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: Two Injured in Car Versus Motorcycle Accident

July 16, 2018

SPARTA, NJ — An accident on Route 15 with a motorcycle and a car sent two people to the hospital. On July 12 Sparta police responded to the crash at the intersection of Route 15 and Wilson Drive around 6:37 p.m. police report.

According to police, while turning left on to Wilson Drive from Route 15 north, Carmen Emery of Highland Lakes cut in front of Richard Keim on a Harley-Davidson ...

Sparta Fire Trucks Have Adequate Access through New LMCC Gates

SPARTA, NJ — Emergency equipment can access the newly refurbished Sparta gate on West Shore Trail in the Lake Mohawk reservation, according to the Lake Mohawk Country Club Manager John Stanley. At the June 11 Sparta Township meeting, councilman Jerry Murphy raised a concern about the new gate not being sufficiently wide to allow a fire truck to pass through. 

In response to an ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Elizabeth Man Gets DWI

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Elizabeth was stopped for crossing the line on Tomahawk Trail.  Sparta Police Officer Jonathan Poon stopped Eduardo Idiaquez, 45, on July 8, around 7:30 p.m. police said.

He was taken to Sparta Police Department headquarters for processing and breath testing.  Idiaquez was charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to maintain a lane, driving while ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

July 9, 2018

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Chemist Congratulates Sparta High School Chem Olympians

Congratulation to the ladies from Sparta High School who finished first and second in the Chemistry Olympics.

I am very pleased to see women succeeding in chemistry.

Martin Feil,

Newton, NJ
Retired Chemist and Chemistry Teacher

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_7611ce284a8c86d65b64_37d34f9a-c5cd-4fb1-8bf8-b5b7319cb94e

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair

Education

Carousel_image_50e2ca549a0aca1616bd_nj_blood_services

Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_bdb5745746764dec42d1_sparta_historical_society

Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_42776b9cbb4ed47ca5de_paintbrush-pallet-

Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_43e01e4e18a7a89ca0c9_paintbrush-pallet-

Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 13, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Don't Miss Out on this DOUBLE Sparta 4BR OPEN HOUSE Weekend

Team Nest Builder offers not one, but TWO enchanting homes this weekend---185 Milton Road on Saturday, and 28 Waters Edge on Sunday (1-3pm both days.)  Seeking the perfect Sparta home? Make plans today! Want to learn more? Read on!

185 Milton Road: A Stately Sparta 4BR 2.5 Bath on 6+ Beautiful Acres

You’ll fall in love with this gorgeous 4BR, 2.5 Bathroom ...

Hit the Sparta 4th of July Parade and Lake Mohawk Fireworks

It’s time for the skies to explode in beautiful color as crowds “ooh” and “ahh”! Here, Team Nest Builder shares the scoop on the this week’s Lake Mohawk fireworks display and the Sparta 4th of July Parade.  Join in the fun!

Lake Mohawk Country Club Fireworks

Grab your viewing spot early!  Fireworks begin at dusk on Tuesday, July 3rd.

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...

It's Time to Swim, Bike and Run with Pass It Along!

 

 

 

“If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it’s up to you.”  – Dave Scott (Triathlete)

Join us on Saturday, July 28 at 7:00 am at the Lake Mohawk Country Club for the 9th annual Pass It Along Triathlon! ...

The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

 

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders June 27 Meeting

NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders June 27 meeting video.

 

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Encourages Family Fun with Online Fishing Tournament

July 16, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is asking families to cast their lines and reel in some quality time this summer as part of the fourth annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament.

The competition will be held from July 27 to August 5 as a way to encourage families to enjoy a day of fishing, while giving ...