Local poet named finalist in magazine

New Milford resident Abby Ripley has been named a finalist in the poetry category of the Adelaide Literary Magazine annual contest.

Ripley is also the leader of two monthly New Milford Public Library events, the Monday Book Club and Thursday’s Writing Salon.

Adelaide Literary Magazine is an independent international monthly publication in New York and Lisbon, Portugal, founded by Stevan V. Nikolic and Adelaide Franco Nikolic in 2015.

The magazine aims to publish quality poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and photography, as well as interviews, articles and book reviews, written in English and Portuguese.

Abby’s poem, “Are You So Different,” reflects her humanist philosophy.

The impetus for the poem came from a falling out she had with a friend.

From the very beginning of their disagreement, the friend refused to dialogue with Ripley. Her attitude both puzzled and hurt Ripley.

Since that incident, Ripley has become increasingly aware of how many societal problems would cease to exist if individuals would talk to one another.

Ripley went to elementary school on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana.

The school principal promoted poetry, having students memorize a poem a week in the eighth grade.

He also encouraged students to write poetry.

Ripley was impressed by Walt Whitman and in her first attempt to write free verse, the principal commented, "Who do we have here? Another Walt Whitman?"

She continued to write.

Ripley’s artistic talents and diverse interests have taken her to the Indian Himalaya, as an anthropological field worker, a fine art photographer winning several best in show with her composite images and a painter.

She recently began writing an historical novel set in Wyoming and Montana, where her family made a living from their ranches, and in Ladakh, a Union Territory of India, where she studied the Tibetan Buddhist culture of the indigenous population.

“Are You So Different” is Ripley’s second finalist place in the magazine two years running.