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MCCC's Kelsey Review 2010 Offers Vivid Portraits of Local Characters and Places; Copies Available at Public Libraries


West Windsor, N.J. - An examination of life's moments both big and small are captured in the 2010 issue of The Kelsey Review, an arts journal published annually by Mercer County Community College. This year's issue features submissions by 17 writers, artists and photographers who live or work in Mercer County. Copies are now available at all branches of the county's public libraries, and in public areas of MCCC's West Windsor and James Kerney campuses.

According to MCCC Associate Professor of English Ed Carmien, who co-edits the Review with Associate Professor of English Holly-Katherine Johnson, the myriad voices of county residents have never been richer. Said Carmien, "The Review is developing its voice as a journal of regional expression." He notes that numerous pieces are set within the county's borders, including Princeton and Trenton. One non-fiction piece is an excerpt from a soon-to-be-published book on the history of the Institute for Advanced Study.

MCCC English faculty members Holly-Katherine Johnson
and Ed Carmien are co-editors of Kelsey Review.

The editorial team also includes poetry editors Luray Gross, a "Poet in the Schools" for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Ellen Jacko, an English teacher at Allentown High School. Fiction editor is Dr. Robbie Clipper Sethi, an English professor at Rider University, novelist, poet and short story writer.

Carmien notes that the works of fiction are wonderfully varied. One story draws pictures of eccentric Princeton characters as they grapple with a mix-up between art and trash; another focuses on the marital stresses of a couple from China; and a third depicts the rhythms of an African-American family and community. The secret world of a fiction writer is revealed in yet another vivid piece. Poetry is also well-represented, with several poems reflecting on the natural world and others that touch on romance and heartbreak.

Writing contributors include Ellen Foos of Princeton, Gail Caspar of Hightstown, Beverly Mach Geller of Hightstown; Helen Gorstein of Princeton, Janet Kirk of Princeton, Betty Lies of Princeton, Doughtry Long of Trenton, Beth Morgan of Lawrenceville, Joe Preneta of Lawrenceville, T.M. Rago of Trenton, Doris Spears of Trenton, D.E. Steward of Princeton, Yongming Wang of Princeton, Mark David Wilkie of Hamilton Square, and Peter Wood of Lawrenceville. The visual arts are represented with a cover photo and other photos by Chris Szakolczai of Princeton and drawings by illustrator Anne Karetnikov of Plainsboro.

For the annual Pushcart Prize competition, the editors nominated Janet Kirk for “The Reclamation of Woodhenge”; Helen Gorenstein for “Architecture of Roxbury”; Betty Lies for “Assault (or It)”; Peter Wood for “Swallow”; and D. E. Steward for “Decinber.” Pushcart winners will be announced in Winter, 2011.

Carmien invites county residents to pick up their copies soon. "These pages are the county's pages, they are your pages, they are our pages," he notes in his introduction.

Kelsey Review is now on Facebook. The editors invite the community to add their comments about the material in the journal and the arts in general.

Funding for The Kelsey Review has been made possible in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey State Council for the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.

The deadline for submissions for the 2010 edition is May 15, 2011. For more information, email Kelsey.review@mccc.edu or click here.

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