore has generously partnered with the effort, spearheaded by Jill Cetina whose daughter Camille suffers from kidney cancer. Watch and sponsor those who arrive hairy, and leave bald. And, dont forget your camera to capture the before and after shots of public officials! or 703-706-8199

Red Cross brings Rhapsody in Red: Imagine yourself doing the tango under the tutelage of an experienced dancer in the exotic colorful city of La Boca, Argentina on March 24.  Most of us couldnt make the trip but the Alexandria Red Cross is graciously bringing the passion to Washington D.C., complete with a replica La Boca set, lighting, rhythm and roses which will transform its true location of the nearby historic terminal A at the Ronald Reagan Washington Airport. Welling up from souls of experience, dancer and Generation Dance Studio owner Maria Pradilla and Anne Kelly, CEO of Federal Consulting Group are co-chairs of the Rhapsody in Red benefit designed to raise funds to meet a variety of Red Cross service needs. Contact Sharon Grant 703-299-2524.

Twig is growing: The many fans of Alexandrias Twig Thrift Shop, a womens organization which sells second-hand items to benefit Inova Alexandria Hospital, will be glad to hear that the store is expanding, acquiring the space next door. The additional space at 106 N. Columbus Street will host a variety of special events, beginning with a Twig designer sale from March 22 – 24 from 10 – 5

Gadsbys Tavern Museum will host an Easter egg hunt for history, Saturday, April 7: What a fun way for adults and children to explore an historic museum.  The history is easy to find but what about the eggs? Join the fun for this weather-proof (indoor) Easter Egg Hunt and find out. Guests are invited to bring their own Easter basket and help find the Tavern keepers Easter eggs while learning about Alexandria history. Light refreshments will be provided. Hours are from 10 5.  Tours last 30 minutes. Reservations are required. Gadsbys Tavern Museum is located at 134 N. Royal Street, Old Town. $5.00 per adult, $3 for children ages 2 17. Visit or call for 703-838-4242.

Send your items to