Honoree Dr. Judith Rowe Michaels will Read “Spring Rain” on April 21 – Posted 4/8/2015

On Tuesday, April 21, County College of Morris (CCM) will host a reception to celebrate the publication of the 2015 issue of the “Journal of New Jersey Poets” and honor this year’s New Jersey Poets Prize recipient, Dr. Judith Rowe Michaels.

The event, featuring a reading, book signing and reception, is free and open to the public. It begins at 7 p.m. in the Davidson Rooms of the Student Community Center on the college’s Randolph campus, 214 Center Grove Road.

The “Journal of New Jersey Poets,” the only annual compendium of poetry by authors who were born, raised or have an association with the state, began at Fairleigh Dickinson University, which published the first issue in 1975. CCM has been home to the journal since 1990, and 2015 will mark the sixth year of the New Jersey Poets Prize.

Michaels, this year’s winner, will read her winning poem “Spring Rain.” She is a poet in residence and English teacher at Princeton Day School, as well as a poet in the schools for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Michaels has written two collections of poems, as well as two books on teaching poetry and writing. She has been awarded three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Arts Council.

Honorable Mention winners this year are Ruth Moon Kempher for “Now is Yesterday, Already” and Timothy Walsh for “The Watchmaker’s Retirement.”

Other distinguished poets attending will include John Bargowski, Laurie Byro, Linda Cronin, Margaret Del Guercio, Gail Fishman Gerwin, Lois Marie Harrod, Joy Pierce Mathews, Wanda Praisner, Marilyn Raff, Nancy Scott, Steve Smith, Chuck Tripi and last year’s prize winner, Tina Kelley.

This year marks the 41st anniversary of the journal’s publication. Poets who have read at CCM include such national figures as Allen Ginsberg, James Wright, Stephen Dobyns, Ishmael Reed and the United States Consultants in Poetry/U.S. Poets Laureate William Stafford, Howard Nemerov, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, Donald Hall and Philip Levine.

“We are extremely proud to feature such a diverse and powerful selection of poetry in this year’s issue,” said CCM Professor Sander Zulauf, editor emeritus of the “Journal of New Jersey Poets.” “It’s wonderful to honor Dr. Judith Rowe Michaels with this year’s Poets Prize. Not only is she an amazing poet, but she is an incredible ambassador and teacher of the craft.”

For more information about the event call 973-328-5471 or email szulauf@ccm.edu.

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Photo: Dr. Judith Rowe Michaels, the winner of this year’s New Jersey Poets Prize. Michaels will be honored and will read her award-winning poem “Spring Rain” at the “Journal of New Jersey Poets” publication reception at County College of Morris on Tuesday, April 21.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Judith Rowe Michaels