Queens College hosts reading of boro writers’ anthology

Queens College hosts reading of boro writers’ anthology
A reading of “Forgotten Borough: Writers Come to Terms with Queens” is scheduled to be held at Queens College Tuesday. Photo courtesy Sheryl Yvette

Queens College is hosting a reading Tuesday of the first and only anthology of literary works Tuesday all about the borough of Queens.

“Forgotten Borough: Writers Come to Terms with Queens,” edited by Nicole Steinberg, comprises fiction and nonfiction stories and essays based on writers’ personal experiences in Queens. Poetry and other literary works that explore the history of Queens are also featured in the book.

“I wanted to put together a book that not only shows off the talents of Queens, but shows that it has a lot to offer,” said Steinberg.

Steinberg, a Queens native, said that in the experience of leaving Queens to go to college and then returning, she found many people were ignorant and judgmental of the Queens she knew. One of her reasons for wanting to create a book like this was to inform her friends and others about the truths of Queens.

The other boroughs of New York have something they are publicly known for, but Queens is often the forgotten borough, she said. Friends and supporters of her idea gave her the push to actually follow through with the creation of the book.

Steinberg grew up in Jackson Heights and attended elementary school in Bayside and junior high school and high school in Flushing. She is also familiar with Queens outside of those areas. She is currently an editor of LIT magazine, a literary journal that publishes poems, short stories and nonfiction, and a published poet and author.

Twenty-four writers, including Steinberg, each contributed one piece to the anthology. Steinberg chose writers she knew or had met before and also included some previously published literary works she admired, such as “How to Disappear Completely” by John Weir and “Queens Necropolis: The Burial and Building of New York” by Marc Landas.

The anthology highlights both the positive and negative aspects of Queens, hence the subtitle “Writers Come to Terms with Queens.”

“I think that the group that came together was really great and the quality was pretty high,” said Steinberg. “It painted a pretty well-rounded picture of what it’s like to live there.”

Both throughout the process of editing this book and upon the completion of it, Steinberg was pleased with the amount of Queens pride she came across. She found comfort knowing that she was not the only Queens advocate out there.

“Forgotten Borough” is available online, in select book stores and in libraries. Since the book attracted so much support, Steinberg said there might even be a second “Forgotten Borough” anthology one day.

The reading at Queens College will feature six Queens College faculty members who contributed to the anthology. The majority of them are Queens natives as well. It will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on the fourth floor of Klapper Hall.

Queens College is at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing.

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