May 2, 2016

Long Island Poetic Legacy Recognizes National Poetry Month

Professor and poet Mindy Kronenberg at historic William Miller House, Miller Place, N.Y. for a reading as part of National Poetry Month. Photo/Ann Becker
Professor and poet Mindy Kronenberg at historic William Miller House, Miller Place, N.Y. for a reading as part of National Poetry Month. Photo/Ann Becker

National Poetry Month was recognized by The Long Island Poetic Legacy, an event co-sponsored by SUNY Empire State College’s Alumni Association and the Miller Place-Mt. Sinai Historical Society.

The event took place on April 16, at historic William Miller House, Miller Place, N.Y.

Alumna Mindy Kronenberg ‘96, who also is a part-time professor in Cultural Studies and a published poet, read poems by several Long Islanders, as well as poems written as an homage to the Long Island landscape, including "Long Island Sound" by Emma Lazarus, "Arriving on Paumanok" by Norbert Krapf, "September" by Fairfield Porter, "Families at the Shore" by Graham Everett and several others.

“I felt they were a good mix of contemporary and modern voices that contribute to the literary legacy of Long Island, said Kronenberg, the 2016 recipient of the Empire State College Foundation Award for Excellence in Part-time Mentoring. “They included narratives on landscape, nature, community, family and the challenges of growth and change, whether within oneself or in one's neighborhood. Some of these poems came from the many anthologies that are being produced in Long Island's active and vibrant poetry community.”

A tour of the house and grounds followed the poetry reading and guests mingled at the reception afterwards.

As a member of the college’s faculty who teaches poetry, Kronenberg also commented on what her students have told her about this genre of creative writing.

“One gratifying response from students is how poetry had become ‘demystified’ for them as we read and discussed it,” said Kronenberg. “My students often convey that they have gained confidence after studying and writing poetry. Deciphering phrases, and learning about literary devices such as metaphor, simile and assonance, enhances their appreciation for language and critical thinking.

“I have often heard them say that they share the poems we have studied with their families, friends and co-workers, and that creates a ‘bridge’ for discussion outside the classroom. Some students find the experience ‘liberating.’ Others, who are better acquainted with poetry, and have wanted to write or wrote a bit in the past, will keep in touch with me as they continue to write, submit their work and get published. I enjoy learning of their progress and continued growth as poets.”

This is third National Poetry Month program facilitated by the faculty and staff of the three college locations on Long Island.

All three events were at historic sites, including the Walt Whitman Birthplace, Huntington, N.Y.

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