Watershed Literary Events


Watershed Literary Events kicks off its 2023 season with a celebration of National Poetry Month. Poets Tina Kelley and Gretna Wilkinson will read at the Skate House in Meadowland Park on April 16, from 3-4:30 pm. The reading is free and open to the public.

For the first time, live music will be part of the event. Professional violinist Nancie Lederer will perform a selection of songs before and after the reading.

Watershed, now in its fifth year, is sponsored by the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Meadowland Park Conservancy. The spoken word series features the work of both emerging and established writers with a connection to New Jersey. Past readers have included Roberto Carlos Garcia, Stuart Kestenbaum, Anne Marie Macari, Alicia Mountain, Brenda Shaughnessy, BJ Ward, and Jane Wong, among many others.

Tina Kelley is the author most recently of Rise Wildly from CavanKerry Press. Her previous poetry collections are Abloom & Awry, Precise, and The Gospel of Galore, a Washington State Book Award winner. Tina reported for The New York Times for a decade and shared a staff Pulitzer Prize for 9/11 coverage. She has also written two nonfiction books focused on education and at-risk youth, Breaking Barriers and Almost Home. Her poems have appeared in Cimmaron Review, Southwest Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Best American Poetry 2009. She is currently senior education reporter for NJ.com and lives in Maplewood, NJ, with her husband and two children.

Gretna Wilkinson began her career as a missionary teacher in the jungles of her native Guyana. She has authored five chapbooks and one full-length book, Opening the Drawer (Cool Women Press). A Geraldine R. Dodge Poet, Gretna has performed on radio and television and is published in Saranac Review, The Literary Review, and the anthology Poets of New Jersey: From Colonial to Contemporary. She’s been featured in The New York Times, The Star Ledger, and Courier News. After 17 years as a college professor, she ran the Creative Writing Program at the Visual and Performing Arts Academy of Red Bank Regional High School.

Nancie Lederer, violinist, is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music where she was a scholarship student of Glenn Dicterow, former Concertmaster of the NY Philharmonic. As an orchestral and chamber musician, she has given concerts throughout Europe, China, the Caribbean, and the United States, and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. She maintains a private teaching studio in West Caldwell, NJ.

Watershed was founded in 2019 and hosts four readings a year. For more information, please contact Peter Travers at ptravers@southorange.org.

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