Monday, January 24, 2011

Penning Our Pasts: Narrative Poetry Workshop

Award-winning poet Gail Fishman Gerwin will discuss narrative poetry, its characteristics and contents in a narrative poetry workshop on Tuesday, February 8 at 10:00 am at Bernardsville Public Library. There will be plenty of time for reading out loud, discussion, prompting, writing, and sharing.

Ms. Gerwin will begin the workshop by reading narrative poetry of her own and by other poets as well. She will then present the concept of narrative poetry, its characteristics, contents. Once the definition of such poetry has been discussed and understood, she will give prompts for writing and allow time for participants to create personal narratives and then share them with the group if they wish. There will be a handout with narrative poetry samples and resources for blogs and workshops.

Gail Fishman Gerwin is a Paterson, New Jersey native and now lives in Morristown. She received her AB from Goucher College and, thirty years later, her MA from New York University’s Gallatin School. A former educator, in 1984 she founded inedit, a freelance writing/editing firm based in Morristown. She is author of Bella’s Family, a two-act play about a Jewish immigrant family in the early 20th century; Dropping Names, a one-act play; and Women in Motion, a monologue collection. Her fiction, essays, and journalistic features appear in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines. She currently is working on her second poetry collection.

Ms. Gerwin’s memoir, Sugar and Sand (Full Court Press), earned finalist designation for the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize. The book culminates a three-year exploration into her own past, with links to the previous generations. Ms. Gerwin earned honorable mention in the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards competitions, and her poems appear in Calyx, Paterson Literary Review, Edison Literary Review, Cutthroat Journal and Smith College Poetry Center online, Lips, Caduceus, U.S. 1 Worksheets, Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, and “I Find My Aunt Frieda in Sepia,” about an aunt lost to the Holocaust, appears in The American Voice in Poetry: The Legacy of Williams, Whitman, and Ginsberg. She presents readings and workshops in varied venues.

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up. [February 15 has been scheduled for a snow date in case of inclement weather on February 8.]

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