Ageism launched the year we were born—literally. That was the year they
dispatched us and a supercharged word into a no-so-straight-arrowed 
world. Who knew we would be accompanied by others, bonytongued 
innuendo, like chronobiology, blind trust, break point, marginalized, 
and decriminalized? And then, there’s the actual history: “To Be Young, 

Gifted & Black” premiered in NYC, while James Earl Ray finally plead guilty 
to the murder of MLK. The Viet Nam war was nuked with blazing protests,  
gay rights made a dissidentital entrance at The Stonewall Rebellion, and that’s 
the tip of the iceberg. Birth control pills came legally into the country, while 
Manson, Woodstock, and Nixon fought over every front page. This is what we

were bottle fed in infancy, while Merriam Webster addendumed the dictionary 
with expression after idiom, headhunting new vocabulary to define a radical 
age. How many articulate others learned early the jawboning progression of 
rip-off, high tech, superconglomerate, sexual harassment, confidentiality agreement, 
microchip, and fuzzy logic? Yet it’s odd—at this marginalized Gen X juncture, 

we’re apparently old and unknowledgeable. Or perhaps we all have a mood disorder.
I suppose we could power forward, get our lives together. Practice passive restraint.
Maybe hire a life coach. Or vinify a garden of disinterested greenery. Yech. Thanks 
but no thanks—not a parton of interest. We’d prefer to punctuate the market with
zappy brown outs and revolution. Better watch your step. We first walked the moon.  

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, copyright April 2, 2024, all rights reserved 

Author's note: Sources are here and here. And yes, I took creative license with some words. If Merriam can do it, so can I. 

Katherine Gotthardt

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, hails from the Northern Virginia/D.C. metro area. She considers herself a writer by nature and by trade, having begun writing for fun as soon as her mother helped teach her to read. An active part of the literary community, Katherine was a past-president and a founding member of Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Katherine has been a Prince William County Poet Laureate nominee and was the winner of Inside Nova’s 2019 and 2020 Best of Prince William award in the category of author. Her poetry and prose book Get Happy, Dammit: Staying Inspired and Motivated in an Often-Unhappy World received a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association. Katherine's children’s book, A Crane Named Steve, hit number one in its category on Amazon in 2019. Katherine then took first place in the free verse category of Loudoun County Library Foundation’s 2020 Rhyme On poetry contest for her piece "Discussion Topic." The Prince William Arts Council and Poet Laureate Circle awarded her the 2020 Outstanding Poetry Project Award for her leadership in Write by the Rails' Poems Around Town poetry installation. In 2021 Katherine earned second place for "Aftermath" in a Poetry Society of Virginia national contest and the regional Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence in the category of Individual Artist. She won first place in the Virginia Writers Club statewide Golden Nib contest in the poetry category for her poem "Kayak." Katherine was recognized as a PW Perspective 2021 DMV Best Business award winner in the category of author. In April 2023, Katherine’s poem “Now Entering Manassas” was the winner of Manassas, Virginia's adult “time capsule” poetry contest. Katherine read her poem at the 150th anniversary celebration, the translated version by Jorge de Villasante was read in Spanish by Bianca Menendez, her poem was published in Neighbors of Historic Manassas magazine, and it was included in the city’s time capsule. While Katherine is well-known for her poetry, she also has established a solid reputation for writing articles, columns and short fiction. She is published in dozens of journals and anthologies and has authored 12 books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water, Bury Me Under a Lilac, Late April, A Crane Named Steve, Get Happy, Dammit, D.C. Ekphrastic: Crisis of Faith, Thirty Years of Cardinals Calling, Get Happier, Dammit and We All Might Be Witches. She uses proceeds from her books to support giving back initiatives.
Scroll to Top