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Dogs! We are all inspired by them. And after the 12-month Wall Calendar Photographer and the Personalized Mug Designer, the profession most inspired by dogs may well be the Poet.

“There is an amazing amount of poetry about dogs,”explains Michael Gushue, poet. Gushue is a member of the Brookland Area Writers and Artists*** collective, which tonight will hold “Dog Days,” a poetry reading “about, by, for and around dogs, canines and man’s best friend.”

Past BAWA* reading themes have included Sterling A. Brown, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and obscenity. But the dog theme has (four!) legs: This is the fourth year that BAWA* has turned its attention to the domesticated critters.

“In poetry, you can use the dog to talk about anything else you would talk about,” says Gushue. “There are a bunch of corny, brilliant, heartbreaking poems about dogs getting old and dying, which touches one one of the two great themes of poetry: Death. You can use dogs to talk about friendship, about philosophy. Really, I cant think of a single theme that dogs haven’t been integrated into.”

The reading will be held tonight at 7 p.m. in the Brookland Visitors Center at 3420 9th St. NE. Do not bring your dog. “We haven’t figured that out yet, because the reading is held in an art gallery,” says Gushue. “At some point we’re going to do it outdoors and everyone’s going to bring their dog.”

** asterisk theirs.