West Caldwell Poetry Festival

Sunday, May 18, 2014

12:45 - 5:00 PM

West Caldwell Public Library

30 Clinton Rd.

West Caldwell, NJ 07006


Six Featured Poets

Teresa Carson is the associate publisher at CavanKerry Press and the assistant director of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. She holds an MFA in Poetry and an MFA in Theatre, both from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of Elegy for the Floater (2008), The Congress of Human Oddities (2012), and most recently My Crooked House.


Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the author of several poetry collections, most recently The Silence in an Empty House (NYQ Books, 2013), and a craft book, Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories. She is the founder and 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 Binghamton Center for Writers and professor of poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY. 



Priscilla Orr is the author of Jugglers & Tides and Losing the Horizon from Hannacroix Creek Books, is a recipient of a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Her poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Worcester Review, and other journals. She is a poet for the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Program and is the founding Director of the Betty June Silconas Poetry Center. She is also the founding editor of The Stillwater Review. A Professor of English at Sussex County Community College, she teaches literature and writing.


BJ Ward is the author of Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013 (North Atlantic Books) and three earlier collections. His poems have been published in Poetry, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts. His poem, “For the Children of the World Trade Center Victims,” has been cast in bronze and acquired as part of the permanent collection at Grounds for Sculpture. He co-directs the Creative Writing degree program at Warren County Community College.

Gary J. Whitehead is the author of A Glossary of Chickens, published in 2013 by Princeton University Press. He is also the author of two earlier books and two chapbooks. His awards include a NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and the PEN Northwest Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency Award. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and has been featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac. He teaches English at Tenafly High School in NJ and lives in New York's Hudson Valley.


Michael T. Young is the author of four poetry collections, most recently The Beautiful Moment of Being Lost, published by Poets Wear Prada Press. His other collections include Transcriptions of Daylight, Because the Wind Has Questions, and Living in the Counterpoint. He received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Chaffin Poetry Award. His work has appeared in numerous journals including Fogged Clarity, Louisville Review, Off the Coast, and The Potomac Review.

Publishers’ Panel

Anna Evans

Barefoot Muse Press

Joan Cusack Handler

CavanKerry Press

Roxanne Hoffman

Poets Wear Prada Press

Ellen Foos

Ragged Sky Press

Our publishers will discuss such topics as what they look for in a manuscript,

manuscript preparation, what makes a manuscript publishable,

common mistakes made in submissions,

differences between a chapbook and a book, and book contests.

As time allows, they will address questions from the audience.

The Creative Process

Our six featured poets will discuss how they go about writing poems.

Where do they find ideas, especially when they’re out of ideas? What role does inspiration play?

What interferes with their writing? What promotes it?

The poets will send us home with some writing tips and ideas for our own new poems.



Christine Redman-Waldeyer

Edison Literary Review

Gina Larkin

Exit 13

Tom Plante

Journal of New Jersey Poets

Matthew Ayers


Laura Boss

Paterson Literary Review

Maria Mazziotti Gillan

The Raintown Review

Anna Evans

The Stillwater Review

Priscilla Orr


     Schedule of Readings (Please arrive on time to the events.)

     12:45-12:55—Welcome to the Festival

     1:00-1:45—Poets with New Books Reading Session

              Priscilla Orr / Losing the Horizon

              Gary J. Whitehead / A Glossary of Chickens

              Michael T. Young / The Beautiful Moment of Being Lost

     (20 minute break)

     2:05-2:45—Publishers’ Panel

               Anna Evans / Barefoot Muse Press

                           Joan Cusack Handler / CavanKerry Press

               Roxanne Hoffman / Poets Wear Prada Press

                           Ellen Foos / Ragged Sky Press

     (20 minute break)

     3:05-3:45—Poets with New Books Reading Session

               Teresa Carson / My Crooked House

               Maria Mazziotti Gillan / The Silence in an Empty House

               BJ Ward / Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013

     (20 minute break)

     4:05-4:45—Poets on the Creative Process

               Our six featured poets will gather for this conversation.

     During the breaks, please browse among the journals in the Reference Room.

     The six books by the featured poets will be for sale at the front desk throughout the day.

     Poets will be available to sign books throughout the day and following the final session.

email Diane for information


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