Mankind Finds Hope On 'Hero Island' Where Poet Wiley Challenges Visitors To Leave An Imprint

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In today's turbulent world, how can we relieve the stress that often grips us? One prescription, many experts agree, is by simply reading poetry, whose musical language and meditative reflections are said to soothe the soul. Now, a new book of poetry, entitled "Hero Island," would appear to offer a particularly uplifting elixir for both easing stress and renewing the spirit.

At a time when faith in humanity is rigorously tested, along comes Stephen B. Wiley’s book of poetry, "Hero Island," to assure us all that human decency will survive.

Wiley, a lawyer who has left his mark on his community and state, believes mankind is enriched whenever one person asserts themselves

"Hero Island" (ISBN 0976625105, $12.95) is published by Oasis Publishing that is best known for publishing Oasis, a quarterly literary journal with an emphasis on poetry. Neal Storrs, editor of Oasis, thinks so highly of Wiley’s writings that he has entered the book-publishing arena for the first time. The book is available from the publisher at:

Kirkus Discoveries publishes this citation on Wiley’s book: “Robert Frost’s “good neighbor” in Vermont not only builds fences, he writes poems – and writes them well. After a distinguished 50-plus year career as a New Jersey lawyer and public servant, Wiley turned to poetry to celebrate memories of long-vanished family (and folkways), city life and – most lyrically – the pleasures of summer life in the Vermont countryside. Travel to "Hero Island" (it’s real) by book or road for a relaxing visit with a poet new to letters, but not to life.”

Book reviewer Jennie S. Bev of writes: “Wiley’s crystal-clear language sparkles with humanity. Readers of all ages will find his poems beautiful and extremely encouraging. ”Wiley believes it is a natural instinct of mankind to assert themselves however they can to contribute. “Even if things are not going to work out perfectly for the world, should we not assert ourselves anyway?”

“Stephen Wiley’s first book of poetry tells the story of America in the 20th century,” says Storrs. “If, at times, they make us long for what has been lost in our country, and in ourselves, the note that sounds most clearly is one of hope. Wiley’s words constitute a testimony that natural beauty and human goodness will endure forever.”

BookWire Review echoes Storrs, Kirkus, and Bev’s comments: “The smooth flow of words instantly lures the reader into forming an intimate relationship with this book. Wiley creates a new world on the island where mankind is given another chance to rethink the past and learn from its mistakes.”

And critic Kirby Congdon of Solares Hill News, Key West, comments: “I came away from this book feeling I had been introduced to a stranger but, at the end of it, that I am leaving an old friend. We have here a permanent contribution to our distinguished history of poetry in this country.”

Wiley led a movement to reform public education, battled for human rights, raised more than $10 million for a library and a theater, and is now raising millions to preserve a history unknown to many.

Wiley describes "Hero Island" as an “accessible account of experiences and insights – a first book of poetry, reflecting the experiences of the author and his learning along the way.”

In "Hero Island," the first selection entitled “First Cuttings” dwells on Wiley’s youth in rural America. The middle selections, “Hero Island,” reveal an idyllic life in distant Vermont. “End of Summer” is a collection of the author’s reflections and observations.

“A lot of poetry is murky,” says Wiley. “My poems are intended to be accessible. The language is crafted to say precisely what I mean without obscuring or mystifying.”

Looking over his 75 years, Wiley admits to being an outspoken idealist who has left a mark. He dearly wants the same for all readers of "Hero Island" – that they leave a mark also.


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