About the MCPL Program

Joanne Leva, Founder and Director (center), with Roger Lowenthal and Liz Chang

About the Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program

In 1998, Joanne Leva, a member of the Board of Directors of the Indian Valley Arts Foundation (IVAF), saw the need for additional cultural opportunities in schools and in the community. The Montgomery County Poet Laureate (MCPL) program was formed to meet these needs. Since its inception, MCPL has expanded to offer many programs to experience and learn about poetry through the efforts of the Advisory Committee, committed volunteers, and the annual Poet Laureates who each design and facilitate a community service project.

The MCPL program promotes a sense of accomplishment and pride among students, artists, and citizens who choose to participate. The program benefits the county by building a long-term infrastructure through diverse programming  for literary advancements in our community, our schools and our homes.

MCPL believes that poetry knows no limits. It appeals to every one of all ages, all cultures and all professions. Poetry crosses the barriers of handicapping conditions and unites all who experience the power of the words.

The MCPL program is part of the Indian Valley Arts Foundation, a volunteer-driven 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to providing the community with the opportunity to experience the arts, including poetry, prose, dance, drama, music and painting.

Support the Literary Arts in Montgomery County

For 20 years, The Montgomery County Poet Laureate (MCPL) program has celebrated and nurtured literary arts in Montgomery County and the region through its annual poet laureate competition. Our organization builds community, fosters discussion, educates students, offers writing resources, mentors emerging poets, and offers people of all ages and walks of life opportunities to share their stories and to hear many voices at readings held regularly throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley.

All activities are planned, implemented and funded by a volunteer Advisory Committee in partnership with local schools, libraries, publishers and other local businesses.

We need your support to continue our efforts, maintain our programs and grow our community. Please consider making a donation or becoming a sponsor.  Your sponsorship is an effective and meaningful way to align your organization with the cultural arts in Montgomery County and the region: to be an advocate and sponsor among an inclusive gathering of dedicated and educated literary citizens in the tri-state area.

Thank you for your interest and support of our programs and events. The links below will offer details on the sponsorships available.  If you have any questions please contact us.

Friends of the MCPL

Advisory Board Members

Joanne Leva, Director

Steve Pollack

Chad Frame

Joe Tice

Liz Chang

Rodger Lowenthal

Eric Medlin

Cleveland Wall

Joanne Coppens

Cathy Cohen

MCPL Sponsors

Tekpoet Logo

Thanks to our Sponsors

Tekpoet Logo

MCPL in the news


The Poet and the Poem, Grace Cavalieri & Chad Frame 2018-19 Series

100 Thousand Poets for Change, Poets around the world host individual events on the last Saturday of September to focus on Social Justice issues. The MCPL participated by hosting the 100TPC tent at the Souderton Art Jam from 2013 through 2017.  2017 Press | 2013 Press

Musehouse Poetry Reading, Joanne Leva read from her manuscript, entitled Cryptic Orchard, a colorful collection of poems that re-shape and adapt the already compelling biblical story of Adam and Eve to a modern world with actors accompaniment to create a powerful enlargement of the characters and subject matter.  June 2014

The Reporter Article: Poetry is alive and well at Souderton Area High School, Elizabeth Rivers served up poetry with humor and insight to a creative writing class at Souderton Area High School on Monday. Rivers, who created PoetryWITS (Writers in the Schools) through the Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program, has been published in various magazines.  2012

Montgomery County names new poet laureate and youth winners. 2012

Montgomery News, MCPL New Poet Laureate, Like a new bud joining a distinguished crop of beautiful flowered sprigs, with the shifting spring season comes the naming of a new Montgomery County poet laureate during April’s National Poetry Month. This year’s distinguished honor goes to Blue Bell resident Amy Small-McKinney. 2011 

Who Do You Love? Anne Sexton, A live poetry talk show and cover open mic, broadcast live at 6:30 on the first Tuesday of each month. It is a discussion/presentation on the life and work of the month’s featured (LOVED) poet followed by audience members reading their favorite poem by the featured poet, and one of their own poems. Guests- Joanne Leva, Lynn Levin, John Timpane.  Article

ARCADIA BULLETIN ARTICLE | Joanne Leva ’84: ‘Poetry Is Like Breathing’  Joanne Leva ’84 has been stoking the poetry fires for 20 years. Leva, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Arts, is the founder and director of the Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program, a nonprofit organization that promotes the arts by offering programs for local residents.  2011