We are in the midst of a renaissance of poetry, and New Jersey is at its hub. Sadly, few are aware of it.
Maybe its because I'm waxing nostalgic for my adopted state that I had to make the preceding confession. (It's been over fifteen years since I emigrated from my homeland and applied for my first New Jersey drivers license.) Anyway, the land of Ginsberg and William Carlos Williams continues to produce excellent poets. The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for Poetry has done much to sustain the culture of poetry in the garden state by providing outlets for academics and students as well as hosting the biennial Dodge festival at Waterloo Village. Moreover, they provide the public with access to the Dodge Poets.
Now let me tell you who you need to read. First, get a hold of one of Betty Lies' anthologies, Cool Women, volume I, III or III. The collections are from the Cool Women group who read their work in the Princeton area, and Betty is cool. Betty rules.
Next is Jack Wiler, author of I Have No Clue. He has placed more recent works, but it's best to hear him live. (addendum: I just saw Jack's website at www.jackwiler.com It's really great, have a look.)
Edwin Romond's last two books are definitely worthwhile: Macaroons and Dream Teaching.
I can go on, but I don't want to overwhelm you. I'll follow up to this post with more poets at a later date. And remember friends, if you can't find it in the bookstore, google it.