Watershed Literary Events Poetry Reading June 2

June 2


Watershed Literary Events presents another reading at the Skate House by poets Arthur Russell and Jennifer Poteet. The event takes place on Sunday, June 2 at 3 pm, and is sponsored by the town’s Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Meadowland Park Conservancy. In addition to reading from their work, the authors will speak about their experiences publishing chapbooks, a shorter version of a poetry book that offers greater focus and intimacy than a full-length collection. All Watershed events are free and open to the public.

Jennifer Poteet lives in Montclair, New Jersey, and works as a fundraiser for public radio. She is the author of two chapbooks, Sleepwalking Home (Dancing Girl Press, 2017) and Emily Dickinson’s Selfie (Bottlecap Press, 2023.) Of this latest, Matthew Thorburn writes, “In Jennifer Poteet’s quirky, surprising poems, poets of the past get caught up in all the worry and fuss of modern life—and stumble their way through it with as much difficulty as we do. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes melancholy, but always moving.” Poteet is a Pushcart Prize and Nina Riggs Award nominee. Her full-length collection What Comes Back was a finalist for the inaugural Laura Boss Narrative Poetry Award. Jennifer’s poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Paterson Literary Review, Swwim, The Night Heron Barks, and elsewhere.

Arthur Russell won the 2023 Rattle Chapbook Prize for his collection At the Car Wash. As Jason Koo writes, “Russell sings of his father’s Hollywood Car Wash on Coney Island Avenue as if it were something out of Dante’s Divine Comedy: part hell, part purgatory and even, strangely, part paradise…. There is a timeless singularity to his poems of old South Brooklyn and working-class life that gives them the feel of classics from a bygone era.” Russell is also the winner of the 2023 Fractured Lit Flash Fiction Prize. His poems and stories have appeared in Copper Nickel and Glimmer Train, among other publications. He is one of the directors of the Red Wheelbarrow Poets of Rutherford, New Jersey, where he co-leads the weekly workshop, co-hosts the monthly reading series, and co-edits the annual journal. He lives in Nutley.

Now in its sixth year of programming, Watershed Literary Events promotes the work of a talented and diverse array of writers with a New Jersey connection. For more information, contact Blake Smith at bsmith@southorange.org.