Poetry at the Library

THANK YOU to The Friends of The Library for sponsoring poetry events!

October 2016 Events


green star for adult eventPoet Diane Lockward

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, October 25, 2016, 7:30 pm

Diane Lockward is the author of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop (Wind Publications, 2013) and four full-length collections of poetry, most recently, The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement (Wind Publications, 2016). Her earlier books are , What Feeds Us, which received the 2006 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, and Eve’s Red Dress. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Against Perfection and Greatest Hits: 1997 – 2010. Her poems have been published in several anthologies, including Poetry Daily: 366 Poems from the World’s Most Popular Poetry Website, Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Hard Times, and The Poet’s Cookbook. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Beloit Poetry Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Poet Lore, and Prairie Schooner.

The recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Diane has also received awards from North American Review, Louisiana Literature, the Newburyport Art Association, and the St. Louis Poetry Center. She won First Place in the 2012 Naugatuck River Review poetry contest. Her work has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes, featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and read by Garrison Keillor on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac.

September 2016 Events

Jim Haba

green star for adult eventPoet Jim Haba

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, September 27, 2016, 7:30 pm

As the founding Poetry Director of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Jim Haba created and developed the Foundation’s biennial Poetry Festival and its extensive Poetry in the Schools Program (1986-2008). He also contributed to many NPR and PBS programs focused on early Festivals, including three major PBS series with Bill Moyers. In 1995 he edited the best-selling book The Language of Life, which accompanied two of these series. His work on behalf of the poetry community earned him The Elizabeth Kray Award from Poets House in 2000 and The Paterson Literary Review Award, for lifetime service to literature, in 2011. His own poems earned him a New Poets of the Delaware Valley award (1984) and a Poetry Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (1985). His chapbooks Thirty-One Poems and Love Poems appeared in 2006.

May 2016 Events

Ocean Vuong

green star for adult eventOcean Vuong

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, May 24, 2016, 7:30 pm

Ocean Vuong’s first full-length collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press (2016). He is also the author of two chapbooks: No (YesYes Books, 2013) and Burnings (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010), which was an American Library Association’s Over The Rainbow selection. A 2014 Ruth Lilly fellow, Ocean has received honors and awards from Poets House, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and a Pushcart Prize. His poetry and fiction have been featured in Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, and the American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. His work has been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Cantonese, French, Italian, Hindi, Spanish, and Ukrainian.Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he resides in New York City and is currently at work on his first novel.

April 2016 Events

Barbara Crooker

green star for adult eventBarbara Crooker

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, April 26, 2016, 7:30 pm

Barbara Crooker’s poems have appeared in magazines such as The Green Mountains Review, The Hollins Critic, The Christian Science Monitor, Smartish Pace, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Nimrod, The Denver Quarterly, The Tampa Review, Poetry International, The Christian Century, America and anthologies such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Good Poems for Hard Times (Viking Penguin), Boomer Girls (University of Iowa Press), and Commonwealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State University Press). She is the recipient of the 2007 Pen and Brush Poetry Prize, the 2006 Ekphrastic Poetry Award from Rosebud, the 2004 WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the 2004 Pennsylvania Center for the Book Poetry in Public Places Poster Competition, the 2003 Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, the 2003 “April Is the Cruelest Month” Award from Poets & Writers, the 2000 New Millenium Writing’s Y2K competition, the 1997 Karamu Poetry Award, and others, including three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, sixteen residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; a residency at the Moulin a Nef, Auvillar, France; and a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

Laurie Granieri

green star for adult eventReadings on Food, Family, Memory, Geography, and New Jersey

Award Winning Author Laurie Granieri
Tue, April 12, 2016, 7:00 pm

Award-winning local journalist Laurie Granieri will give a reading of her prose and poetry. Granieri is part of the new essay collection Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Bestselling Memoir (Riverhead Books, March 2016). The anthology celebrates the 10th anniversary of Gilbert’s beloved book. Granieri will delve into food, memory, family, geography, and New Jersey in works spiked with humor and poignancy. Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It will be available for sale and signing. Laurie Granieri’s work has been broadcast on NPR, published in the Boxcar Literary Review, and has appeared in the 2011 essay collection This I Believe: On Fatherhood. Forthcoming work is due to be published in the April issue of Elle magazine. She works for Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and is an award-winning former columnist for The Home News Tribune. Granieri grew up in Milltown and lives in Franklin Township.

March 2016 Events

Adele Kenny

green star for adult eventAdele Kenny

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, March 22, 2016, 7:30 pm

Adele Kenny is the author of 24 books. Her poems, reviews, and articles have been published in journals worldwide, and her poems have appeared in books and anthologies published by Crown, Tuttle, Shambhala, and McGraw-Hill. She is the recipient of various awards, including poetry fellowships from the NJ State Arts Council, a first place Merit Book Award, a Thomas Merton Poetry Award, the International Book Award for Poetry, and Kean University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. A former creative writing professor, she is founding director of the Carriage House Poetry Series and poetry editor of Tiferet Journal. Website: www.Adelekenny.com
Please Note: Gail Gersin Fishman was scheduled for this date but will do her reading instead in the Fall of 2016.

November 2015 Events

BJ Ward - poet

green star for adult eventPoet BJ Ward

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, November 24, 2015, 7:30 pm

BJ Ward, an award-winning poet whose poetry and essays have been featured on National Public Radio and in publications such as Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Sun Magazine, TriQuarterly, The Literary Review, The Normal School, and the New York Times, has brought together in one volume poems from over a twenty year span. A rich collection of thoughtful and often ironic reflections that reveal both the reverence and irreverence of human experience, Jackleg Opera contains the material from his three previous books as well as thirty-five new poems. Book signing and refreshments follow the reading.Sponsored by the friends of the Library.

October 2015 Events

poetry pen

green star for adult eventPoetry Night with Jane Rawlings

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library
Tue, October 27, 2015, 7:30 pm

Jane Rawlings’ career as a poet began with her work as an Archivist at a Nineteenth Century House Museum in New Jersey and as a teacher. She writes and lectures on women’s history and her poems have been widely published. Her most ambitious work is The Penelopeia, a novel in verse, which follows the journey of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. After the return of her husband from his famous fictional journey, chronicled in Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope takes off and so does Jane Rawlings! Publishers Weekly called The Penelopeia, “vibrant fiction, bringing to life the female figures who played a pivotal role in one of the seminal works of world literature.” This program, Giving Voice to Time and Aging, was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

September 2015 Events


green star for adult eventPoetry Night Series with Edwin Romond

Poetry Reading and Discussion
Tue, September 29, 2015, 7:30 pm

This program, Giving Voice to Time and Aging, was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Edwin Romond is the author of eight collections of poetry and has been awarded writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania State Councils on the Arts. Garrison Keillor has twice read Romond’s poetry on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac and his memoir, “The Ticket,” appears in Tim Russert’s national bestseller, Wisdom of Our Fathers from Random House. He is the recipient of the 2013 New Jersey Poetry Prize for his poem, “Champion.” In addition, Romond wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the musical plays, A Family Life and Robin Hood that were produced at New Jersey community theaters. The Fall Poetry Night Series continues with Jane Rawlings on October 27 and BJ Ward on November 24. Both readings are at 7:30 PM.

April 2015 Events

Wanda Praisner

green star for adult eventPoetry Night Series – Wanda S. Praisner

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library
Tue, April 21, 2015, 7:30 pm

Wanda S. Praisner, a poet in residence for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, has published three collections of poems, Where the Dead Are (2013), On the Bittersweet Avenues of Pomona (2006), and A Fine and Bitter Snow (2003). She has been a featured reader at the Governor’s Conference on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Her work appears in Confrontation, Lullwater Review, New York Magazine and Slant. An open mic and book signing will follow the reading.

March 2015 Events

poetry pen

green star for adult eventPoetry Night with Norman Stock

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library
Tue, March 24, 2015, 7:30 pm

Norman Stock is the author of two books of poetry: Pickled Dreams Naked (NYQ Books, 2010) and Buying Breakfast For My Kamikaze Pilot(Gibbs Smith, 1994, winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Contest). His poems have appeared in The New Republic, College English The New York Quarterly, Verse, The New England Review, Denver Quarterly, and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies and textbooks. The recipient of awards from the Writer’s Voice, Poets & Writers’ Maureen Egan Writers Exchange, the Bennington Writing Workshops, and the Tanne Foundation, he has also been a Bread Loaf fellow, a Sewanee scholar, and a finalist for Poet Laureate of Queens. Formerly the Acquisitions Librarian at Montclair State University, from which he retired in 2005, he lives with his wife, Lydia Chang, a clinical psychotherapist, in Jackson Heights New York.

January 2015 Events

puzzle piece

red star for teens eventNational Puzzle Day

For Teens
Thu, January 29, 2015, 3:00 pm

Celebrate National Puzzle Day at the library by putting together puzzles and playing puzzle games!

November 2014 Events


green star for adult eventPoet George Witte

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, November 25, 2014, 7:30 pm

George Witte has published three books of poems: Does She Have a Name? (NYQ Books, 2014), Deniability (Orchises Press, 2009), and The Apparitioners (Orchises Press, 2005). His work has been widely published in magazines and anthologized in The Best American Poetry, Vocabula Bound 2, Old Flame, and the forthcoming book Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, edited by Joel Allegretti and published by Poets Wear Prada. He works as the editor in chief of St. Martin’s Press and lives with his family in Ridgewood, New Jersey. An open mic follows the reading.

September 2014 Events


green star for adult eventPoet Alicia Suskin Ostriker

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, September 23, 2014, 7:30 pm

Alicia Suskin Ostriker is one of America’s premier poets and critics. She is author of fifteen poetry collections, including The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979-2011 and the Book of Seventy. She has received the Patterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement, the William Carlos Williams Award, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. Ostriker is professor emerita of English at Rutgers university and teaches in a low-residency MFA program at Drew University. The Poetry Night Series if sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

May 2014 Events

poetry pen

green star for adult eventTwo Poets: Nancy Scott and Jill Stein

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, May 27, 2014, 7:30 pm

Jill Stein is a psychotherapist and mother of two children living in Princeton, New Jersey. Her work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Seattle Review, West Branch, MacGuffin, Pearl, US1 Worksheets, Poets On, Nebraska Review, Rattle and Soujourner among others. She has received three NJ State Council on the Arts Grants for poetry. Steeplechase and her previous chapbook, Cautionary Tales, were published by Finishing Line Press. Ms. Stein is currently on the editorial staff of US 1 Worksheets. For the past ten years, she has experienced increasing mobility problems due to multiple sclerosis and has been incorporating this into her work.
Nancy Scott is the managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative in New Jersey. She is also the author of six
collections of poetry: Down to the Quick; One Stands Guard, One Sleeps; A Siege of Raptors; Detours & Diversions; On Location (ekphrastic poems);and her most recent, Midwestern Memories.

April 2014 Events

Maria Gillan

green star for adult eventMaria Mazziotti Gillan

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, April 22, 2014, 7:30 pm

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions).
She is the Founder /Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She is also Director of the Creative Writing Program and Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY. She has published 18 books, including: What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions), The Place I Call Home and The Silence in an Empty House (NYQ Books), Ancestors’ Song (Bordighera Press), and Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories (MiroLand, Guernica). With her daughter Jennifer, she is co-editor of four anthologies. Visit her website at www.mariagillan.com.

March 2014 Events

Cool Women poets

green star for adult eventCool Women – Poetry Performance Group

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, March 25, 2014, 7:30 pm

The Cool Women poets, Gretna Wilkerson, Lois Harrod, Maxine ­Susman, Juditha Dowd, Eloise Bruce, Betty Lies, Joyce Lott, each read their own poem in a sequence. They never know what the previous poet will be reading, all that is known is a topic and the order in which they will read. Together and separately, they have published 56 books, been married 16 times, had 19 children and 17 grandchildren. This makes for a lot of good poetry! Open mic follows.


red star for teens eventgreen star for adult eventPoetry Writing Workshop

With Poet Maxine Susman
Thu, March 20, 2014, 7:00 pm

Celebrate the first day of spring by writing a brand new poem!
Poet and English professor Maxine Susman will conduct a poetry workshop. Each participant will produce a poem and have the opportunity to read it to the group. Maxine Susman, formerly a literature and writing professor at Caldwell College, has published in several dozen journals and anthologies, including Paterson Literary Review, CHEST, Runes, Earth’s Daughters, US 1 Worksheets, Home Planet News, and Poet Lore. Maxine has published four poetry collections: Gogama (2006) is about her father, a young Jewish doctor in remote Northern Ontario during the Great Depression. Wartime Address (2009) tells of a young woman trapped in Occupied Paris in World War 2 before escaping to Free France and Tunis. Familiar (2009) focuses on family life, place, and shifting states of mind and body. Creamery Road, published in 2011, tells stories of rural New York State and Maine. Please register at the front desk or call the library at 732-572-2750.

October 2013 Events


green star for adult eventPoetry Writing Workshop

Gail Fishman Gerwin will Lead the Workshop
Tue, October 29, 2013, 7:00 pm

Write the first draft of a poem, read it and help critique the work of other poets. Gail Fishman Gerwin will facilitate. Gail Fishman Gerwin’s poetry, book reviews, fiction, essays, and plays appear in literary journals, other publications, and on stage. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Goucher College and her M.A. three decades later from NYU’s Gallatin School. Her book Sugar and Sand was a 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize finalist and her second collection Dear Kinfolk, (ChayaCairn Press: www.chayacairnpress.com) earned a 2013 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. She is associate poetry editor of the literary journal Tiferet. A former educator and current writing workshop facilitator, Gail is founder and principal of inedit, a writing/editing firm in Morristown, NJ.

Paul Muldoon

red star for teens eventgreen star for adult eventPoet Paul Muldoon

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, October 22, 2013, 7:30 pm

Since 1987 Paul Muldoon has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University. In 2007 he was appointed Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, where he is an honorary Fellow of Hertford College.
Paul Muldoon’s main collections of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968-1998 (2001), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006), and Maggot (2010).
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Paul Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature for 1996. Other recent awards are the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.”