Culture in Queens
This is an honorary three-year term, starting in 2010 and ending in 2013.
Biographies of Queens Poets Laureate
JULIO MARZAN (2007-2010):
Born in Puerto Rico in 1946, Julio Marzan is the Fourth Poet Laureate of Queens. He has published
two books of poetry and his poems have appeared in numerous
journals. His work also appears in several anthologies and
college texts, as well as translations. Mr. Marzan is also
the author of two non-fiction books. A professor of English
at Nassau Community College, in spring 2006 he was Visiting
Professor of Romance Languages at Harvard University. A resident
of Queens for most of his adult life, he graduated from Cardinal
Hayes High School and later studied at Fordham University
(B.A.), Columbia University (M.F.A.), and New York University
ISHLE YI PARK (2004-2007):
Ishle Yi Park is the third Poet Laureate of Queens. Her first
book, entitled The Temperature of This
Water, is the
winner of the 2005 PEN America Beyond Margins Award and the
2005 Members' Choice Award of the Asian American Literary
Awards. Ishle has performed at more than 300 venues
here and overseas. She was a touring cast member of the Tony
Simmons Presents: Def Poetry Jam,” performing in 51
cities in the United States and at the Auckland Festival
in New Zealand. The New York Times wrote, "Ms. Park has an
angelic face and the soul of a rock star."
HAL SIROWITZ (2001-2004):
Hal Sirowitz is the second Poet Laureate of Queens. He is
the author of six books of poetry, although probably best
known for the volumes Mother Said, My
Therapist Said, and
Father Said. He has performed
on MTV, at Lalapalooza, and can be heard on several recordings.
He is currently the best-selling translated poet in Norway,
where his work has also inspired a much-loved animated series.
Hal is a cult figure of sorts in literary circles throughout
the world, as a poet, a performance artist, a comedian, a
teacher, and an all-around good guy. Born in New York City
in 1949, he received a B.A. in English Literature from New
York University, an M.A. in Special Education from Hofstra,
and has taught Special Education in the New York public school
system for 25 years. His father was a salesman in New York's
garment district, and his mother, Estelle -- well, she worried.
He is married to writer Mary Minter Krotzer.
STEPHEN STEPANCHEV (1997-2001):
In 1997, Dr. Stephen Stepanchev was named the first Poet
Laureate of the borough of Queens. His poems, like his life,
reflect the rich immigrant experience so familiar to our
neighborhoods. He was born in Mokrin, Yugoslavia, in 1915.
On a scholarship, he went to the University of Chicago. During
World War II, he served in the U.S. Army, and he received
a Bronze Star Medal. From 1949 to 1985, he taught Creative
Writing at Queens College. He has published a major critique
of American poetry, eleven collections of poems, and appears
regularly in such venues as The New
Yorker and Poetry magazines.
Dr. Stephen Stepanchev has inspired several generations of