Ellis Island Muse

Tewksbury poet Sondra Gash, whose collection Silk Elegy (CavanKerry Press, 2002) honors her immigrant relatives and their connection to Paterson’s silk industry, will lead a creative writing workshop on the 13th for 30 middle- and high-school language arts teachers during the second annual Ellis Island Institute Summer Teachers’ Seminar.

The poet’s father, the late Sol Stetin, passed through Ellis Island as a child in 1920. Working at first in dye shops, he eventually became president of the Textile Workers Union of America. “I hope to promote understanding of the immigrant experience and contributions to our country’s cultural and political landscape,” says Gash, the 1988 winner of Passaic County Community College’s prestigious Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. “We belong to a nation of courageous newcomers and share a great heritage. Writing can build pride and tolerance and awareness of one’s place in this larger historical framework.”

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