Around the Island

Update: Friday Night Dialogues: Poetry with purpose – CANCELLED



Two poets, Islander Virginia Walker and Michael Walsh of Rocky Point, will read from their book, “Neuron Mirror,” at Friday Night Dialogues at the Library on March 20 at 7 p.m.

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. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Lustgarten Foundation, an organization that promotes pancreatic cancer research.

The book includes poems on subjects ranging from a torch singer and the Silk Road to creatures from the sea. Mr. Walsh is trained as an anthropologist and Ms. Walker has a Ph.D. in British and American literature. As Daniel Thomas Moran, former Island resident and Suffok County Poet Laureate, writes in the book’s introduction, “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.”

In speaking about her long-term association with Mr. Walsh, Ms. Walker said, “Our underlying connection is empathy for others and for the creatures of the natural world in which we live. We think you will find poems to trigger your neurons of empathy — the mirror neurons that become our humanity.”
Ms. Walker’s poems have appeared in local and national publications including Long Island Quarterly, Pegasus, Minetta Review, among others, and in numerous anthologies. She currently teaches at Dowling College and Suffolk County Community College.

Mr. Walsh has published over 80 poems in magazines and anthologies. He is happiest, Ms. Walker wrote, “with a rock hammer, kneeling in a creek bed or combing shale cliffs for Paleozoic fossils.”

Both poets are active in the East End Poetry Workshop and have read together on many occasions. Within the next several weeks they will be appearing at public libraries in East Hampton and the North Shore and at Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton and the 58th Street Library in Manhattan.

The Friday Night Dialogue series is held in the Community Room on the library’s lower level. The programs are free but donations are very welcome.

Coming Up: Patricia and Edward Shillingburg will talk about the Dering Letters in “The Making of a Miracle” on March 27.