Faculty Member Reads at Elliott Bay Books

A new book of poetry by NWS Humanities teacher Suzanne Bottelli has just been published by Finishing Line Press. The Feltville Formation, a slender volume of six exquisite poems, explores the history and landscape of the Watchung Mountains in New Jersey, including a deserted and ghostly village called Feltville, a once thriving town in Union County.

“I used to play and run in those New Jersey woods, it was a formative experience for me, and way back in there was this deserted village which fascinated me,” says Suzanne. “I decided to look up its history and I found my way to these poems.”

Feltville was settled in the 19th Century by David Felt, a Unitarian with a utopian vision. The town was integrated and had a school, mill, mansion, and church/meeting house. Felt used the area’s water power to make paper and books. Suzanne’s poems witness the abandonment of Feltville over the century as well as the degradation of the surrounding rivers through pollution and industrialization.

I was hoping to enact a feeling of being in one spot and the layers of experience that inhabit that one place,” explains Suzanne. “Poetry is like a portal – it helps you experience and inhabit others’ minds and sensibilities.”

Suzanne’s poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including Poetry Northwest, The Literary Review, Fine Madness, Prairie Schooner, West Branch, and Poet Lore. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has received awards and grants from Artist Trust and the Seattle Arts Commission.

To celebrate the release of her book, other NWS faculty members gathered in the library for a poetry reading. In honor of National Poetry Month, faculty members chose and read their favorite poems. Afterwards, Suzanne read portions of her poems from her book.

Suzanne read The Feltville Formation at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Books on May 6. She will also be giving a craft talk at the Ballard Library on June 11 at 6:30 PM. Copies of her book can be purchased online through the Finishing Line Press website and Amazon. Elliott Bay Books, Ravenna Third Place Books, Open Books: A Poem Emporium, Phinney Books, and The Couth Buzzard also carry her book.