America’s River has been written about, geologically spoken about, artistically painted on murals and in museums, and, of course, explored, but now there will be poetry written specifically about it.
Meet Laura Boss of Guttenberg, who falls in love with the Hudson River as she looks out her window every day at the marvelous ebb and flow of nature along its shores. Born in Brooklyn, she was raised in New Jersey and lived in various municipalities such as Newark, Perth Amboy, Irvington and Woodbridge, and graduated from Woodbridge High School. She was very interested to learn that the municipality of Irvington, where she once lived, was named after “America’s First Recognized Author,” namely Tarrytown New York’s Washington Irving. Irving wrote “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” in the 1800s, and wrote about the mighty Hudson River in many of his works. Ms. Boss also lived in Rutherford and North Caldwell before settling in Guttenberg in 1982, where she has been mesmerized by the Hudson River ever since.
Ms. Boss studied at Douglass College in New Brunswick before transferring to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rutherford Campus, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and ranked second in the college of the arts and sciences.
Ms. Boss has two sons. Barry is a Washington, D.C. attorney, and Jeffrey works in the New Jersey finance field and also lives in Guttenberg. Ms. Boss is a neighbor of Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff, whom she thinks very highly of, and says that she has great respect for him.
A freelance poet, Ms. Boss leads poetry retreats on weekends in the metropolitan area. She is a “Visiting Poet” in the educational program at the Anna L. Klein School in Guttenberg, and also in the Weehawken and Union City school systems. She also performs workshops at the Rutherford Public Library, as well as in the municipalities of Englewood and Alpine in Bergen County. She was also a Festival Poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival at the N.J. PAC in October, 2010. This is the largest poetry festival in North America. Ms. Boss currently is an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. She was also Poet-in-Residence at Northern Michigan University in 1997.
Ms. Boss has performed poetry recitals in Wales, England and in Ireland, Italy, Puerto Rico, in Paris, France, and in Macedonia, where she read to 4,000 attendees in 1987. Her poetry has also been published in the New York Times, and she is also the founder and editor of LIPS Magazine, published from and in the Town of Guttenberg. The magazine is currently celebrating its 30-years anniversary.
Ms. Boss goes on to tell us that she has traveled to and visited over 50 countries worldwide regarding her poetry, as well as just for travel. She has visited to Russia, China, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Israel, Iceland, The North Pole, Canada, Germany, Latvia and traveled through South America, among other places!
Her latest works include a book of poetry entitled “Flashlight,” published by Guernica in Toronto, Canada, where the book is to be launched and read in recital. There will also be readings performed at the Montclair Public Library in the near future.
Ms. Boss has performed workshops for teachers in the past, and they were held at Secaucus High School, Lincoln High School in Jersey City, and at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. She proudly states that she won three fellowships and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts regarding her works, and won First Prize in the past from the Poetry Society of America in New York City.
Ms. Boss, who is of the Jewish faith, has an interest in all cultures and religions, and of the arts of those creative areas. As for herself, she likes opera and the performances of “Aida” and “Madame Butterfly.” As for music, she loves Bruce Springsteen, Mozart, Beethoven, Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong, Lady Gaga, and jazz artists!
Her next project is to write poetry about the Hudson River, now that she just finished a public reading in January at the Rutherford Public Library for the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative of Southern Bergen County. More than likely it will be a best seller when completed. Thus Laura Boss, You’re the Boss when it comes to poetry and prose! All The Best!
The Reverend Philip J. Rotunno has been granted retirement effective Feb. 1 but also has been named Pastor Emeritus at Our Lady of Liberia Roman Catholic Church in West New York, announced Archbishop John J. Myers of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. Congratulations Father Rotunno!
North Bergenites Yanira D. Castro, April G. Jacob, and Brenda N. Osorio were all named to the Dean’s List at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Best wishes to all!
Jessica Reyes of Union City, who is a student at the Hudson County Community College, was recently accepted at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, for a program internship. Best of luck Ms. Reyes!
Secaucus Attorney-at-Law Peter Weiner, Esq. recently telephoned and wished everyone a very Healthy and Happy New Year-2011. The same to you Peter Weiner and also to your family!
Weehawken teenager and guitarist
Mailbox Question: A reader sent in a letter telling me that another newspaper said and/or cited the town of Guttenberg as Hudson County’s smallest municipality. Not so! That label goes to the Borough of East Newark in west Hudson County, which is east across the Passaic River from the City of Newark in Essex County. East Newark is approximately two square blocks long, and its mayor is Mayor Joseph Smith, who is not to be confused with Mayor Mark Smith of Bayonne, who is also the Hudson County Democratic Party Chairman. By the way, thank you, Mayor Mark Smith, for your gracious Happy New Year telephone call. It was truly appreciated, and a total class act on your part. The very best to you, too! Always a pleasure, and say hello to your father-in-law, Neil Carroll for me, the chief senior advisor to West New York Mayor Silverio “Sal” Vega, who also telephoned his holiday hellos.
And so it goes … until next time …see you around town …MATT
Readers who would like to contribute to this column can do so by mailing your news items along with your photographs to Matthew Amato, columnist, c/o The Hudson Reporter, 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, New Jersey 07030.