3. Literature of Lake Fred

Stockton College’s student-edited literary magazine, The Stockpot, has been capturing the creative voice of the student body since 1975. Precursors to the publication were called Crying Voices, Unheard Sounds and simply Stockton State College Literary Magazine. All versions of the magazine showcase the artwork, poetry, and writing of the college’s undergraduates and alumni. Seen here, the first Stockpot features work by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Stockton Professor Emeritus, Stephen Dunn. This edition also includes poetry by Peter Murphy, once a student, now a colleague of Dunn’s who teaches poetry at the college. Examples of student work published within The Stockpot are shown in this case, including Bill Jahling’s 1976 poem, “Old Crow Wind-Chime,” and Theresa Johnson’s “at the end of brigantine blvd,” which was published in the 1992 issue.

Murphy, Peter E., ed. Stockpot (Fall 1975). Pomona, N.J.: Stockton State College, 1975.

Jahling, Bill. “Old Crow Wind-Chime.” Stockpot (Spring 1976). Ed. Peter E. Murphy. Pomona, N.J.: Stockton State College, 1976.

Johnson, Theresa. “at the end of brigantine blvd.” Stockpot (Spring 1992). Ed. Athena Segada. Pomona, N.J.: Stockton State College, 1992.

Conroy, Colleen, ed. Stockpot (Spring 1999). Pomona, N. J.: Stockton State College, 1999.

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Stephen Dunn is Stockton’s very own award-winning poet. His verse has offered us an honest, somewhat political, and sometimes humorous perspective on everyday domestic life and love. He continues to please – the volume above is his most recently released Here and Now (2011), which gives us an intricately crafted insight into the seemingly small but nevertheless significant goings-on of the “here and now” of everyday life.

Dunn, Stephen. Here and Now. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2011.

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The two poems by Stephen Dunn displayed here are from a series called Local Visitations. This unique collection allows readers to tour South Jersey through the minds and perspectives of significant literary figures: Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Mary Shelley, along with Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, George Eliot, and other favorites. Reading this collection makes revisiting these popular South Jersey locations, to which we have been countless times, seem like fresh adventures seen through new eyes. Likewise, the poems help us to relate to these writers more intimately and on more familiar ground.

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Anyone who has been to South Jersey’s own Wildwood in the past thirty years knows the familiar sights and sounds. A popular hangout for young adults, conservative clothing is as scarce as peace and quiet. It is unlikely, though, that Wildwood’s visitors have viewed it through the psychologically critical eyes of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dunn’s poem puts the reader in the Russian’s state of mind, shedding light on the chaos and beauty of our beloved shore town in a way we have never considered.

Dunn, Stephen. “Dostoyevsky in Wildwood.” Local Visitations. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2003.

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Juxtaposed in modern Brigantine, Mary Shelley is darkly fascinated with the new world around her. More frightening than her own monster lurking the corridors of the Brigantine Castle, she ponders, are people with no monsters lurking in their own personal corridors.

Dunn allows us, with this piece, to see Brigantine through Shelley’s eyes – which means seeing Brigantine as darker than ever before. Expectedly or not, she feels at home.

Dunn, Stephen. “Mary Shelley in Brigantine.” Local Visitations. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2003.

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