PHOTO: Poet and publisher Gregg Glory and former Long Branch Free Public Library director Ingrid Bruck were among the 30 writers who shared their experiences and impressions of Hurricane Sandy, during an October 28 event marking the publication of the new anthology “Howl of Sorrow.”
LONG BRANCH, NJ — Outside it was a dark and gently stormy night; nothing at all like the unprecedented fury that a stranger named Sandy visited upon the Jersey Shore in late October of 2012 — but for a couple of hours on October 28, it was a reminder of the treasure that is a roof over one’s head, and of the bonding powers of shared experience and community.
The scene was the council chambers of Long Branch City Hall, and the occasion was one of remembrance and celebration, as the Long Branch Arts Council marked the impending third anniversary of the superstorm’s landfall with a book launch for the newly released anthology “HOWL OF SORROW: A Collection of Poetry Inspired by Hurricane Sandy.” The culmination of the LBAC’s Poetic Voices project, the book assembles the words of more than 40 storm survivors from New Jersey and the region beyond, in a volume edited by poet and LBAC president Gabor Barabas with Arts Council board member Carl Hoffman. Nita Congress and Stephen Caporaletti designed the independently published collection, which also features original artwork and photographs by Shore area contributors.
PHOTO: Long Branch Arts Council president Gabor Barabas hosted a group reading by 30 published poets and first-time writers, during an October 28 event marking the publication of the new anthology “Howl of Sorrow: A Collection of Poetry Inspired by Hurricane Sandy.”
Some 30 of the book’s participating poets took the podium at the Wednesday evening event, representing a cross-section of residents that ranged from high school students to senior retirees, and from published poets, playwrights and professors to those who were sharing their words in public for the first time. The subjects included themes of grief for the loss of cherished homes and memories; of awe-struck fear in the face of nature’s power; of anger over concerns unheeded, gratitude to first responders, and even the crushing boredom and isolation of the storm’s cold dark aftermath. Highlights included award winning poet-publisher Gregg Glory’s “Come In, Come In,” 17 year old Moorea Cioppa’s diary of displacement “Days,” and meditations on things gone missing by Patricia Florio (“My Mother’s Green Bench”), Colleen King (“I Broke One of Your Beer Glasses”) and John Smith (“Brass Ring”). Former Long Branch Free Public Library director Ingrid Bruck capped the program with “First Anniversary of Sandy,” the poem that furnished “Howl of Sorrow” with its title.
Copies of the new book were offered for purchase at the event, and will soon be available via Amazon.com and other online outlets, as well as at select Monmouth County bookstores. For more information on “Howl of Sorrow” and the Poetic Voices project, contact the Long Branch Arts Council at [email protected]