Library Hosts New Exhibit on Famous Late Mahwah Poet

The George T. Potter Library has a new exhibit on display featuring items belonging to the late Mahwah writer, Joyce Kilmer

Kilmer is most famous for his poem “Trees,” which he wrote in February 1913 in his Mahwah home. According to a 2012 survey, “Trees” is ranked as the 26th most often read poem out of the top 50 on Google reads.

The library’s exhibit was launched by The Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah and includes mementos of Kilmer’s life during the period he lived in Mahwah, from 1912 to 1916. Ramapo professor James Hoch also assisted in opening the exhibit.

“We have established beyond any doubt that Kilmer wrote the poem in his house of February 2, 1913, and his father left a letter that Joyce was inspired by a Mahwah tree,” Alex Michelini, founder of the Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah, said.

The items include three photocopies: one of the notebook place where Kilmer composed the poem, another of a letter from his widow and a third of a letter by his father that describes “Trees” as the “exaltation of a commonplace tree.”

The exhibit will be on display in the library for two weeks beginning December 2.