Jennifer Fitzgerald’s family and friends have been greatly impacted by superstorm Sandy. During NewsHour’s visit to Staten Island, N.Y., last week, she said she immediately got involved in relief efforts in her community. But she feels her poetry was another way to reach a much larger audience and explain what happened.
“A lot of what people believe about this island we have allowed them to deduce,” Fitzgerald said. “We are the forgotten borough. People don’t come here, and when they arrive at the Staten Island ferry, it’s to see the Statue of Liberty and then they get right back on.
“My family’s been on this island for about 200 years, and I don’t want our narrative to start now because this is not where Staten Island started. I believe poetry is truth and that poetry has a way of showing the world through a different lens.”
Fitzgerald is working toward her MFA in poetry from Lesley University and oversees “The Count,” a project for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts that tracks the rates of publication between women and men in the literary world. Her work has appeared in the online journal Underwater New York.
We’ll post the segment from Friday’s program here later this evening. In the video below, she reads “I Was Raised on an Island” and “What It Means to Rise.”
Video edited by Victoria Fleischer.