Crown Point author Jean Arleen Breed has authored her second book, “Poems from the Champlain Valley.”
A Crown Point poet has penned a second book.
Jean Arleen Breed, who chronicled the woes of local residents in “The Loss of the Lake Champlain Bridge: A Traveler’s Story,” has published “Poems from the Champlain Valley.”
“The inspiration for the latest book was I wanted to stretch out and write about more than one topic as in the bridge book,” Breed said. “Things that really interest me — children, the Bible, the dedication of soldiers, the pain of loss, the gifted artists and writers and just reflections on life’s journey. I wanted to see if I could write 100 poems and I did. I am really pleased with my second book. I hope people like this book and they can each find a poem in there that touches their heart.”
The new collection of poems has been released by Bloated Toe Publishing.
“Poems from the Champlain Valley” is available online at The North Country Store (www.bloatedtoe.com/store/home.php) and at locations in the Champlain Valley, including stores in Crown Point, Port Henry, and Ticonderoga. It’s also available in Vergennes and West Addison, Vt.
While the books is for sale, Breed isn’t looking to become rich.
“I give away so many books it’s hard to make a profit,” she said, “but these books are a gift from my heart to my friends and family.”
Earlier this year Breed released “The Loss of the Lake Champlain Bridge: A Traveler’s Story.” It uses poetry and color photographs to chronicle the human story of those coping with the sudden loss of a vital link between New York State and Vermont.
“I never want to forget the impact this bridge closing had on thousands of people in the Champlain Valley,” Breed said. “Lives changed, businesses struggled and people were tested.
“I never want to forget the courage and conviction of these people as they watched their businesses struggle to survive, their farms barely hang on and the worker commutes turn into this daily four-hour odyssey,” she said. “This story tells about those people and what they did to defend their right to continue life as they knew it for the last 80 years. The bridge was built, a way of life was built around that bridge and then — suddenly — that bridge was gone and our entire valley was impacted.”
The Lake Champlain Bridge was immediately closed in October 2009 when state transportation officials, without warning, declared it unsafe. The bridge served about 3,000 vehicles a day, meaning people who used the bridge daily to reach their jobs, health care facilities, grocery stores and other necessities were forced to take detours lasting up to four hours. The closing led to the closure of businesses on both sides of the lake and crippled tourism.
Breed was one those who used the bridge and was forced to drive the 100-mile detour.
A new bridge is now being constructed. It is scheduled to open this October. At the opening ceremonies for the new bridge Breed will read her poem “The Journey.”
Breed is now working on her third book, “Paper Girl.”
“This is my true story of growing up in Port Henry and delivering newspapers around that town and all the people I met,” she said. “I am working with the Town of Moriah Historical Society to get pictures of the stores and people that were in Port Henry in the (19)50s and 60s and these will be included in my next book. ‘Paper Girl’ is just a joy to write so I’m not sure when I will finish it.”