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Reading by 3 Queens Poets Laureates at QC April 14


Maria Terrone
Executive Director of Communications
(718) 997-5591

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593



--Stephen Stepanchev, Hal Sirowtiz and Ishle Yi Park
To Read at Queens College in Celebration of National Poetry Month-

WHAT: The first three Poet Laureates of Queens, Steven Stepanchev, Hal Sirowitz and current Poet Laureate Ishle Yi Park will read from their works at Queens College in celebration of National Poetry Month. Also participating will be Queens College English Professor and poet Nicole R. Cooley, and her poetry students. The event, sponsored by Friends of the Queens College Library, is free and open to the public.
WHEN: Thursday, April 14, 2005, at 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, Queens.
Rosenthal Library, 5th Floor, President’s Conference Room #2
For directions, go to
BACKGROUND: Stephen Stepanchev, 90, served as first Poet Laureate of Queens (1998-2000). Born in Serbia, he emigrated to America in 1922, attended the University of Chicago and earned a doctorate from New York University following service in the U.S. Army. A former Fulbright Professor of American Literature at the University of Copenhagen, Stepanchev was a professor at Queens College until 1985. His newest collection, Beyond the Gate: New and Selected Poems (Orchises Press, 2005), includes eleven new poems that appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry and The New Criterion.

Hal Sirowitz served as the borough’s second Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003. Born in New York City in 1949, he received a BA in English Literature from New York University, an MA in Special Education from Hofstra, and taught Special Education in the New York City public schools for 25 years. Awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a 2003 New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, Sirowitz is also the best-selling translated poet in Norway, where his book, Mother Said, has been adapted for the stage. His most recent book, Father Said, was published in 2004.

The current Poet Laureate, Korean American Ishle Yi Park, was born and raised in Queens. She is the former recipient of a writing grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and her work has been published in over 20 anthologies, including The Beacon Best of 2001 and The Best American Poetry of 2001. Park has worked as Arts-in-Education Director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and writer-in-residence at the Youth Speaks Literary Arts Center in California. From October 1996 to May 2001, she was Associate Editor at the Asian Pacific American Journal, and has taught creative writing in high schools, colleges, prisons, and community centers in New York, Oakland, and San Francisco. Park also has performed her work across the United States, in Cuba and Korea. Her first book, The Temperature of this Water, was published in 2004. She will serve as Poet Laureate until 2006.

The three-year post of Poet Laureate of Queens, an honorary position, serves to encourage poetry writing and reading and other literary pursuits in the country's most diversified county. The Poet Laureate is selected by an independent panel of judges comprised of professionals from the literary community in collaboration with the Borough President's Office.


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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