Michael Dickman, “The Green Migraine: Poems,” Copper Canyon Press. www.coppercanyonpress.org.

Michael Dickman, a lecturer in creative writing at the Lewis Center of Princeton University, co-wrote “Green Migraine” with his brother, Matthew, with whom he has collaborated often.

When asked what inspires his writing, he says “most of the poems I write begin with a simple word or idea. I’ll be drinking coffee and think ‘I like coffee!’ and then I’ll start writing about how much I like coffee. It sounds pretty basic, I know. I suppose it’s the ‘like’ that moves me to begin writing a poem — some sort of celebration in my chest wanting some words to understand itself, some sort of grief needing a body.”

Born in Oregon, Dickman attended Portland State, the University of San Francisco, Portland Community College, Marylhurst University, and the University of Oregon. In 2009 he received an Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. His poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the American Poetry Review, and others publications.

Judy Rowe Michaels, “Ghost Notes,” Finishing Line Press. www.finishinglinepress.com.

Judy Michaels, Princeton Day School’s poet in residence since 1990, has published her third collection of poetry and her first chapbook — part observation and part contemplation.

For 20 years Michaels served as a poet in schools for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and has taught teachers at the Dodge Foundation’s “Spring and Fountain” program. Now retired from teaching, she speaks to medical students in New Jersey and New York about being a cancer survivor through the “Survivors Teaching Students, Saving Women’s Lives” program, which reaches more than 100 medical schools nationwide.


James Hockenberry, “Over Here,” HN Books. www.jameshockenberry.com.

Based on many years of close research into German-based espionage in America before the United States entered World War I, James Hockenberry’s novel is intended to be the first of a trilogy covering the history of terrorism against New York’s financial center.

In his author’s statement, Hockenberry, a Princeton resident who has had a long professional career as a financial executive and CPA, says that his trilogy, set at the time of the War To End All Wars, plans “to dramatize America’s involvement in World War I with three historical-fiction thrillers. Publication of these books will coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the Great War” and “bring to life the challenges, choices, and conflicts America faced during these world-changing times.”

“Over Here” covers the years 1915 and 1916, when Germany fought a little-known but extensive undeclared war against the U.S. Germany blew up American ships, plants, and munitions depots. One such depot was Black Tom Island, located behind the Statue of Liberty. Many people consider this incident the largest terrorist attack in America before 9/11.

Bill Plank, “The Universal Lighthouse,” Red Dashboard Publishing. www.createspace.com

A Mercer County based professional artist and teacher of art and art history for 25 years, Plank now produces his own art that informs his expanding oeuvre of steam-punk themed fantasy works.

The Universal Lighthouse is the second volume of a space adventure inspired and illustrated by Plank’s own full color paintings.

Janet Purcell, “The Long Way Home,” Sunpenny Books, www.sunpenny.com.

The multi-talented Janet Purcell, who is known in central New Jersey as both an artist and an arts writer, has added another item to her resume: Novelist. Her latest, “The Long Way Home,” is the second in a series of three — “Rooster Street” is scheduled to come out in spring, 2016. And she is now at work on a fourth.

“The Long Way Home” began to take shape in her mind after a visit to the Andrew Wyeth exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Purcell was on assignment to write a review for her weekly arts column. As Purcell writes in her author’s statement:

“The image of Anna Christina Olson dragging herself uphill in Wyeth’s painting ‘Christina’s World’ haunted me. I saw it as a figurative painting and yet as a still life. Her life had been stilled by her unexplained disability. As weeks went by after I reviewed the Wyeth show, I returned often to an image of that painting in books that were always open on a table in my ‘library’ living room. I couldn’t get her out of my mind.

“The Christina Burroughs in ‘The Long Way Home’ is not Christina Olson. I want to say I created a new life for her, but that’s not how it happened. She just stayed in my memory, and as I began Callie Vinerelli’s story, Christina was also there. As I wrote, she became Christina Burroughs, living a very different life from Christina Olson. And yet her genesis resurfaced when she fell out of her wheelchair into a bed of daisies. I saw her not as Andrew Wyeth portrayed Christina Olson in a field of browning grasses, but surrounded by daisies, the symbol of freshening, at the beginning of her new life with Atticus Coleman.”

Simone Mets, “Very Christmas,” www.verychristmasbook.com.

Former attorney and event marketer Simone Mets has written a family-oriented story that begins with Santa’s workshop destroyed by a ferocious storm and a determined character, Ava Buttons, and her friends discovering a way to keep the Christmas dream alive.

Mets, a Princeton resident, was born in England and raised in Iran. She is active with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

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