Jamaica Pond Poets member and Gazette columnist Sandra Storey published her first collection of poems this month.
The 114-page book, titled “Every State Has Its Own Light,” welcomes interactive interpretations, Storey said.
“I invite people to join the creative process by writing the name of a state, geographical or otherwise, and describing its light and sending it to me. If they give me permission, I will post it with their name” on her website, sandrastorey.com.
Storey wrote poetry from 1980 to 1988, before she founded the Gazette in 1991. She picked up poetry again in 2004, and joined the Jamaica Pond Poets (JPP) weekly workshop in 2005.
After retiring from the Gazette editorship in 2011, “I had more time to concentrate on getting the manuscript I had recently put together published,” Storey said.
Storey said she enjoyed the act of book creation, even after all the poems were written.
“While I was in that process, I would be walking around in a dream state for hours. I thought in terms of four sections, wrote a page describing flavors or themes, then found poems that fit them,” she said. “I closed the doors to my dining room, so the cat wouldn’t arrange my poems for me. I spread about 90 poems out on the dining room table, physically moving them to be with the section description. Then I organized them within the sections” before asking for further input from the JPP, she said.
“Creating a collection of poems is an entire creative project on its own. I enjoyed it a lot,” she said.
Storey said she has no favorites in the collection.
“I absolutely have no favorite. That’s why I like to do an entire book. Choosing a few poems to submit to a journal for publication or to read at a reading is often hard,” she said.
“Every State Has Its Own Light” was published by WordTech Communications. It was a finalist for the Utah State University Press’s May Swenson Poetry Award. It is available locally at Tres Gatos at 470 Centre St. and at jamaicapondpoets.com, as well as sandrastorey.com.
By Sandra Storey
I have to keep the gifts
so they will keep me
inhale the sea air
and never breathe out
swallow salt water
to cup in my throat
absorb the waves
borrow their roar
pluck the specks of light
and float them in my eyes
the shell where I hide
here in my hand