LONG BRANCH — Hurricane Sandy did more than wreak unprecedented devastation across the most densely populated region in the United States. It changed countless lives in significant ways, and for many of us changed the way we look at and think about the place we call home.

No matter who you are, or what community you live in, you have a story to tell — and the Long Branch Arts Council wants to listen to your voice, as part of a project called Poetic Voices.

Now through February 15, the LBAC and its sponsoring partners are seeking submissions from New Jersey poets of all ages, with the accepted pieces to be published in a forthcoming anthology entitled “Poetic Voices in Response to Hurricane Sandy.”

 

The subject is Sandy — the fury of the superstorm; the long, cold, dark days and nights in its wake; the continuing process of recovery, restoration and moving forward. The finished anthology will be published in book form and distributed to libraries, and poets will have the opportunity to perform their works for the public at various locations in Long Branch, NJ during the spring of 2014.

All that a poet needs to be considered for inclusion in “Poetic Voices” is a story — a personal experience or impression that focuses on the events of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. Entrants are being sought from storm-affected areas of Monmouth and Ocean counties, or from any other community in New Jersey. Writing experience or previous publication is not required.

Interested entrants can submit up to three poems as email attachments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (be sure to put “Poetic Voices” in the subject line), with a submission deadline of February 15, 2014. Entrants will be notified via email by March 1, 2014 if a submitted poem has been accepted for the anthology, and each included poet will receive a free copy of the published volume.

Serving as project director for Poetic Voices is Robyn Ellenbogen — a published writer, gallery exhibited visual artist, and educator; one whose professional career as a “teaching artist” in regional schools and hospital facilities has seen her work extensively with young people from many different backgrounds (an experience she shares on her Tumblr blog “Intimate Garden”).

Co-sponsors of the Long Branch Arts Council Poetic Voices project include the ArtHelps program of the Monmouth County Arts Council, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the Community Foundation of New Jersey. Additional sponsors include Discover Jersey Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the County of Monmouth.

For additional information, contact LBAC president Gabor Barabas at the email address above.