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Emily Rose Hazel's work responds to the devastation after Hurricane Sandy, the theme of "Light and Darkness," and to the passages of Isaiah 50:2-3; 59:9-11 and Luke 1:78-79 as she builds a poetry collection responding to every theme from the year as a 2013 Spark+Echo Artist in Residence.

Isaiah 59:9-11

Isaiah 50:2-3

Luke 1:78-79

In the Wake of the Storm


Emily Ruth Hazel


Read by Emily Rose Hazel

Curated by: 

Spark+Echo Arts, Artist in Resident 2013


Poetry/Spoken Word

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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“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 vulnerability.

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.

Where The Boardwalk Used To Be,

Taken By Emily Rose Hazel, Edited By Charis J Carmichael Braun

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Emily Ruth Hazel is a poet, writer, and cross-pollinator who is passionate about diversifying the audience for poetry and giving voice to people who have been marginalized. Selected as the Honorary Poet for the 25th Annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading in Providence, Rhode Island, she presented a commissioned tribute to the Poet Laureate of Harlem in February of 2020. She is a two-time recipient of national Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prizes and was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for a residency at The Hambidge Center in 2014. Her chapbook, Body & Soul (Finishing Line Press, 2005), was a New Women’s Voices finalist. Emily’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines, literary journals, and digital projects, including Kinfolks: A Journal of Black Expression and Magnolia: A Journal of Women’s Socially Engaged Literature. Her poetry has also been featured on music albums, in a hair salon art installation, and in a science museum exhibition.

Emily has written more than twenty commissioned works for organizations, arts productions, social justice projects, and private clients. Currently, she is developing several poetry book manuscripts and writing lyrics for an original musical inspired by the life of the extraordinary singer and Civil Rights icon Marian Anderson. A graduate of Oberlin College’s Creative Writing Program and a former New Yorker, she is now based in the Los Angeles area.

Instagram: @EmilyRuthHazel

Emily Ruth Hazel

About the Artist

Artist in Residence 2013, Emily Ruth Hazel

Word of Mouth

Circling the Waist of Wisdom

Give Me a Name



Give Us This Day

Undressing Prayer

Emily Ruth Hazel

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