Sunday, June 8, 2008

Poetry Intensive Weekend at Mendham

St. Marguerite's Retreat House

Christine Waldeyer and I headed north in my car which Christine was kind enough to drive. For the past ten years, Ed, my husband, had driven me to Mendham for the Poetry Intensive Weekend...then picked me up and at Maria and Laura's invitation, joined us for lunch. He was unable to make the trip this year but insisted I join Maria Gillan, Laura Boss and the 25 other poets who would be there. Many new voices would be joining us along with several poets who, like me, had been there many, many times This poetry weekend turned out to be a bit more intensive than previous ones. In the middle of a heavy rain storm, a tree came down on the power lines Saturday night and we were in the dark until Sunday morning! Was our poetic weekend ruined? Not by the proverbial long shot--we read our poems in the game room circled around the ping pong table. Using pocket size flashlights given us by the Sisters from St. Marguerite's Retreat House across the grassy mall, we read poems we brought with us and poems we wrote there. Most of us were in bed by 11:00 when the last lights -the emergency exit lights - went off. A few night owls gathered in the pitch black dining room for a few howls and the only other noise was the sound of bare feet trying to find their way to the bathroom. Sunday morning, when the sun came up, we came to breakfast armed with pens and pencils, ready to write new poems. After a morning of reading and writing and saying goodbye to old and new friends, we drove down the steep hill on our way to the exit, passing Sister Paul walking Petey, their pet dog. We passed Macaroni's corral too.. Macaroni was a homeless wild horse who, tired and hungry, wandered by the convent one day and found a home with the nuns In many ways, we poets are a bit like Macaroni, we wander in with haunting words looking for a poem and these Episcopalian nuns give us a place to put our words together. It's always difficult to say goodbye to both the poets with whom we shared words and this restful retreat.

The Dining Room

The dining room isn't just for is where we eat our breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets but we do workshops here too--either with Laura or Maria. We also do one-on-one critiques at this table and there are times we just sit here feasting on chocolate chip cookies and gabbing about poems, poetry and "Petey." It's the perfect place for night owls too!

The Game Room
This is where we gathered together
the night of the blackout to read our poems
by flashlights donated by the nuns.

The Sun Room
We workshopped here with both Maria and Laura.

The Snack Bar
Chocolate chip cookies and fresh fruit wait here for hungry poets.

A Poem About Petey

The Morning Walk

I watch from my bedroom window
as Petey takes Sister Clare
for her morning walk.
His leash matches the red ribbon
holding the silver crucifix around her neck.

She tries to keep Petey on the macadam,
but he wanders across damp grass.
She pulls his leash gently,
calls his name softly.
He raises a leg on the milk carton-

She raises her eyes to Heaven
Come, Petey, come.
Petey sniffs the building,
the shed, the dewy grass,
squats on his haunches
to relieve himself again.

This time Sister doesn’t raise
her eyes to Heaven.
Instead she stares downward
so intently I wonder
if she’s seeing evil things
beneath the earth...

Or, is she telling Petey
where he’ll go if he doesn’t behave
She tugs the leash firmly,
Petey, come.
He trots to her side,
looks up adoringly.

She kneels, takes him in her arms,
whispers in his shaggy ear,
nuzzles his neck
They stay together
for a brief moment-

Long enough for me to start my day
on a heavenly note.

—Gloria Rovder Healy

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Last Thursday Poetry Reading

Last Thursday Poetry Reading

Thursday, June 26
7:00 p.m.


Svea Barrett

Svea Barrett lives with her husband and three sons in NJ, where she teaches high school creative writing. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications such as Samsara Quarterly, The Paterson Literary Review, LIPS, The Edison Literary Review, and The Journal of New Jersey Poets. Svea won Second Place (tied) in the 2003 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest, and her chapbook, Why I Collect Moose, won the 2005 Poets Corner Press Poetry Chapbook Contest. She was a featured reader at Diane Lockward's "Girl Talk" in West Caldwell in 2008.

Laura Boss

Laura Boss is a 1994 first place winner of the Poetry Society of America's Gordon Barber Memorial Award. Founder and editor of Lips, she was the sole representative of the USA in 1987 at the XXVI Annual International Struga Poetry Readings in Yugoslavia. Her awards for her poetry also include Fellowships in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State in 1999, 1992, and 1986 and an American Literary Translator’s Award (funded through the NEA) for her book On the Edge of the Hudson (Cross-Cultural Communications).Her books of poetry include Stripping
(Chantry Press), the prize-winning On the Edge of the Hudson and Reports from the Front (Cross-Cultural Communications, 1995). Her latest book is Arms: New And Selected Poems (Guernica, Editions, 1999.) Her poems have recently appeared in The New York Times.

Jessica de Koninck

Jessica de Koninck's new book, Repairs, a collection of poems about loss and healing, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2006. It was a finalist in the Ledge 2005 poetry competition, a semifinalist in the 2005 Black River Chapbook Contest, and won Honorable Mention in the 2005 Juniper Tree Chapbook contest. Jessica is director of Legislative Services for the New Jersey Department of Education and a former two-term Montclair councilwoman. Her poems have been published in The Jewish Women's Literary Annual, Edison Literary Review, Exit 13, Spindrift and Bridges. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a featured poet at the Walt Whitman Poetry Festival in Ocean Grove.

Jim Gwyn

Jim Gwyn began writing poetry and fiction in the Sixties. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies such as Voices Rising from the Grove, Spindrift, and Paterson: The Poet’s City. His journal publications include Lips, Paterson Literary Review, and Edison Literary Review. He won Honorable Mention in the 2001, 2002, and 2004 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards contests, and his "Love Poem #1,210,004" received a Pushcart Prize nomination. He was a featured reader at the Walt Whitman Poetry Festivals, 2002-2006.

open reading
book signings

Middletown Township Public Library

55 New Monmouth Road

Contact Gloria:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Laura Boss Reading at the Barron Art Center

Laura Boss was the featured poet of the PoetsWednesday poetry series in May, 2008. She was warmly received by the audience of poets, artists, students and poetry lovers. As she read poems about herself, her family and her lover, the audience, who'd traveled from Woodbridge, the Jersey Shore ann New York City to hear her, was captivated. Laura is a popular poet who's been featured at the Dodge Poetry Festival, the Long Branch and Walt Whitman Poetry Festivals in Ocean Grove and a featured reader in many Universities, schools and libraries throughout NJ. Last year she traveled to Wales where she read in Dykan Thomas' home. She was a featured poet in Diane Lockward's Girl TalkS. She co-hosts the Annual Poetry Intensive Weekend in Mendham with Maria Mazziotti Gillan. She's also the Editor of Lips magazine and winner of many NJ Council of the Arts awards.
Here is one of the poems Laura read at the Barron Arts Center


I think how three weeks before surgery
I thought (as I cleaned my apartment in case Id
Didn’t make it so my mother wouldn’t have a
stroke when she first saw my place) how one of the
first things my first husband’s
second wife did after their marriage was to
get two places in a mausoleum so they would be
“together forever”(though in the traditional Jewish
religion I’m still married to him since we never had
a Jewish divorce—just the usual civil one)

And I think how I don’t have a place to be buried—
no plot way out in Long Island by my grandparents—
No plot nearer in Queens where my father and his parents
and his sisters are buried with only room left for my mother

What a pain for my kids at the time of grieving to
have to find some plot of dirt to dig me into—
How civilized if I am cremated and save them the
time and effort as well as cemetery trip—
lights on all the cars way out to Long Island
but the air conditioners probably off since the
cars are overheating from the ten mile an hour
funeral procession—No, perhaps a plot closer
to their apartments –but then so costly for them—

Yes, better and cheaper to be burnt up and my
ashes given to them in a tasteful urn in brown clay—
or perhaps pink enamel with little rosebuds with
daisies if they want to spring for it—
to be placed on a mantel.

But whose mantel?
Will my sons fight over who will get my ashes—
Will the fight be over who has to keep this depressing urn
on their mantel ( neither has a mantel)—
And how will their wives feel to have their mother-in-law
forever parked in their living room seeing the dust
or unvacuumed floors, a constant recrimination to them—
though she was never a housekeeper—
And perhaps my lover of ten years will want the urn—
After all, he is such a collector of cardboard boxes that
his VCR or an electric fan came in—
Will my ashes be fought over—
Will they third me up
So that one might have the ashes of my legs
with their slight varicose veins—or my head—
or breasts—

My younger son who kept his bottle until
he was five probably would get my breasts
No, I see my lover with these—He always admired them—
Now he can have their ashes—buy me a pretty black bra
from Victoria’s Secret catalogue and throw it in—take out the bra
when he yearns for me—No, the ashes on the bra would mess up
his place and he hates all dust with a passion—

No, I see him taking my ashes –to the relief
of both my sons—and especially their wives—

I see him putting my ashes in a matching urn
that he selected so carefully for his cat Kate—
I see our twin urns on his mantel—
My fate to be there next to this cat I was so
allergic to in life—seeing some new lover of his in a jealous
fit after he tearfully tells her ow much he loved
me after making love to her, this new lover
spitefully moving these two urns on the
bedroom mantel so that he is actually talking
to the cat when he remembers me—
and tenderly pats her urn
and calls her Laura

- Laura Boss

--from ARMS: New and Selected Poems

Monday, May 19, 2008


Founded in 1978 by Edie Eustice and her dear friend, Susan McBride, PoetsWednesday is the longest runnnig poetry reading series in New Jersey. Later, joined by poets, Joe Weil amd Deborah LaVeglia, the reading series became one of the most successful in the state. The success of the program was not just due to the featured poets nor the great poetry but to the hospitality of the three hosts. Each poet was always warmly welcomed and introduced. Edie, Joe and and Deborah were as hospitable to the poets who read in the open reading as they were to the featured poets...and they were willing to take chances on new voices which made the programs doubly interesting The readings were a learning experience for new writers because the featured poets were top of the line and simply listening to their words was a lesson on how to write a poem. It wasn't unusual tio see poets taking notes as other poets read. When Joe was a featured reader, it was a special treat because he'd sing and play guitar or piano as well as read his poetry... it was like a Broadway show when Deborah joined him and sang too... as well as reciting her poems. After Joe left for the University of Binghamton, Edie and Deborah contimued on their poetic jouney - bringing new talent and new programs to the Barron. The 30th anniversary of PoetsWednesday is in September but Edie is officially leaving in July. She'll be living in Banger, PA but will continue to attend readings as often as possible. Deborah is planning a tribute for Edie after the featured reading in July She's asking that the open reading be limited to poems about Edie or PoetsWednesday. There are no changes planned for the future, other than Edie's leaving. PoetsWednesday will continue as usual with Deborah as the director.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Barron Art Center

On the National Register of Historic Places, the Barron Art Center is housed in a magnificent Romanesque Revival building in Woodbridge. Thomas Barron, a wealthy businessman and Woodbridge native, bequeathed $50,000 for the establishment of a library and public reading room. J. Cleveland Cady served as the architect for the structure, which was built in 1877 as the Barron Library. After a century, the library closed and the property was deeded to Woodbridge Township for use as an arts center. The beautiful Richardsonian Revival style building with its stained glass windows. clock tower and magnificent delft tile fireplace provides an intimate setting for a variety of arts activities, including PoetsWednesday. This excellent poetry program is hosted by Edie Eustice and Deborah LaVeglia on the second Wednesday of every month. With the support of the Woodbridge Township Cultural Arts Commission and under the direction of Cynthia Knight, the Barron Art Center offers a variety of programs to the public free of charge. Recently, the building was made disabled accessible so now everyone can enjoy Poets Wednesday, musical performances, art exhibits and special exhibitions such as the annual model train display. The Barron Art Center provides something of interest to all community members. Gallery hours are Mon-Fri 11:00am-4:00pm, Sat 2:00pm-4:00pm, Sun 2:00pm-4:00pm, closed Holidays.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Maria Mazziotti Gillan at Georgian Court

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the Founder and the Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ She is also a Professor and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University-State University of New York. She has published eight books of poetry, including The Weather of Old Seasons(Cross-Cultural Communications, 1988), Where I Come From(1995) and Things My Mother Told Me, and Italian Women in Black Dresses(Guernica,2002). She is co-editor with her daughter Jennifer of three anthologies published by Penguin/Putnam: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing up Ethnic in America. She also has co-edited with her daughter Jennifer Gillan and Edvige Giunta, Italian American Writers on New Jersey (Rutgers University Press).She is the editor of the award-winning Paterson Literary Review. Her new book, All That Lies Between Us, was published in 2007 by Guernica Editions. Marie, along with Laura Boss, co-hosts the annual Poetry Intensive Weekend in Mendham, where about 40 poets gather to write poetry. In the fall, she also hosts Saturday Morning Poetry Workhops/Readings at the Hamilton Club in Paterson and she is editor -in charge of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest held every April.

Maria is a popular reader throughout New Jersey. Recently she read at Georgian Court College. The reading was attended by about 50 people, including students, faculty, and outside poetry fans.

Maria waiting for the reading to begin.

The following poem is one Maria selected to read at Georgian Court University.

Love Poem To My Husband of Thirty-One Years

I watch you walk up our front path,
the entire right side of your body,
stiff and unbending, your leg,
dragging on the ground,
your arm not moving.
Six different times you ask me
the date of our daughter's wedding,
seem surprised each time,
forget who called, though you can name
obscure desert animals,
and every detail of events
that took place in 3 B.C.
You complain now of pain
in your muscles, of swimming at the Y
where a 76 year old man tells you
you swim too slowly.
I imagine a world in which
you cannot move.
Most days, I force myself to look
only into the past;
remember you, singing
and playing your guitar: "Black,
black is the color of my true love's hair,"
you sang, and each time you came into a room
how my love for you caught in my throat,
how handsome you were, how strong
and muscular, how the sun
lit your blond hair.
Now I pretend not to notice
the trouble you have buttoning
your shirt, and yes, I am terrified
and no, I cannot tell you.
The future is a murky lake.
I am afraid of the monsters
who wait just below its surface.
Even in our mahogany bed, I am not safe.
Each day, I swim toward
everything I didn't want to know.

—Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Friday, May 9, 2008

Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is located on the former George Jay Gould Estate in Lakewood, New Jersey. Built in 1896 by the son of railroad magnate Jay Gould, construction on the estate began ten years after George Gould married the lovely young actress, Edith Kingdon. A second residence for the Goulds, Georgian Court provided recreation, relaxation and the healthy pine air for the Goulds and their six children. Gould engaged the famous New York architect, Bruce Price, to transform his newly purchased property into a lavish country estate. He had in mind something on the order of the great estates in England and Scotland, the comforts of which he had often enjoyed.

Price drew upon his extensive experience in designing country homes. The two men soon agreed upon the style of an English estate of the Georgian period. Price designed three of the gardens that remain on campus today-the Italian Garden, the Sunken Garden and he Formal Garden, while Takeo Shiota designed the peaceful Japenese Garden. After George Gould's death, his heirs sold the estate to the Sisters of Mercy. On February 4, 1985, Georgian Court University was designated a National Historic Landmark. The University often hosts poetry readings and a frequent reader is Robert Pinsky, former US Poet Laureate, who was born and raised in nearby Long Branch.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sand Castles

Building a Sand Castle

My daughter, laden with plastic pails,
leads her brother to water’s edge.
She fills her buckets with wet sand,

teaches him to use star and fish molds.
She decorates a turret with mussel shells

Red M & M's become his stepping stones.
They step back, laugh delightedly at what they see.

Unaware of kids gathering to watch
they continue their journey
exploring, creating.
oblivious to thunder rumbling in distant skies.

- Gloria Rovder Healy

Poets of New Jersey Editors

Frank Finale, Sander Zulauf, Emanuel Di Pasquale

Sitting are Frank Finale, Gloria Healy and Charles Johnson.

Standing are Matthew Spano, Emanuel di Pasquale, Daniel Zimmerman.

Reading "Poets of New Jersey " in rear is Gloria's husband, Ed

Monday, April 28, 2008


The Power and The Glory

On the first day of school,
after we recited the “Our Father”,
you came to my desk,
pressed the rubber tip of your crutch
on my chest, told me to stand,
repeat the prayer for the class.

I knotted the hem of my skirt as I
tried to pronounce each word correctly.
Did she forget anything, children?
Billy Slezak jumped out of his seat
reciting words I’d never heard…
For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory. Ahmen

I didn’t forget, Miss Norman
I don’t say it that way.
We say it that way, don’t we Billy?
And we don’t have to go to Sunday school
to learn to say Ahmen, do we?
Did you hear her say Aymen?
Billy snickered, Yes, Miss Norman.

I hated Billy-he could recite times tables
from memory, spell words like toilet backwards.
After school, he’d wash blackboards, clap erasers
or put a new rubber tip on your crutch.

At Christmas, you took the class to your house
to see your aquariums, your tropical fish.
You looked like the pope sitting in your red
velvet chair with the class at your feet-except Billy.
His chair was in front of the aquarium.

Don’t let Gloria near my fish, Billy.
She always eats fish on Friday.

I didn’t eat your fish and I didn’t eat
the sweet sugar cookies you served either.
I wrapped them in a red linen napkin
took them home and put them
in my dresser drawer with a sweater
that didn’t fit anymore.

When the cookies turned to crumbs
I threw them in the garbage but
saved the fancy linen napkin.

Years later, my house burned down
and your napkin, with the letter
“N” embroidered in one corner,
went up in smoke.

Yet, no matter how hard I try to slam
the door on you and Billy Slezak
it’s pried open with that hard rubber tip
on the end of your crutch.

Gloria Rovder Healy
!Published in The Poets of New Jersey:
From Colonial to Contemporary Times)

The Ten Dollar Bill

Girls, from towns named Havre de Grace,
were chauffered in cadillacs.
Fathers, in vested suits, officed on Capitol Hill.
Mothers, brimming from leghorn hats,
arrived in magnolia chiffon.

I was from a small Jersey town where
grandmother walked to Eisner's factory
to sew linings in army overcoats.
Tuesdays, mom went to firehouse rummage sales
seeking bargains she'd make into Cassini look‑a‑likes.
Dad, in khaki pants, flannel shirts, black work shoes,
hauled Duncan Phyfe furniture from one southern
mansion to another, then another.

Detouring on his way to Charleston,
he parked his mustard yellow van with
pistachioed palm trees under my dorm window.
I cringed when the loudspeaker bellowed,
Your father's here, Miss...
The class queen, passing me on the down staircase,
yelled, Whose gaudy truck is taking up half of
O street?
My reply: How would I know?

Dad's eyes flowed when he saw my Georgetown cap.
Pidge, you look like a pro. Without a hello, I asked,
Why didn't you leave the van at the truck stop?
Don't worry, he replied, it'll disappear before your
friends see it.

Pressing a ten dollar bill in my fist he kissed me goodbye.
I ran to my room shared with a Senator's daughter.
My father, his gaudy truck headed south on US 1.

Gloria Rovder Healy

Published in The Connecticut Review

Life in the Garden

Today I weeded my long neglected garden
Handful by handful, I pulled choking wild onions
from the Moonbeam Coreopsis.

As I yanked dandelions and crippling crab grass
from the roots of purple coneflowers, I’m startled
by a brown mouse who ignores me and stares
over my shoulder to the driveway.
I turn to see her baby on its back flailing
its tiny legs unable to right itself.
I pick it up, toss it in the wheelbarrow
with discarded chicory and cockleburr.
She scurries to the safe forsythia.

I deadhead the peonies and hear a soft squeal
The mouse is back- still staring at the driveway.
I find her baby in the wheel barrow’s
jumble of white clover and milkweed.
Its legs are limp.
I pick up the still body on the end of my trowel
and bury it in the shade of the weeping cherry tree.

An earthworm inches across my stained fingers –
black with soil that won’t easily wash away.

Gloria Rovder Healy

Published in the Edison Literary Review

Grandma and Her Button Jar

The tallest glass jar I'd ever seen
sat near a window in Gran's sewing room.
filled with buttons from family old clothes...
brass buttons, glass buttons, lace buttons;
buttons guised as roses, apples and angels.

Gran would often put buttons in tiny
tin cans with palm trees on their sides.
Holding them above her head, she'd spin around
the kitchen, shaking the cans like spanish castinets,
The best times came when she'd select her
favorite button and tell its story.

Tiny white lace ones from the sleeve of her
wedding gown reminded her of the secret ceremony...
secret because she was Irish Catholic;
her bridegroom, English Protestant.
In the old country, they were forbidden to marry.

When she held the shiny brass button from
Grandpop's blue striped overalls, she recalled
riding the famous Blue Comet while Grandpa
engineered it up and down Jersey tracks.

Tears welled when she touched
the white linen button from her sister Kate's
first communion dress, made from the family's
Sunday dinner tablecloth.

Gran was quiet when she clutched the army button
from her young brother Tom's World War I uniform.
He didn't come home.

When Gran turned 75 she could still remember
stories about her beautiful buttons but
often forgot her name, where she lived,
when she was born or who was president.
Momma said Gran was mental so she admitted her
to the state hospital... a place neighbors whispered about,
fearing it would someday be their fate too.

I went to visit her, found her tied to a rocking chair
singing hymns about Blessed Virgin Mary..
She grabbed my hand, pleading for her button jar
After searching her sewing room, the attic, the cellar,
I asked momma if she knew where it was.

Momma answered,
I got rid of it. Sold it for pennies.
I should have thrown it away.
That old thing wasn't worth anything.

Gloria Rovder Healy
(Previously Published in the Paterson Literary Review)


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Last Thursday Poetry Reading

Last Thursday Poetry Series
May 24, 2008
7:00 p.m.
Wes Czyzewski
Gina Larkin
JC Todd
Middletown Public Library
55 New Monmouth Rd
open mic
book sales and signings

Monday, April 14, 2008

Last Thursday Poetry Series

Middletown Township, the home of Connie Chung, Jon Bon Jovi, Ann McNeil, the former Monmouth County Poet Laureate and the gorgeous Middletown Library, has recently added to its “proud” list, the monthly “Last Thursday Poetry Series”.
The series, created when the Library’s Program Chair, Kathleen Ligon and Shrewsbury poet, Gloria Rovder Healy, joined forces and introduced this series in 2007. Opening the series were poets published in the best selling anthology, The Poets of New Jersey: From Colonial to Contemporary Times, Gloria, as emcee, introduced poet/editor Frank Finale from Bayville, Matawan’s Bob McKenty and Bloomfield’s Madeline Tiger. How kind this trio was to launch this series with no reading fee. All we could hope for were book sales and the audience came through!
About 20 poetry fans attended that first night and now the audience has grown to 35 or more and on the last Thursday of every month you can not only hear the voices of poets from all over New Jersey but you can also hear applause, cheers, laughter and standing ovations. New Jersey poets are being joined by poets from New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut whom we warmly welcome.
The programs are diverse. Some nights, the poets take us down memory lane –some nights they will bring tears and many evenings are hilarious.
Everything from Black History in January to Irish poets and poetry in March and in April - National Poetry Month are celebrated. At each event, there is an open reading where all poets who attend may read their poetry and featured poets not only do a book signing but now receive a reading fee.
It’s been Gloria Healy’s mission to bring poets and poetry to Monmouth County. T’was once rumored there was no poetry south of the Edison Bridge—just beach bums…we still have bright beach bums but we also have fantastic poets including Pushcart Prize nominees and yes, even a Pulitzer Prize nominee, sharing their words with poetry lovers…and beach buns too.
If you’re driving down Rt 35 near New Monmouth Road some Thursday evening and hear rounds of applause…remember there‘s a poetry reading going on...come and join this celebration of words.
We’ll be hosting these poetry readings on the last Thursday of each month through December, 2009 and we sincerely thank all participating poets …without you we would be sitting on a beach reading your work instead of listening to you read.
How great that is!
Check my Upcoming Events for specific information about who's reading when.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Where I Come From

T'is rumored there are few poets south of the Edison Bridge...just clam diggers. Admittedly, we Monmouth County poets body surf and tan in the sun, but we also write poetry - often on the beach. Our poet hstory goes back to Philip Freneau, who wrote "The Battle of Monmouth" in the 1700's. You can visit Philip Freneau's grave im Matawan or visit Dorothy Parker's house in West End or Stephen Crane's in Asbury Park. Walt Whitman vacationsd in Ocean Grove and wrote "Fancies of the Navesink" sitting where Twin Lights Lighthouse is now. Today we have a Pulitzer Prize nominee living in Neptune. US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky was born and raised in Long Branch. We also claim fine contemporary poets like John Baldwin, Virginia Bryan, Dr.Carl Calendar, Emanuel di Pasquale, Nancy Drake, Frank Finale, Gladys Goldberg, Gilda Kreuter, Colleen Lineberry, Bob McKenty, Laura McCullough, Paula Newcomer, Alissa Pecora, Thomas Reiter, Beverly Rosenblum, Lorraine Stone, Michael Thomas, Dr.Christine Redman-Waldeyer and me!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Welcome to Sand Castles

Perhaps your visit will remind you of the days you built sand castles on a beach only to have them washed away by a white-capped wave. That won't happen here--you can build new sand castles or fondly remember old ones--maybe you'll even write a poem about sand castles. I live near the Atlantic Ocean so I walk along the beach every day collecting shells, sand dollars and counting swashmarks at water's edge. If I don't find a treasure as I stroll the beach, I always find a poem. Come walk with me and perhaps you'll find a treasure or a poem at water's edge too.

The Sandcastle

From the beach its sandy walls rise,
Its turrents reach up to touch the skies.
A tiny moat dissolves the keep.
Its pavers are strong,
though only two inches deep.
Tiny footprints embedded in the sand,
Where once a child there did stand.
Its grace and beauty a short time will last,
Before the sea washes it into the past.
- Author Unknown

Who am I?

My mom sent me to dancing school for years hoping I'd be Shirley didn't happen! My Dad sent me to Georgetown University's School of Nursing hoping I'd be a Florence Nightingale and I was until I discovered Edna St Vincent Millay's, Lips I've Kissed... I knew immediatly I wanted to write poetry. So back to school I went to study Creative Writing with Dr.Carl Calendar at Brookdale Community Colledge. I now am a poet whose poems have appeared in Animus, Connecticut Review, Edison Literary Review, Exit 13, Journal of New Jersey Poets, LIPS, Paterson Literary Review, Spindrift, The Poets of New Jersey:From Colonial to Contemporary Times. A book of my own poetry is titled, "Out Of My Mind" which, by the way, includes poems about Shirley Temple and Florence Nightingale! I've been nominated for the Pushcart Award and been a nine time finalist in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest I was a reader at Diane Lockward's Girl Talk and how excited I was when the poets published in The Poets of New Jersey:From Colonial to Contemporary Times read at the Dodge Poetry Festival. I was co-host and coordinator of both the Long Branch and Walt Whitman Poetry Festivals and poetry readings at Red Bank and Middletown Libraries. It's been an exciting journey!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Ed

We've said goodbye to many wonderful people in 2008...Paul Newman, Tim Russert, George Carlin and Edward Healy. Perhaps Ed wasn't as glib as Tim Russert, handsome as Paul Newman nor as funny as Gearge Carlin but he could dance like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly! His collection of traffic tickets confirmed he coud also drive his beloved Lincoln faster than Mario Andretti. Many poets gave him a glorious final his wake and funeral. I want to share a few of these tributes with you..