Empathy: The Poetry Contest

Virginia Walker continues to raise money to fight pancreatic cancer

First, Virginia Walker, a poet and professor from Shelter Island, donated all the sales of her last collection of poems, “Neuron Mirror,” a collaborative work with the late Michael Walsh, to the Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research. So far that total is $9,000.

Now she’s holding a poetry contest to raise more money.

“One by one, poet friends from the East End community of poets succumbed to this deadly cancer, which has a six-percent survival rate,” Ms. Walker said in a release, referring to Antje Katcher, who with Mr. Walsh was part of the East End Poetry Workshop, Robert Long, who was an editor at The Star, Siv Cedering, and Diana Chang.

Continuing the tribute and fund-raising effort, three others from the poetry scene here, Carole Stone, George Held, and Mindy Kronenberg, will judge the contest, which has a theme of empathy. It is open to those 18 and over and closes on Sept. 9, with an awards ceremony at the Onyx Theater in Oakdale on Nov. 18. The first 100 entrants will receive a copy of “Neuron Mirror.”

Poems, with a $20 check made out to the Lustgarten Foundation, can be sent to Ms. Walker at P.O. Box 1032, Shelter Island Heights 11965. The website neuronwalker.com has more information.