Gallery Offers An Evening of Poetry and Art

UNION – Celebrate National Poetry Month with an evening of Poetry and Art at the Les Malamut Art Gallery on Wednesday, April 18, between 6:30 – 8 p.m. The Les Malamut Art Gallery (wheelchair accessible, downstairs in the Union Public Library) is located at 1980 Morris Ave Union. This event is free to the public.

In its fifth year, this poetry evening is part of an ongoing series of events taking place inside the gallery. This year’s theme is “Poetry as Catharsis” and Leona M Seufert will give a brief talk on using poetry to get you through hard times. Adele won a Grammy for her “Rolling in the Deep” where she used the poetry of song to get her through a traumatic breakup. Seufert will show you how poetry, both yours and reading the works of other poets can help you get through those bad days.

Since the readings will be held in the gallery itself, attendees will also have the opportunity to view the current exhibit “This Music We Call Jazz: Giant Steps” a group exhibit by five New Jersey artists.

The poets reading that evening will be:

  • Harriet Swan Barkei enjoys writing whimsical verses and an occasional essay. Harriet has petted the backs of bumblebees dozing at dawn in the dazzling dahlias dangling from her garden fence. She marvels at the infinite beauty of God’s creation.
  • Deborah LaVeglia, is well known as the director of the PoetsWednesday Poetry Series at the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge. She is also the creator of a helpful website PoetsWednesday & More, that gives listings of many poetry events and venues. She has been published in numerous poetry journals including the Paterson Literary Review, American Poetry Journal, Exit 13 Magazine, and the Edison Literary Review. In 2008 she was a featured guest on National Public Radio. Deborah has also published a chapbook, The Vigil.
  • Robert Rosenbloom’s poetry has appeared in the Paterson Literary Review, The Edison Literary Review, Tiferet, and US 1 Worksheets, among other magazines. He’s co-director of the Somerset Poetry Group. He lives in Bound Brook with his wife. He’s a certified civil trial attorney and has an MA in Creative Writing from The City College of New York.
  • Leona M Seufert is Roselle Park’s first Poet Laureate. Her poems have appeared in numerous e-zines and on websites and she has published two poetry chapbooks, The Memory Keeper’s Promise – Reflecting on Loss and Remembrance and From Here To There And Back Again, A Commuter’s Journey. Her book, The 9-11 Year, is a signed, limited edition, hand bound book of poems and essays about the aftermath of 9/11 that came from a journal she kept during the year following the World Trade Center destruction.
  • Barbara Wirkus, has had her poems published in various poetry magazines, including Exit 13, Poet Magazine, Albatross Literary Magazine, as well as a chapbook, Poems for Unpretentious People. She is currently working on a memoir, Received and Responding, relating her experiences as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician on a rescue squad, and a second chapbook Echoes From the Bell Jar.

National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry. It was first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States and is celebrated every April.

The gallery is open during Library hours. The Les Malamut Art Gallery, originally opened in March 1988 as the Wheelchair Gallery Inc., and through an elevator provides access to the lower level of the of the building where the gallery is located. Each year six to eight exhibits are mounted and have included various media. For more information about the gallery visit

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