MONDAY

They say all good things must come to an end, and that’s certainly an appropriate cliche to use now. After 26 years and 133 readings, Washington’s Ascension Poetry Reading series is closing up shop. Founded in 1974 by E. Ethelbert Miller, a noted poet who is also director of the African-American Resource Center at Howard University, the series originally was designed to give a platform and a forum to African-American poets. How times have changed: The first Ascension reading, a fairly casual affair, took place in Howard’s Afro-American Reading Room; the poets were called “black.” In the intervening years, more than 700 poets availed themselves of the platform and forum Miller gave them—among them Amiri Baraka, Ntozake Shange, and Alice Walker—and the focus expanded beyond African-Americans to embrace other poets of color, as well as women. This valued institution will be missed, to be sure. Tonight, Baltimore native Afaa Michael Weaver (pictured) and Ahmos Zu Bolton II of New Orleans are the last two poets who’ll share their words through Ascension. The night starts with a seminar and supper with the poets (at 5:30 p.m.), and ends with a reception and book signing. The reading itself begins at 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 20, at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $40 (for the seminar, supper, and reading); tickets for just the reading are $10. (202) 544-7077. (Natalie Davis)