During his 39 years of teaching at County College of Morris (CCM), Professor Sander Zulauf of Byram Township has been influencing young minds with his passion for creative writing.
A well-admired New Jersey poet, Zulauf recently was notified he has won second prize in the 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award contest for his poem Coming Home from My Forty-fifth High School Reunion. In addition to that award, Zulauf’s poem January 1961 received honorable mention in the 2010 Allen Ginsberg Poetry contest.
On Saturday, March 10, The Poetry Center will hold an awards ceremony for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize winners at the Old Hamilton Club in Paterson. The poems of the first place and second place winners will be published in the Paterson Literary Review. Zulauf’s second place is being shared with Mark Hillringhouse. The Allen Ginsberg Poetry contest is an annual award given by the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College with a $1,000 prize for first place and a $200 prize for second place.
Last September, Zulauf was selected as an Honored Poet for the Seventh Biennial Warren County Poetry Festival in recognition of his lifetime of work as a New Jersey poet.
Zulauf attended Gettysburg College where he began his career in creative writing and earned his bachelor’s degree. There he edited the college literary and fine arts publication, the Mercury. Later he went on to attend Indiana University, where he further honed his skills while studying with Samuel Yellen and Philip Appleman, and earned his master’s degree.
Poets such as Cummings, Richard Wilbur, Dickinson and Sandburg kindled Zulauf’s desire to write poetry, he says. He was drawn to write like these pioneers and later began to follow contemporary poets such as James Wright, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.
Zulauf has been teaching poetry, creative writing and literature at CCM since 1973. Today at CCM, he teaches English Composition I and II, Introduction to Poetry and edits the Journal of New Jersey Poets. His poems have appeared in dozens of national publications including the New York Times. He is the author of three books of poetry, Succasunna New Jersey, Living Waters and Where Time Goes. He has been a poet with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation since 1987 and was named the first Poet Laureate of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark in 1999.