We are pleased to introduce one of our Artists in Residence this week, Emily Ruth Hazel. We featured Emily’s beautiful and thoughtful poetry last year, and we’re so glad she’ll be a part of our team this year. Emily will be writing poetry in response to every theme this year.
Emily wrote this poem in response to the theme of Light and Darkness, and to Isaiah 59:9-11, Isaiah 50:2-3, and Luke 1:78-79
Read “In the Wake of the Storm” (PDF)
Where the Boardwalk Used to Be by Emily Ruth Hazel
Edited by Charis J Carmichael Braun
Emily Ruth Hazel
“In the Wake of the Storm” is a response to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, particularly its impact on the New York metro region. While I was very grateful to have come through the storm unscathed, a number of my friends were directly affected by it. Some felt the effects for days; others are still dealing with the aftermath months later.
After seeing widespread power outages and damage from fallen trees, flooding, and fires,
those images stayed with me. Talking with people who had experienced these losses,
I was struck by how quickly our modern world can be turned upside-down and how
powerless we feel when this happens.
Crisis, as we know, brings out the best and the worst in human nature—the light and
the dark. It presents an opportunity for people to adapt with remarkable resilience and
generously help each other, or to dip into despair and take advantage of one another’s
I wanted to write a poem that would hold kernels of many stories from people in different
areas who are recovering from disaster, and to leave room for questions that arise out of
pain and anger, as a way of giving voice to their ongoing struggle.
Emily Ruth Hazel is a New York City-based poet and writer whose work wrestles with themes of relationship and faith. As a believer in poetry that feels accessible and lived-in, she aims to capture the beauty, hope, and humor that can be found in everyday experiences.
Emily enjoys cross-pollinating with artists of many disciplines and she has performed her work solo and collaboratively at numerous events. She has been awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize in a national competition for emerging poets, and a collection of her poetry, Body & Soul (Finishing Line Press), was published as a finalist in the New Women’s Voices competition. Her poetry and prose have also appeared in Deep Waters (Outrider Press), Brown Alumni Magazine, Brio, The Mochila Review, The Francestown News, RedeemerWrites, and Creating Space.
A graduate of Oberlin College’s Creative Writing Program, Emily has led creative writing workshops for youth at schools, libraries, and community centers in Massachusetts, Ohio, New York, and South Africa. She has also mentored underserved teens through Girls Write Now, a nonprofit dedicated to nurturing the next generation of women writers. A freelance editor and visual artist as well, she lives on the border of Brooklyn and Queens.
This work is copyrighted by Emily Ruth Hazel and shown here by permission. If you are interested in this or other work by Emily Ruth Hazel please Contact Us for assistance.
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Tagged with: emily hazel • emily ruth hazel • hurricane sandy • in the wake of the storm • Isaiah 50 • Isaiah 50:2-3 • isaiah 59 • Isaiah 59:9-11 • light and darkness • Luke 1 • Luke 1:78-79 • poetry • resident artist • spoken word