It was nice to see the Sunday New York Times feature some New Jersey poets recently. In a piece called "Selected Works by New Jersey Poets" they had poems by some of my neighbors and friends, so I need to give it a little extra promotion here.
The featured poets are Joe Weil, BJ Ward, George Witte, Madeline Tiger, Sander Zulauf and David Tucker.
In BJ's poem, "New Jersey," he says that
Whenever friends visit from far away —Follow link to read the poem and find out what amazes them
San Francisco or Jamaica —
what amazes them about my state
more than the long couch of the shore
looking at the constant television of the ocean
or the cloverleaf exit ramps swirling out
like ribbons about to be tightened
on the gift of traffic congestion —
what amazes them are the...
And Joe Weil confesses reveals what he is waiting for... (interesting that they add hyperlinks to some of the poems)
What I’m waiting for is Susan Sarandon.
She can bring Tim Robbins if she wants to;
I liked him in
"The Shaw-Shank Redemption."
He was good in "Bull Durham."
Susan Sarandon certainly thought so,
but I’d prefer her alone.
(Sarandon is a Jersey girl.)
Joe is Elizabeth, NJ through & through and is, as described by The New York Times, "working-class, irreverent, modest, but open to the world and filled with a wealth of possibilities."
There's another article "Poetry - Region’s Poets Convey a Sense of Place" on poetry and poets from the region that includes Billy Collins, Patricia Smith and Marc J. Straus on the Westchester team. Starting for Long Island are Grace Schulman, Julie Sheehan, Sandy McIntosh and Barbara Novack, and the away team from Connecticut has Vivian Shipley, Ravi Shankar and Susan Kinsolving.
Poetry by BJ Ward
Joe Weil - Painting The Christmas Trees
Madeline Tiger - Birds of Sorrow and Joy: New and Selected Poems 1970-2000
George Witte - The Apparitioners
The Poets of New Jersey - From Colonial to Contemporary (edited by Emanuel di Pasquale, Frank Finale and Sander Zulauf
David Tucker - Late for Work