Locals Included in 'Best New Poets'

Three local poets among 50 selected nationally will be at Words in Maplewood on Thursday, March 15.


Best New Poets 2011 -- a collection of the best 50 poems by emerging writers that were published in the last calendar year -- includes three poets with local connections: Stephen Neal Weiss (South Orange), Claudia Cortese (Montclair) and Kimberly Grey (originally from Upper Saddle River).

To celebrate the book’s release, these three poets will be reading at in Maplewood at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 15. The event is free and open to the public.

Best New Poets is a collection of the best 50 poems by emerging writers, selected by poet D.A. Powell and published annually. It showcases the work of poets selected from nominations made by literary magazines and writing programs, as well as an open competition.

In his introduction, Powell describes the collection as, “a glimpse at today: the energy, openness and chutzpah of the new. Fifty poets whose work reflects the vitality and imagination of American poetry.”

“It’s a thrill to be selected for the anthology and to be included with these extremely talented poets” says Weiss. “I’m looking forward to reading at Words, my local bookstore and a home for great literature.”

Stephen Neal Weiss lives in South Orange, NJ. A former editor of the Yale Literary Magazine, his poems have appeared in 42Opus, Best New Poets 2011, Columbia Poetry Review and NewYorker.com. His prose has appeared in BlackBook, Gourmet, NYMag.com, Out and Salon.com. He is the co-author, with his wife Casey Kait, of Digital Hustlers: Living Large and Falling Hard in Silicon Alley (HarperCollins). He has taught creative writing at NYU.

Claudia Cortese lives in Montclair, NJ, and teaches at Montclair State University and Bloomfield College. Her poems have appeared in numerous print publications, including Best New Poets 2011, Crazyhorse and Rattle. Recent poems are also forthcoming online at Front Porch Journal and DIAGRAM. Cortese just completed her first book of poetry, entitled Cut a Hole and Pull You Through, which explores trauma, myth, fairy tales and girlhood.

Kimberly Grey grew up in Upper Saddle River, NJ. Her poetry has appeared or will appear in The Southern Review, The Boston Review, Colorado Review, Guernica, Columbia: A Journal of Arts and Literature, TriQuarterly, Best New Poets 2011, and elsewhere. Her first book manuscript The Opposite of Robot is Light has been a finalist or semi-finalist for The Cleveland State University First Book Prize, The Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize, The Akron Poetry Prize, and The Tupelo First / Second Book Award.

Weiss, Cortese and Grey will be at Words in Maplewood on Thursday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free to the public.


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