BJ Ward, the award-winning New Jersey poet, will have the Eastern NJ Release Reading for his new book at the Madison Public Library on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.

Ward is the author of Jackleg Opera; Collected Poems 1990-2013, which is being released in September as part of the IO Poetry Series. His other books are Gravedigger’s Birthday (a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize), 17 Love Poems with No Despair and Landing in New Jersey with Soft Hands.  All are published by North Atlantic Books (Berkeley, CA) and distributed internationally by Random House.

Ward is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for Poetry and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has also been awarded four full fellowships from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to live and work at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  One of his poems, “For the Children of the World Trade Center Victims,” was cast in bronze and acquired for part of the permanent collection at Grounds for Sculpture, an outdoor sculpture museum in Hamilton, NJ.

As an author, Ward’s poetry has been featured on National Public Radio’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” New Jersey Network’s “State of the Arts,” and the website Poetry Daily, as well as in publications such as Poetry, The New York Times, TriQuarterly, Green Mountains Review and many more.  As a teacher, Ward has received the Governor’s Award in Arts Education from state of New Jersey and has been designated Distinguished Teaching Artist of the Year by Playwrights’ Theatre of New Jersey for his work in the New Jersey Writers Project. For three years he served as one of the poetry instructors at the New Jersey Governor’s School for the Arts.  He is an assistant professor at Warren County Community College in the Creative Writing department.