Empathy Poems: The Reading

At the Onyx Theatre of the CM Performing Arts Center on Montauk Highway in Oakdale

Reader, if you were paying close attention to the Aug. 3 issue, you may have seen a short notice like this one having to do with a poetry contest — empathy was the theme — raising money for the Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research. 

Well, we have the winners: Stacey Lawrence of South Orange, N.J., Joanne Pilgrim of Springs and of The East Hampton Star, and the late Cecilia Crittenden of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, whose poem was submitted by friends. A poetry reading will be held in their honor on Nov. 18, a Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Onyx Theatre of the CM Performing Arts Center on Montauk Highway in Oakdale. Other participants’ poems will also be read. 

The judges were figures from the East End poetry scene: Carole Stone, George Held, and Mindy Kronenberg. The winners’ poems will be published online at lustgarten.org and neuronwalker.com. 

The contest, the work of Virginia Walker, a Shelter Island poet and professor, was really more than a fund-raiser, as it paid tribute to poets here, her friends, who died of pancreatic cancer: Antje Katcher, who was a member of the East End Poetry Workshop, Robert Long, who was an editor at The Star, Siv Cedering, and Diana Chang.

It raised $805 for the Lustgarten Foundation, adding to the effort Ms. Walker began with the publication of “Neuron Mirror,” a poetry collection she wrote with the late Michael Walsh. The total raised is now up to $10,363, she said in a release. 

Registration ahead of time for the reading has been requested, particularly if you’d like to read your own work. Ms. Walker can be called at 631-749-2394 or emailed at vwsipoet@optonline.net.