Linda Joy Burke


Columbia, MD

Author's Bio

While a ward of the District Court at 15, her first poems were published in the city newspaper and she received a scholarship to a college level poetry workshop to study over winter break at Mt. Vernon College with Judson Jerome; an experience  that helped to change the trajectory of her life.

She has performed and given readings or talks sponsored by: The Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, Columbia Festival of the Arts, The Baltimore Book Festival, The Little Patuxent Review, The Howard County and Enoch Pratt Free Libraries, The Maryland Humanities Council, The National Black Women's Health Collective Conference, National Poetry Therapist Conference, The Nora School Reading Series, The Joaquin Miller Cabin Reading Series, The Baltimore City Jail, The Association of Women in Psychology Conference, Common Ground on the Hill Music and Arts Festivals, Random House Book Festival, Columbia International Festival, Baltimore’s Artscape, and a wide variety of venues that are too numerous to mention. Her work is featured in the 2021 - Poet and the Poem Series Hosted by Maryland Poet Laureate Grace Cavalieri and the Library of Congress.
She conducts workshops and residency programs for diverse audiences using a multi-disciplined approach for women’s groups, festivals, conferences and students at numerous venues including: Howard Community College, Maryland Institute College of Art, Howard University, The University of Baltimore, Osher Institute, Mary Baldwin College, Wor-Wic Community College, The Baltimore Ethical Society, Lucent Technology, Women in Science and Engineering, The Black Jewish Forum of Baltimore, Heal a Woman Heal a Nation Conference, Anne Arundel Artist Teacher’s Institute, Chesapeake Center for the Arts – Leadership Arundel Arts Workshops, Carver Center for the Arts, Brookland Park Middle School, Elon Vital, the Good Sheppard Center, and Hamilton Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland.

She is a sought after adjudicator for regional poetry literary and spoken word competitions, including both the national and regional NAACP Act – So Competitions, Howard County Public Library middle, high school poetry competitions, Poetry Out Loud competitions, Louder Than a Bomb; Baltimore Youth Poetry Slam, Battle of Da Skoolz College Poetry Slams, and the Baltimore City Wide Youth Poetry Finals. She has served on literary advisory panels for the Maryland State Arts Council, testified on the necessity of arts funding on behalf of the Howard County Arts Council, and acted as grant reviewer for Baltimore Promotions and the Arts, and Maryland State Arts Council Grants Programs.  She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Little Patuxent Review, and previously served on the Boards of Jambalaya Magazine, and the Baltimore Writer’s Alliance where she is President Emeritus.

She is a cohost of the Wilde Readings Poetry Series which is in the midst of its 5th year.

Publications & Prizes

Gargoyle 54 (Paycock Press, 2009)
Poetry For Peace (Icarus Press, 2002)
When Divas Laugh the Diva Squad Poetry Collective (Black Classic Press, 2001)
Thy Mother's Glass (Wordhouse, 2000)
Obsidian II: Black Literarture in Review, Volume 12 (North Carolina University Press, 1997)
Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review, Volume 5 (North Carolina University Press, 1990)
Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review, Vol 3 (North Carolina University Press, 1988)
Prizes won: 

Performance poet and writer Linda Joy Burke, is a 2002 Distinguished Black Marylander Award recipient for Art from Towson University’s Office of Diversity, a 2004 Coca Cola Company/NFAA Distinguished Teacher in the Arts nominee, a 2004 Poetry for the People Baltimore Legacy Award recipient, a 2008 Fox 45 Champions of Courage nominee, a 2007 Columbia Festival of the Arts Poetry Slam winner,  a 2013 Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and a 2018 Women’s Giving Circle Young Women Journey Camp Leadership program, “Stand Up” award recipient.

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Some of her influences include a variety of poets, writers, and cultural critics such as: Bell Hooks, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, Nikki Giovanni, June Jordan, Octavia Butler, Sapphire, Toi Derricotte, Edwidge Danticat, Lucille Clifton, Zaidie Smith, the memoirs of Maya Angelou, Lucille Clifton, Marge Piercy, Adrienne Rich, Maxine Kumin, Rita Dove, Joy Harjo, Tracy K. Smith, and many others.
What I'm reading now: 
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More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Any, At Risk Youth
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Washington, DC
District Of Columbia
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Jan 27, 2021