Friday, April 29, 2011

Queens: The New Queen of Media!

Two more press links today, in anticipation of our big Queens College event this Tuesday, May 3, happening at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum in Klapper Hall.

Queens Chronicle piece by Anna Gustafson

TimesLedger piece by Kori Tuitt

From the Queens Chronicle piece:

The reading is a reminder that Queens is a contender in the literary world, writers said. An increasing number of authors are choosing to reside in Queens, and there are an increasing number of literary readings, in a variety of languages, especially in places like Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and Astoria. And, as [Nicole] Steinberg and [Nicole] Cooley point out, it’s hard to beat this borough when it comes to diversity in what sustains authors — food and, more importantly, language.

Thanks so much to Anna and Kori for this great press!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Putting in a word for Queens

Superb press coverage for Forgotten Borough! The New York Daily News has a feature on the book today, in anticipation of our big May 3 event at Queens College, with insight from two of Tuesday's readers: Nicole Cooley and Jayanti Tamm.

Among the authors scheduled to attend are poetry Prof. Nicole Cooley. She moved to Astoria in 1999 from Pennsylvania, where she had been teaching at Bucknell University.

"I loved just wandering the streets," said Cooley, 44, who often explored the area around Ditmars Blvd. and 21st Ave.

Also included is a piece by Queens College graduate and visiting professor Jayanti Tamm, who grew up as a follower of religious leader Sri Chinmoy in Jamaica.

She has since left what she views as a "cult." Her passage notes alleged sexual abuse by Chinmoy of her fellow followers.

"Queens is really this silent borough in terms of art," said Tamm, 40. "While Queens has been overlooked, there is this treasure-trove of artistic talent."

Check out the article at the Daily News Web site! Big thanks to Nicholas Hirshon for writing the piece.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Dig the above image from That site has all sorts of images dating back to the 1964–65 World's Fair in Flushing, Queens. As anyone who's passed through Queens probably knows, some of those structures still stand today, most notably the Unisphere and the observatory towers, famously known as the secret spaceships in Men in Black. A friend of mine just got a tattoo of those towers, which I love.

If you have a moment, you should check out the Wikipedia entry on the World's Fair. The history is fascinating, not to mention all of the attractions of the fair itself. I think my favorite is General Electric's "Progressland."

In other news, a very big thanks to Red Weather Review for their recent write-up of Forgotten Borough, which includes a rumination on all those Queens writers who don't stick around their hometown:

The secret about the huge slab of New York City called Queens is that many of our country’s most gifted writers have lived there. Yes, I use the past tense. With Manhattan so close–and with other glitzy places (not to mention teaching and other posts) beckoning from across the country–Queens-born writers often leave. But before they do they are immersed in humanity in a way that is still rare elsewhere. With a population of immigrants from throughout the world, the borough provides an extraordinary window on our country’s multicultural future.

Click here to read the review in its entirety!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Queens College Event: Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m.!

Next month, we have another exciting Forgotten Borough event in store, this time at Queens College in heart of Flushing! The amazing staff of QC's MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation is sponsoring this celebratory event in Godwin-Ternbach Museum on Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. Current and past faculty from Queens College will read from their selections in Forgotten Borough, and the reading will be followed by a reception and book sales.

This event will feature the following contributors:


Plus, did I mention that the entire event is FREE to the public?

RSVP and get more info by checking out our Facebook event page!

And a huge thanks to Nicole Cooley, Maria Terrone, and everyone else from Queens College for making this event possible!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Where Passion Lives Indoors

Forgotten Borough contributor Irina Reyn has a great interview up on the Words Without Borders Web site: "The City and the Writer: In Queens with Irina Reyn." As a Queens native, Irina gives great insights here into what makes the borough such a rich hotbed of culture and diversity, and what it's like to live there.

Some wonderful excerpts:

Few people see the beauty in Queens. Unlike Brooklyn, much of Queens does not offer the same picture-perfect brownstone charm. Visitors always seem surprised to find themselves in the Hunters Point historic district in Long Island City or the stately, suburban charm of Forest Hills Gardens or the twinkling bustle of Jackson Heights on a Saturday night. I like it this way—the way Queens lowers expectations. Its many discoveries seem so much more satisfying that way.

In my Queens, passion lives indoors—around the dinner table, in malls and movie theaters and restaurants. Inside delicious, inexpensive beers and carafes of wine. It thrives on human contact. Queens can be a terrible place for solitude.

Read the entire interview at the Words Without Borders site—and thanks for the book plug, Irina! Speaking of...

Order your copy of Forgotten Borough @ SUNY Press, Amazon, or other book retailers.

Above: "Aerial Views of Forest Hills & Rego Park from Howard Apartments, 99-32 66th Rd, Forest Hills, NY" by Rego-Forest Preservation Council on flickr