2012-09-20 / Front Page

S. Amboy resident finds world of exposure on the Internet

Writer’s first book includes 9/11 poem that has received widespread attention

SOUTH AMBOY — A local poet who may be most known for a poem he wrote about the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks on the United States has just released his first book, “I Often Wonder: A Collection of Poetry and Prose.”

Alan Jankowski, who has been writing since 2009, found it was thanks to the Internet that he found his passion. With online writing websites, he said he found he had an audience and an opportunity to get immediate feedback on his work.

“I guess I need an audience,” he said. “There are people who write novels that no one will ever read — that’s not me.”

Jankowski’s 9/11 poem “We Shall Never Forget” was written well after the terrorist attacks in 2001.

He said he wrote it on Sept. 29, 2010, after trying to find a way to honor the heroes of Sept. 11. He posted it on one of the online writing sites he frequents, Stories Space (which he now helps moderate), and someone there asked to use it. He then found it popping up in all sorts of publications.

“Apparently the world found it,” he said, adding it took him four days to go through all the places the poem had been posted. “It was actually pretty amazing how big it became.”

Jankowski said he finds it very emotional to be tied to the event in such a unique way. He was on the Garden State Parkway heading to his first day of a new job on Sept. 11, 2001, and he could see the smoke from the World Trade Center.

However, Jankowski writes about all sorts of topics, and writes short stories and poems alike. He covers love and loss, and writes humorous and erotic pieces.

And while most of what he has written since 2009 does appear in the book, he did not include the erotic pieces in “I Often Wonder.” In all, the book contains 78 poems and four short stories.

Though the book was available directly from publisher Inner Child Press last month, it is now available via Amazon.

Jankowski said his goal is to have people identify with his work, and said he feels especially gratified when people contact him to say they have done so.

Jankowski has won a number of awards for his work and also was recently included in an anthology to benefit the American Cancer Society called “Live Life: The Daydreamer’s Journal.” He is a member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers, which meets monthly at the Edison Public Library.

Jankowski only recently moved to South Amboy. He grew up in Woodbridge and is a graduate of JFK High School in Woodbridge. He said he is already looking forward to his next project — most likely a novel he will start next year.

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