Other NJ News

Paterson's Poet Laureate

62e3c930ed68d7412a8a_talena.jpeg
62e3c930ed68d7412a8a_talena.jpeg

PATERSON, NJ- The City of Paterson has given birth to famous athletes, business leaders, actors, and now, a poet laureate.

Born and raised in Paterson, Talena Lachelle Queen told TAPinto Paterson that she has been writing since she was five-years old, and, as she grew older, realized that when it came to pursuing studies and a career in writing, she “didn’t have a choice.” The need to write, or to express herself through written words, has at times been impossible to suppress, Queen said relaying her feeling of being “annoyed” that one of well known works, Brown Girl, came to her at a less than opportune time and “asked her to write it.”

With her first poem published when she was just 14-years old, and extensive studies which include her being conferred a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Poetics from the University of Washington, Queen has used her gift to inspire and teach others. In meeting Queen for this story in the classroom where she teaches Language Arts at Martin Luther King, Jr. School it was easy to see how she has transformed that space into one that, as she said, “empowers kids to express themselves within the structure of an academic setting.”

Sign Up for E-News

According to Wikipedia, the title of poet laureate dates back to the latter stages of the Roman Empire in 1315 and connotes that the person in the position will be expected to compose poems for special occasions. So while many of Queen’s poems have “haunted” her, choosing when and where to come out, she also has extensive experience commissioning poems as she has done for publications and festivals in places far from Paterson, such as Korea and Finland.

Having lived in Seattle for nearly 16 years, Queen exudes a pride in Paterson, and suggested that for a large part of the time she was away she “had a desire to be home.” Though her trips to her hometown were frequent, being away gave her an opportunity to experience life from a different perspective. Her immediate impact on her local community now that she’s back has been great, not just in earning the position of poet laureate, but also in her efforts to bring a love of reading, and through her leadership in the Little Free Library project, access to books for residents at 12 different city parks.

And while the position of poet laureate is a largely ceremonial one, those who know Queen best will not be surprised to read that she has no intentions of doing anything less than the very most possible to make it one that is meaningful to children and adults alike. Viewing it as a “community outreach position,” she is excited that because she is the first person to hold the title she has an opportunity to “make it what it is.”

Already, she has ambitious plans to create an event for Paterson’s youngest students where they can have a space to get on stage and use a microphone, looks forward to visiting young writers in their classrooms, and hopes that she’ll be able to show residents that through writing they can “do something they haven’t done.”

Many of her poems, Queen said, are “intentionally informational,” a tool she believes can also be helpful in bringing knowledge and education to individuals in a unique way. The position also, when seen as a celebration of poetry, shows that “Paterson recognizes that arts and culture are a part of the city,” and can be used to help stimulate economic development.

Artists “love to be together,” Queen offered, and have a tendency to want to share their works, making the position a tool to support tourism, perhaps through the establishment of events that attract writers from outside of Paterson, and through the creation of space for other artists that use a variety of mediums extending beyond poetry.

With the ink on the resolution that named Queen the poet laureate barely even dry, her commitment to the position, and the great potential she has expressed for the impact it can make on a city hungry for leaders seeking to build a more positive future, has already allowed her to achieve one of her goals, to “let them know she’s home.”

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police: Rear End Collision After Two Mimosas Too Many

February 22, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A car accident on Winona Parkway left two Sparta residents injured and another facing driving while intoxicated charges.  On February 18 around 7:49 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Steven Guido went to the scene of the accident along with Sgt. Schomp and Cpl. Antonello, police report.

Lisa Degraw, 55 had run into the back of Mark Iussig, 41 who was stopped at the red light ...

Sparta Police: Traffic Stop Yields Pile of Tickets and Active Warrants

SPARTA, NJ – A Newton woman, pulled over for a broken tail light on her black Kia ended up in custody.  On February 16 around 12:50 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Thomas Herd stopped Meagan Klein, 44, on Route 15, police report.

Herd also found the car’s registration was expired.  The car was not insured and Klein’s license was suspended.  The passenger, ...

First Hand Account: Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

The Prudential Center, Newark

Sparta Education Foundation Night Out with the NJ ...

Giving Back Sports

Carousel_image_2f5911ae032b7193cdd2_girlscout_logo

Tue, February 27, 6:30 PM

Sparta United Methodist Church, Sparta

Girl Scout STEAM Program

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_54f5549c693ec0512950_thedrowsychaperone_flyer

Fri, March 2, 7:00 PM

Wallkill Valley Regional High School, Hamburg

The Drowsy Chaperone

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_563fe88c2c7424a0dce9_newton_rotary

Sat, March 3, 7:00 AM

First United Methodist Church, Newton

Newton Rotary Pancake Breakfast

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_54f5549c693ec0512950_thedrowsychaperone_flyer

Sat, March 3, 7:00 PM

Wallkill Valley Regional High School, Hamburg

The Drowsy Chaperone

Arts & Entertainment

Paterson's Poet Laureate

February 13, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- The City of Paterson has given birth to famous athletes, business leaders, actors, and now, a poet laureate.

Born and raised in Paterson, Talena Lachelle Queen told TAPinto Paterson that she has been writing since she was five-years old, and, as she grew older, realized that when it came to pursuing studies and a career in writing, she “didn’t have a choice.” ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Where Does YOUR School District Rank in Safety?

Family safety remains paramount when it comes to choosing a new home and community in New Jersey, so Team Nest Builder wants to help you know where top local school districts rank.

Niche.com, which specializes in all different types of consumer rankings, provided a list of the safest school districts in the United States and New Jersey. Below find a list of the 200 safest school ...

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling in NJ

Team Nest Builder knows that whether you are buying or selling a New Jersey home it can be quite the adventure, which is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to achieving your ultimate goal. But in this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ...

Does Marriage or Mortgage Come First?

According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2017 at 57% of all buyers. Team Nest Builder knows it's no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more ...

Height during childhood associated with increased stroke risk in adulthood

Researchers in Denmark studied the health records of more than 300,000 people born between 1930 and 1989 and found that those who were shorter than average height between ages 7 and 13 had a greater risk of stroke as adults. The results of this study were published in the February 15, 2018 issue of the journal Stroke.

Summary: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320922.php

Journal ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders February 14 2018 Meeting Video

NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders February 14 2018 Meeting Video 

 

Sparta UMC Thrift Shop Holds Bag Sale

February 22, 2018

The Thrift Shop of the Sparta United Methodist Church, 71 Sparta Avenue, is holding a bag sale from Wednesday, MARCH 14TH through Saturday, MARCH 17TH.  Most items in the shop that can fit in a grocery bag can be purchased for $5 per bag. Shop Hours:  Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  All proceeds support local, national, and global ...