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Book Of Poems Celebrates ‘The Best Of Fulton’

A view of Fulton’s South First Street as it looked in the 1960s. It is the topic of a poem by Jim Farfaglia and is featured in his new book, The Best of Fulton: Poems For My Small-Town Newspaper.
A view of Fulton’s South First Street as it looked in the 1960s. It is the topic of a poem by Jim Farfaglia and is featured in his new book, The Best of Fulton: Poems For My Small-Town Newspaper.

FULTON, N.Y. – “It was through poetry that I discovered my interest in local history. Writing poems about growing up in the Fulton area triggered a curiosity in how our city and its surroundings evolved over the years.”

That’s how author Jim Farfaglia describes the catalyst for his current interest in the people, places and memorable events of Central New York.

In 2011, after retiring from his career in the youth recreation field, Farfaglia began sharing his writing through a weekly poetry column in The Valley News.

Many of his poems reflected on living in this area.

After five years of writing for the paper, however, Farfaglia ended his column.

“I’ve never been one to sit down and write a poem,” he said. “Poems always come to me and at one point, they stopped coming. Rather than trying to force myself to keep producing them for the sake of the column, I shifted my writing to local history, focusing primarily on interviews with people who’ve lived that history.”

Farfaglia didn’t want to just file those poems away. So after reviewing the 250 submissions he’d made to The Valley News, he chose 60 that he felt honored the city of Fulton and the great childhood it gave him. After some editing, he has published them in a book he calls The Best of Fulton: Poems For My Small-Town Newspaper.

“There are a variety of Fulton-based poems in the book,” Farfaglia explained. “Some cover the history of our city, some capture favorite memories of growing up here and some honor the benefits of living in a small town. I chose poems I thought others who live or have lived here, or who grew up in any small town, might enjoy.”

Farfaglia will hold his first presentation of the book on April 29 at 2 p.m. at the river’s end bookstore in Oswego.

“The river’s end has always supported my work,” Farfaglia said. “And like Fulton, Oswego carries its own small-town charm. It’s a nice setting to share a sampling of the book’s poems. A second reading will take place at the Fulton Public Library in May.”

For more information about the poetry reading, contact the river’s end bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., at (315) 342-0077.

For more information about Farfaglia’s writing, visit his website at www.jimfarfaglia.com.