Saturday May 21, 4pm – Prose
Nicole Steinberg (editor), Ron Hogan & Buzz Poole (contributors) to Forgotten Borough: Queens ($21.95 SUNY) – Twenty-four contemporary writers reflect on life in New York City’s biggest underdog, the “forgotten borough” of Queens.-The stories, poems, and essays in Forgotten Borough offer twenty-four takes on New York City’s biggest underdog: Queens. From the immigrant communities of Forest Hills to the unsung heroes of Maspeth and the bustling crowds of Flushing, Queens is the most diverse county in the United States, but unlike the iconic boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx, it’s neither as well known in other parts of the country nor as well traveled by New Yorkers (at least those who don’t need to take the 7 train to get home).
Featuring writers who hail from the borough as well as those who have moved there and have come to call it home, Forgotten Borough uncovers the New York stories that most of us don’t get to hear, tales that reflect not only upon contemporary life in Queens but also its humble history and its evolution to the multicultural community—the community of communities—it is today. Taken together, they offer a vivid, layered portrait of Queens as a microcosm of America, where race, ethnicity, class, and industrial growth all influence our collective past, as well as our present and future.
“Unlike many theme-centered anthologies, which may grow repetitive or feel forced, Steinberg’s selections are entertaining and varied enough so that there truly is something for everyone—even for the Queens novice.” — Queens Chronicle
“…more than two dozen stories, poems and even Queens-themed haikus take a reader on a cultural tour of the borough, stopping in neighborhoods from Astoria to the Rockaway Peninsula, giving readers a thorough taste of the densely populated piece of land they might only know for being what’s outside their vehicle’s windows when they’re stuck in traffic.” — Queens Tribune
“Though Queens has been home to many great writers—including the father of American poetry Walt Whitman, Beat pioneer Jack Kerouac, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Alan Dugan, two-fisted journalist Jimmy Breslin, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, rap legend LL Cool J, and renowned novelist Mary Gordon—it rarely comes to mind as a breeding ground for major literary talent. Nicole Steinberg’s first-rate book should go a long way toward rectifying that situation. A terrific read, it makes a powerful case for this long-overlooked borough as a place of remarkable artistic richness and vitality.”— Kimiko Hahn, author of Toxic Flora: Poems