You Fashion the Path Your Footsteps Have Trod
By Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan
Having been the Suffolk County Poet Laureate (2009-2011), the first female to be appointed to the post, could be cause to get a big head. Ego starts whispering in your ear, telling you that you and your poetry are great! This is not a problem for me though thanks, in part, to the fact that I am an MFA student here at Stony Brook. I began my MFA studies before being appointed and am kept grounded by the humbling experience of being taught by such professors as: Robert Reeves, Lou Ann Walker, Julie Sheehan, and Star Black. Although I have been writing poetry for thirty years, I see through my studies that I, like many others, have much to learn from the faculty.
Approaching fifty, I have realized some of my goals, but I also see how much I have yet to accomplish. I went back to school in 1979 for my G.E.D. After passing the test I enrolled in a community college inWeldon,North Carolina. I completed a year of Gen. Ed. studies and then moved back toNew York. I moved with hope for a better life for my young son, Michael, and myself. School was put up on the shelf.
I went back to college in 1994. I was now the mother of three children: Michael, sixteen years old, Vincent, nine years old, and Eliza, four years old. I attendedLong IslandUniversity,Southamptoncampus to pursue my B.S. in Accounting/Business Administration. In July of 1995 my eldest child was struck by a speeding car. It was hot that day and the driver had ice cream that was melting. Michael was put on life support, but by the next day it was apparent that he would not recover. I signed to have life support discontinued. I began grief therapy at the East End Hospice. Six weeks after Michael’s death I was back in class. I didn’t know how else to hold onto what little sanity I had left. I graduated Cum Laude in 1998.
I took the next two years off to regroup and to consider my family’s future. In 2001 I enrolled at C.W. Post and decided to get my M.B.A. in Management. I completed my studies within two years and graduated with a G.P.A. of 3.51. I worked a few jobs, but I no longer had the heart for numbers. Michael and I were supposed to start our own accounting firm when he graduated college, but his death shattered that dream. So I started The North Sea Poetry Scene in 2001. I took my love for poetry and combined it with my business education to create a 501 (c) 3.
In 2008 I decided to go after what I loved, and enrolled in Stony Brook Southampton Creative Writing & Literature M.F.A. program. I am approaching graduation again. I have a G.P.A. of 3.81. I am not yet done with school. I plan to get a Ph.D. in Education.
We never know how our lives will turn out, but I believe that we can set our feet on the path we want to be on when life finds us and shakes our shoulders or caresses our cheeks. I firmly believe in the motto of the Business Fraternity, to which I belong, Power Through Knowledge. I also believe that as a woman, I, as do other women, face a unique set of challenges. Women are the hub of the family, the neck that turns the head where it should go. We are the culture creators and the glue that holds the shattered pieces together or polishes the perfect life. We create brave new worlds for our children and ourselves.