Watershed Literary Events

A tribute to public school teachers

Watershed Literary Events, the spoken word series sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the Meadowland Park Conservancy in South Orange, will wrap up its 2022 season with a reading by five outstanding SOMA based poets who are also public school teachers.

The featured poets include Victor Alcindor, Mary Brancaccio, Kathy Kremins, Stacey Z Lawrence, and Ras Heru Stewart. The event, which will be held on Sunday December 11 at 3 pm, is free and open to the public.

Victor Alcindor’s debut poetry collection is Stand Mute (Get Fresh Books, 2018). An American poet of Haitian descent, his poems have appeared in HIV Here & Now Anthology, Lunch Ticket, Insanity's Horse Literary Magazine, The November 3rd Club, and elsewhere. An English teacher at West Orange High School, Victor completed his undergraduate studies at The College of New Jersey. He holds a master's degree in Criminology from Rutgers and a Doctor of Arts and Letters from Drew University.

Mary Brancaccio taught English and Creative Writing at Columbia High School and Livingston High School. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently in Writing the Land: Northeast (2021) and Writing the Land: Maine (2022). Brancaccio’s first full-length collection of poetry, Fierce Geometry, is just out from Get Fresh Books. Brancaccio draws inspiration from hikes in wilderness areas and national parks, as well as from research on art, history, and the natural world.

Kathy Kremins is a Newark native of Irish immigrant parents and a retired teacher and coach. Her poetry chapbook, Undressing the World, was published in 2022 by Finishing Line Press. Kathy’s recent work appears in Gallery Aferro’s ongoing project Poem Booth: Make Me Wanna Holler, Drunk Monkeys, Paterson Literary Review, The Night Heron Barks, Stay Salty: Life in the Garden State, Stillwater Review, and Divine Feminist: An Anthology of Poetry & Art by Womxn and Non-Binary Folx, among other publications.

Stacey Z Lawrence teaches Poetry and English at Columbia High School. Her debut collection of poems is Fall Risk (Finishing Line Press, 2021). Stacey’s poetry has been short-listed for the Fish Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2022 her poem “Pre-Pandemic Field Trip” was awarded a grant from Arts by the People and animated for the Moving Words Film Screening in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is an avid hiker in the Catskill mountains where she has a writing cottage.

Ras Heru Stewart is a Newark-born poet, artist, creative entrepreneur, and educator. In 2018, Heru founded Rebel Ink Publishing, coinciding with the release of his first full-length collection of poems, The Book of Heru: A Poet’s Portrait. His latest book, The Rubicon, was published by Rebel Ink in late 2020. Heru also produces "Rhythm & Words," a creative writing and performance fusion event. Currently a fifth grade Language Arts teacher at Delia Bolden Elementary, and a student advocate, Heru aligns his creative ventures with initiatives and opportunities to create lasting impact.

Watershed was founded in 2019 and hosts four readings a year, featuring both established and emerging writers with a connection to New Jersey. For updated information, contact Peter Travers at ptravers@southorange.org

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