If you grew up spending time in Wildwood, odds are you have many happy memories of the time you spent there. One Wildwood fan who worked summers serving food and cleaning vacationers' rooms to earn college tuition, has put her memories of those experiences into a new book, "The Island of Decades Before."


"I spent every summer from 1956 to 1975 either vacationing or working on the island," says Michele Picozzi, "and certain images of places and people stayed with me." Recent changes on the island prompted her to weave these images into memoir poems that make up the chapbook. Featured poems include "The Golden Nugget," "Hunt's Pier," "Wildwood Waitresses," "The Countesses of Five Mile Island," and "About the Fourth," which was inspired by a still-unsolved murder of a young Philadelphia woman under the boardwalk in 1970.


The book's 16 poems cover the years between 1957 and 1970. "Wildwood made a big impression on me at an early age," she recalls. "I feel fortunate to have known Wildwood during the 'glory years' -- it was my happy place" Her family's connection to Wildwood is more than 100 years old. As a child, she visited her grandfather at the home he built on E. 7th Ave.


Three of the book's poems have been published in journals and others have won state writing awards.


Paperback poetry chapbook, 30 pages, released 2016

"The Island of Decades Before" by Michele Picozzi Paterson

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