Poetry at the Library

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

November 2019 Events

green star for adult eventCool Women Poets

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Thu, November 14, 2019, 7:00 pm

Known for their themed, improv-style poetry readings, Cool Women riff on each other’s poems like jazz musicians, providing an unpredictable and compelling performance. All nine members—Eloise Bruce, Juditha Dowd, Lois Marie Harrod, Betty Lies, Judy Michaels, Sharon Olson, Penelope Schott,
Maxine Susman, and Gretna Wilkinson—have deep New Jersey roots. An open reading follows the featured poets.

green star for adult eventPoetry Writing Workshop with Nikki Stiller

Write a Poem
Thu, November 7, 2019, 6:30 pm

Nikki Stiller is author of five books of poetry: Notes of a Jewish Nun, On Both Frontiers, Burial Ship, My Own Afghanistan, and My Mother Did Not Like to Hug-New and Selected Poems.Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Home Planet News, Primavera, Response, Mainstream, Lilith, and Poetry New York. She has taught at Hunter College, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Baruch College and for many years at the New Jersey Institute of New Jersey where she won two teaching awards. Each participant will leave with the first draft of a poem.

October 2019 Events

green star for adult eventPoet Laura Boss

Poetry Night Series
Thu, October 24, 2019, 7:00 pm

Laura Boss, a national award-winning poet, is a first prize winner in Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Poetry Contest and, in 1998, was one of ten finalists in the country in PSA’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola contest for a manuscript. She is also the founder and editor of Lips poetry magazine. Her most recent books include Arms: New and Selected Poems, Flashlight (both Guernica Editions) and THE BEST LOVER (NYQ Books, 2017). A Dodge Poet, her poems have appeared in The Poets of New Jersey from Colonial to Contemporary and The New York Times.

September 2019 Events

green star for adult eventIsraeli Poet Karen Alkalay-Gut

Poetry Night Series
Thu, September 19, 2019, 7:00 pm

Poet, professor, editor, and translator Karen Alkalay-Gut often recounts how she was born in London on the last night blitz-buzz bombs. Shortly after that historic night she moved to Rochester, New York with her family. In 1975 she completed a Ph.D at the University of Rochester. She has lived in Israel since 1972 and has published over 20 books. In English, she has published poems from 1980, Making Love, to 2017 when she published Hanging Around the House. She has also published poems in Yiddish (Yerusha in 2018) and in Hebrew (Drachim le’ehov in 2018). She has taught at Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurim University of the Negev. She has translated Yehuda Amichai and Raquel Chalfi.

June 2019 Events

green star for adult eventWriters’ Circle

Writing Workshop
Thu, June 6, 2019, 6:30 pm

June is the official start of summer and time for adventure. At this month’s session of Writers’ Circle, create your alter ego. Who do you really want to be? Who is lurking inside of you? Unleash them tonight, on paper!

May 2019 Events

green star for adult eventPoets Ilene Millman and Coleen Marks-Schlaffer

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Thu, May 16, 2019, 7:00 pm

Join us for readings from two poets!Ilene Millman is a speech/language therapist whose poetry has been published in a variety of print journals including the Sow’s Ear, Adanna, The Paterson Review, Poem Memoir Story, U.S. 1 Worksheets and others. Poet Coleen Marks-Schaffler will also be reading. Book signing follows. Coleen Marks-Schaffler recently published Naked,her very first book of poetry. An artist’s model in her salad days, she then had a long day job as a Human Resources executive, while always keeping her finger in the arts. She is an award-winning photographer whose work is in several corporate and many private collections. She is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she was fortunate to study with Alicia Suskin Ostriker, who steered her Irish storytelling sensibility onto the lyric path of poetry.

green star for adult eventWriters’ Circle-What Have You Planted in Your Garden?

Thu, May 9, 2019, 6:30 pm

The Writers’ Circle meets once a month to give people a time and a place to write. This month our theme is the garden as a metaphor of how we plan our lives. Join us as we read poems together, receive prompts and write a first draft of a poem or prose piece. For more information call the library at 732-572-2750.

April 2019 Events

green star for adult eventLois Marie Harrod

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Thu, April 11, 2019, 7:00 pm

Join us for a National Poetry Month reading with Lois Marie Harrod. Her 16th and most recent collection Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks. And She Took the Heart (Casa de Cinco Hermanas) appeared in January 2016, Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays), and Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching was published by Black Buzzard Press, 2011. Cosmogony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook (Iowa State). Dodge poet, 3-time recipient of a New Jersey Council on the Arts fellowship and lifetime teacher (high school and college), she is widely published in literary journals and online eZines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3.

March 2019 Events

green star for adult eventWriters’ Circle

Join a Writing Group
Thu, March 28, 2019, 7:00 pm

Join the a group of people finding a space in their lives to write. Talk about four poems, receive four prompts and write a first draft of a poem and short prose piece. Animals is this month’s theme.

green star for adult event“Spring Stirrings” Poetry Workshop

Poet Maxine Susman will conduct the Writing Workshop
Tue, March 12, 2019, 6:30 pm

The change in seasons and the coming spring will be the inspiration for this writing workshop led by poet and teacher Maxine Susman. What do these spring stirrings mean to us personally and in the world around us? Drawing upon sample poems and stimulating warm-up prompts, we will discuss poem ideas and then write an original poem to share with the group, for a friendly, supportive evening of poetry. All are welcome, from beginners to advanced. Maxine Susman writes about nature, art, history, and shifting states of body and mind. She has published six poetry collections, most recently Provincelands (2016), and her poems appear widely in New Jersey and national poetry journals. A former Professor of English at Caldwell University, she teaches poetry writing and short story classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Rutgers University, where she earned the Distinguished Teaching Award. She gives readings with the Cool Women Poets.

green star for adult eventMaria Mazziotti Gillan Poetry Reading and Art Reception

Poetry Night Series
Tue, March 5, 2019, 7:00 pm

Celebrate Women’s Month and the opening of The Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series with New Jersey’s beloved Poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Also enjoy an Art Reception of her New Paintings that will be up through March. She is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), 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. Maria has published 22 books of and about poetry, and 4 anthologies. Her most recent books are the poetry and photography collaboration with Mark Hillringhouse, Paterson Light and Shadow (Serving House Books, 2017) and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter (NYQ, 2016). The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (Redux Consortium), is a new collection of her poems and accompanying paintings.

February 2019 Events

green star for adult eventBlues Legacy

A Reading and Book Signing
Thu, February 21, 2019, 7:00 pm

acquese Armstrong is a poet and writer living in Central New Jersey. Blues Legacy (Broadside Lotus Press) is her new collection of poems celebrating various genres of African American music. The collection won the 2019 Naomi Long Mudgetti Poetry Award. Armstrong will read from this new collection and sign books. Her first poetry chapbook, dance of the shadows, was released June 2017. She has been published in For Harriet, A Gathering of the Tribes, The Rising Phoenix Review, Black Magnolias Literary Journal and Ourselves/Black. Ms. Armstrong was a 2015 recipient of the Ambassador Award from the State of New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma for promoting wellness and recovery and reducing stigma through the arts.

green star for adult eventWriters’ Circle

Write a Poem or Short Prose Piece
Thu, February 14, 2019, 7:00 pm

Block out a time for writing each month. Join us for a special Writers’ Circle devoted to the theme of Love and All of Its Complications! We will look at four poems, four prompts and write a first draft of a poem or short prose piece. Enjoy dark chocolate to help inspire you. Please register at the front desk or call 732-572-2750.

December 2018 Events

poetry pen

green star for adult eventWriters’ Circle

A Monthly Gathering to Write Poetry and Prose
Thu, December 20, 2018, 6:30 pm

Join us for a group that will meet monthly to write poems and prose. Participants will read and talk about poems and then write a first draft. December’s theme is “Fire”. Writing doesn’t have to be on a specific fire, think metaphorically. Examples will be given! To register for the workshop that runs from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM call the library at 732-572-2750 or visit the front desk.

November 2018 Events

poetry pen

green star for adult eventWriters’ Circle

A Monthly Gathering to Write Poetry and Prose
Thu, November 1, 2018, 6:30 pm

Join us for a group that will meet monthly to write poems and prose. Participants will read and talk about poems and then write a first draft. Childhood will be November’s theme to write about. Bring a photo or an object that connects you to childhood. The workshop will run from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. To register call 732-572-2750.

October 2018 Events

green star for adult eventElizabeth Pallitto and Enriqueta Carrington on “Fortune’s Fool”

Poetry Night Series
Tue, October 23, 2018, 7:00 pm

Elizabeth Pallitto and Enriqueta Carrington will be reading translations and original poetry on Fate and Courtly Love. Poems to be read include sonnets by 16th-century Italian poet Tullia d’Aragona and 17th-century Mexican poet Juana Inés de la Cruz. Pallitto and Carrington will also read their own original poems.
Pallitto’s poems have appeared in The North American Review, Hybrido: Arte y Cultura, Litspeak, Foolscap and elsewhere. Her translations — from the Italian and Turkish — are published in Philosophical Forum, Forum Italicum, Absinthe) and books: A New Map: The Poetry of Migrant Writers in Italy (NY: Legas, 2011); Aeolian Visions/Versions (W. Sussex: Milet, 2014). She has translated the poems in Sweet Fire: Tullia d’Aragona’s Poetry of Dialogue (NY: Braziller, 2007). Having taught at universities in New York and Istanbul, and now teaches at Olli_RU and runs local creative writing workshops.
Carrington’s poems in English and Spanish, as well as her poetry translations from the Spanish and Sicilian, have appeared in Rattapallax, Blue Unicorn, 14 by 14, The New Formalist, The Society of Classical Poets Journal, Descant (Canada), and in several other journals and anthologies. Her translation into Spanish of Charlotte Brontë’s last narrative fragments is about to appear. Her translation into English of the sonnets and autobiographical prose of Juana Inés de la Cruz has received the support of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been translator or co-translator of four novels, and a short story collection that have all been recently published. Enriqueta has also published several books of poetry in translation, including Treasury of Mexican Love Poems, Quotations & Proverbs (Treasury of Love series, Hippocrene Books, New York: 2003), Samandar Libro de Viajes/Book of Travels by Lourdes Vázquez (Editorial Tsé-Tsé, Buenos Aires, Argentina: 2007), Cibeles que sueña, a cartonera book by artist Yarisa Colón, She was so Naked, also by Lourdes Vázquez (Premonition Press: 2015), and One Farewell May Hide Another, by the Israeli poet Mois Benarroch (CreateSpace: 2017).

green star for adult eventInner and Outer Weather: A Poetry Writing Workshop with Maxine Susman

Write Your First Draft
Thu, October 4, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tap your creative energy and see where it leads with a workshop with a focus on nature and the environment. We will begin by reading a published poem together, then use artifacts, wordplay, and brainstorming to spark ideas and imagination as a springboard for writing new poems. There will be a stretch of quiet writing time, followed by the opportunity to share your poem with the group. Open to all levels from experienced poets to those giving it a first try.
Maxine Susman writes about nature and the environment, art, personal history, and shifting states of body and mind. She has published six chapbooks, most recently Provincelands (2016), set on Cape Cod. Her poems appear in Fourth River, Ekphrasis, Blueline, Adanna, Paterson Literary Review, The Healing Muse, Presence, and elsewhere. Recent awards include Third Place in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest and Honorable Mention for the New Jersey Poets Prize, and finalist for the Letheon Contest of Anesthesiology. A former professor of English at Caldwell University, she teaches poetry writing and short story classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Rutgers University, where she earned the Marlene Pomper Teaching Award. She is a member of the Cool Women Poets ensemble, and lived for many years in Highland Park. T

September 2018 Events

Wanda Praisner

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

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library
Tue, September 25, 2018, 7:00 pm

Wanda S. Praisner, a poet in residence for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, has published five collections of poems, To Illuminate the Way (2018), Natirar (2017), 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.

April 2018 Events

green star for adult eventEdwin Romond

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Thu, April 26, 2018, 7:00 pm

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.

Paul Muldoon

green star for adult eventPaul Muldoon

Friends of the Library Poetry Night Series
Tue, April 24, 2018, 7:00 pm

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet. He has published over thirty collections and won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He held the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1999 to 2004. At Princeton University he is both the Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities and Founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. He has also served as president of the Poetry Society and Poetry Editor at The New Yorker. He was born in Portadown, County Armagh and raised near The Moy, in Northern Ireland. Muldoon’s work is full of paradox: playful but serious, elusive but direct, innovative but traditional. He uses traditional verse forms such as the sonnet, ballad, and dramatic monologue, but alters their length and basic structure, and uses rhyme and meter in new ways. His work is also notable for its layered use of conceit, allusion, and wit. The cryptic wordplay present in many poems has often been called Joycean, but Muldoon himself has cited lyric poets such as Frost, Thomas, and MacNeice as his major influences. A book signing will follow.