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Adults and 50-Plus

You may be surprised to discover the variety of activities offered at the library. Visit us for reading recommendations, technology assistance, special events, research help, retirement planning resources and more. Last Updated: May 17, 2024 3:08 PM

Meet our Judges

poet Danielle Badra

The 2022-2024 Fairfax Poet Laureate Danielle Badra received her BA in Creative Writing from Kalamazoo College and her MFA in Poetry from George Mason University. While there, she was the poetry editor of So To Speak, a feminist literary and arts journal, and an intern for Split This Rock. Her manuscript, Like We Still Speak, was selected by Fady Joudah and Hayan Charara as the winner of the 2021 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize and published through the University of Arkansas Press. It was named a semi-finalist for the Khayrallah Prize and listed in Entropy’s “Best of 2020-2021: Poetry Books & Poetry Collections.” Dialogue with the Dead (Finishing Line Press, 2015) is Danielle’s first chapbook, a collection of contrapuntal poems in dialogue with her deceased sister. Her poems have appeared in Mizna, Guesthouse, Cincinnati Review, Duende, The Greensboro Review, Bad Pony, Rabbit Catastrophe Press, Split This Rock, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and elsewhere.

poet Holly Badra

Holly Mason Badra received her MFA in Poetry from George Mason University where she is currently the Associate Director of the Women and Gender Studies program. Her poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews appear in The Rumpus, The Adroit Journal, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, The Northern Virginia Review, Foothill Poetry Journal, UA Poetry Center Blog, CALYX, So to Speak, and elsewhere. She has been a panelist for OutWrite, RAWIFest, and DC's Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here events as a Kurdish-American poet. Her teaching experience includes elementary, middle, high school, and college students. Holly is a reader for Poetry Daily

Jan Bohall

Jan Bohall leads a poetry workshop at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at George Mason University and is a Mason alumna. The poems in her collection, Tasting Life Twice, reflect her explorations and memories of a life well-lived. Her work has appeared in the literary journals Passager: A Journal of Remembrance and Discovery and The Poet’s Domain, and in other periodicals. She has received awards in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s annual competitions. She continues to gather new perspectives about poetry from each member of the workshop. She lives outside the Beltway in Northern Virginia.

Ed Sadtler

Ed Sadtler was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1944.  He grew up in Chambers- burg, Pennsylvania. In middle school he discovered poetry, and in tenth grade, inspired by a wonderful English teacher, he wrote his first poem. He received his last two years of secondary education at Mercersburg Academy, a nearby boarding school. There he was chosen for the school’s literary society and continued to study and write poetry.

His college years were spent at Ohio Wesleyan University and Shippensburg State College. He was active in the literary magazines of both schools as an editor and contributor.  Following graduation, he took some time off to travel, then launched into a career in retail that lasted more than thirty-five years. 

In 1973 he married. He and his wife have two children, a boy and a girl. Both are attorneys. 

In retirement he returned to his love of poetry. While taking a poetry writing class at NOVA, he contributed poems to the literary magazine. Then he began taking poetry classes at the Lifetime Learning Institute of NOVA. With another member, he developed a poetry writing class there, which he continues to co-lead.  He co-leads a similar class for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of George Mason University. 

Sherri Waas Shunfenthal is a Northern Virginian poet and workshop leader. She has three published books of poetry - Journey Into Healing, Seasons of Prayer and Sacred Voices: Women of Genesis Speak - and poetry in numerous anthologies. Sherri established Poetry Partners because she wants to help others have fun playing with words, exploring poems and feeling more confident in writing.

Carolyn Wyatt

Carolyn F. Wyatt grew up in northern New Jersey.  As a child she was surrounded by caring adults, and she thought everyone loved her. Her Aunt Frances called her “Grandma,” acknowledging the toddler’s facility with words. Her mother nurtured that talent by taking Carolyn to the public library since before she could remember.

Carolyn earned an M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Indiana University. After 10 more years as a college instructor, student, and USAF English language trainer, Carolyn signed on as a CIA information officer. She spent most of the 1980’s overseas in Latin America, Asia and Europe. Following her retirement, she was a part-time Agency contractor in the areas of training, professional effectiveness coaching and customer service.

In 2014 Carolyn joined GMU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute where she currently participates in the Poetry Workshop, teaches a class in writing poetry and facilitates the club Memoir and More. She aspires to be a poet and wise woman. She and her husband live in Herndon with an egoist long-haired cat, a spoiled Havanese and dust bunnies. The dust bunnies are wild.

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