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