Welcome to Keep St. Pete Lit!
Do you read? Do you write? Do you live in or around St. Petersburg? Well then, welcome to Keep St. Pete Lit, where we celebrate and promote the area’s literary community. Whether you’re a writer, a reader or just love the arts, we want you to help us Keep St. Pete Lit. Read and Write on, my friend!
Keep St. Pete Lit is a 501(c)3 organization.
Maureen McDole was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is a direct descendant of carnies, carpenters and fishermen. This do-it-yourself ethos in her DNA infuses every area of her life. As far back as she can remember she loved to write. She is the author of three books of poems, Exploring My Options (2006), Longing for the Deep End (2011), and Feast (2021). She has a BA in English Literature from USF-St. Petersburg and a certificate in Arts & Culture Strategy from University of Pennsylvania. Her poetry has been set in a variety of different ways including: film, dance, spoken word, art installations, Sprechstimme, and traditional vocal works. Her monthly column Life in Poetry is featured in The Artisan Magazine, where she also the literature editor. She is the recipient of St. Petersburg Art Alliance’s 2016 MUSE Award for Literary Arts. Maureen has been leading workshops and speaking about creativity for over 20 years. She founded Keep St. Pete Lit because she believes wholeheartedly in the power of literature to change the world.
Kathleen McDole was born at St. Petersburg’s Mound Park Hospital (now Bayfront Medical Center). She is member of one of St. Pete Beach’s pioneer families along with her seven siblings. Growing up when the Gulf Beaches were still wild imprinted a love of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico on her soul. Kathleen graduated from St. Petersburg Junior College in 1972. After extensive traveling around the U.S. she got married and started a family. When the youngest of her four children was six months old she got a job at her family owned Friendly Fisherman Restaurant in John’s Pass Village. Thirty years later she is now the President of Friendly Fisherman, L.L.C. and Treasurer of Hubbard Enterprise. Kathleen is Board member of the John’s Pass Village Association. She served as the Promotions and Marketing Director until earlier this year. She chaired all of their events since 1998. Kathleen was twice the Pinellas Chapter President of the Florida Restaurant Accociation in 1996 and 2002. She served on the State of Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Board from 1996-2012. She served as Chairman of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce in 1996. She is a Charter member of the Kiwanis Club of the Gulf Beaches since 2004 and has served as President, Treasurer and is currently Asst. Secretary. Kathleen also serves on the Miracle League Baseball team of Pinellas County as founding member, director and coach for physically and mentally challenged youth.
By day Jon Kile is a peddler of petroleum products, navigating a Glengarry Glen Ross landscape of cutthroat sales. By night he assumes the identity of novelist and child-wrangler. With an undergraduate degree in economics from Florida State University and graduate work in Florida Studies at USF St. Pete, Jon spent 12 years in non-profit fundraising. He now uses that experience to volunteer for causes he cares about. Jon’s first published novel “The Grandfather Clock” is available on amazon.com. He is writing his second and third novels, blogging at welloiledwriter.wordpress.com and cursing his editor.
Shelly Wilson used her degree in creative writing to land such jobs as small town reporter, English teacher, overzealous editor, and tow truck driver – not necessarily in that order. While living in Denmark, she became enamored with Scandinavian furniture and Harald Bluetooth, and developed a mild addiction to romance novels; she endeavors to one day combine these disparate fascinations into a coherent story. Shelly currently works as an editor for the Gabber newspaper in Gulfport. She lives in St. Pete with her partner and a dog of disturbing intelligence.
Tracy Kennard has been involved in the local arts community since 2011 when she became the Social Media Manager for the Duncan McClellan Gallery, a client of her firm Your Virtual Footprint, a social media marketing agency based in St. Petersburg, FL. founded in 2010. Since then she has worked with several local arts organizations including St. Pete Arts Alliance’s Second Saturday ArtWalk, Keep St. Pete Local, Preserve the Burg, First Night St. Pete, the Warehouse Arts District, Florida CraftArt and many others. She was voted Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s Best Local Personality to Follow on Twitter in 2012 and 2013. In 2012 she became a founding member of the grassroots non-profit, the Warehouse Arts District Association wearing many hats including secretary of the Board of Directors, Interim Executive Director, Social Media Manager and Director of Operations. After leaving in November of 2018, she refocused her career goals tapping into her 30+ years of business administration experience and 9 years of social media marketing to work with the Palladium Theater as Development Officer, Creative Pinellas as their Social Media Manager and now the St. Pete Arts Alliance as Assistant Director.
Courtney Walker was basically born a librarian. Raised by a beloved English teacher in the Tampa Bay area she grew up surrounded by books and PBS’s Masterpiece Theater. Her undergraduate degree is in English Education, and she has a Masters of Information and Library Science from the University of Washington’s iSchool. She taught high school English, creative writing, and art locally and abroad in both Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Now is a school librarian in St. Petersburg curating collections and managing a library makerspace. She has presented nationally and internationally at educational conferences about creativity in the classroom and libraries When she is not working on the next killer book list to share, you can find her adventuring in nature.
Nicole Caron’s nonfiction has appeared in numerous trade publications and regional magazines. She is currently at work on a trilogy about a fictional St. Petersburg, Florida family spanning five generations. She is also working on a collection of essays about writers and writing and a collection of tanka (short form Japanese poetry). Nicole lives in St. Petersburg and teaches writing and literature at Ringling College Of Art + Design, where she coordinates the First-Year Writing Program. Learn more at www.nicolecaron.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram: @NCaron27 #stpetetrilogy
Denzel Johnson-Green is the creator and host of a weekly poetry workshop called Community Poetry, and “Neptune”, a local poetry and art magazine. He also was the co-host of Keep St. Pete Lit’s Virtual Poetry Hour, Virtual Poetry Open Mic, and has hosted poetry open mics for the Friends of Jack Keroauc. Denzel has been featured in performances at Florida Craft Art, The Studio@620, Black Crow Coffee, First Night in Straub Park, and the 2019 Exquisite Corpse Games. His poems have been featured in Creative Pinellas’ “ArtCoast Journal”, “The Fantastic Other” and “Neptune”. Mr. Green loves science and silly poems. In his writings, he talks about everything from pancakes to evolution, and talking giants to atheism. With interests in anthropology and zoology, Denzel tries to show how science can solve the world’s biggest and smallest problems. A couple of his favorite poets are Shel Silverstein and Danez Smith.