Around the Island

Poetry volume supports pancreatic cancer foundation

COURTESY PHOTO | A new book of poetry is dedicated to a worthy cause.
COURTESY PHOTO | A new book of poetry is dedicated to a worthy cause.

November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and two poets, Islander Virginia Walker and Michael Walsh of Rocky Point, both active in East End poetry workshops, have pledged their new book, “Neuron Mirror,” to help fight pancreatic cancer.

The Lustgarten Foundation, dedicated to pancreatic cancer research and cure, has just posted it as a “gift that gives back” on its website. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Lustgarten Foundation.

The book is dedicated to the memory of people who died from pancreatic cancer: Ms. Walker’s mother, Helen Shields, and four poets known to the authors: Diana Chang, Robert Long, Siv Cedering and Antje Katcher.

The book opens with a preface, including celebratory memories, followed by an introduction by former Islander and poet Daniel Thomas Moran. Mr. Moran wrote, “And so here in this dense yet elegant collection we see the perspective from two sides of the mirror. Walker, the poet, informed by science and Walsh, the scientist, informed by poetry. Both are alchemists of their craft.”

Ms. Walker and Mr. Walsh each contribute 26 poems about subjects as diverse as the Silk Road  and a torch singer.

The book closes with comments by other poets. Carole Stone said, “‘Neuron Mirror’ is passionate, vivid in detail. Its emotions range from passion for all forms of life to anger and outrage against its destruction.

With their beautiful language, observant eye and concern for the fate of humans and the planet, Michael Walsh and Virginia Walker’s poems cry out to others to preserve this world.”

The poets are available for readings and will soon appear at the Shelter Island Library’s Friday Night Dialogues.

Order the book online at or contact Ms. Walker at 749-2394 or [email protected] for more information.