The Block Island Times

Grant announced for school poets

Named in honor of Bosley Wilder
By Gloria S. Redlich | Oct 30, 2013

Block Island School Committee Chair Bill Padien was elated as he announced at the Oct. 21 board meeting that the island school was the recipient of a $5,000 “memorial scholarship in the name of Bosley Wilder,” who was a resident of the island from 1982 until her passing in 2011.

The grant is intended to “go to students who show excellence in poetry or creative writing. The sum of $1,000 per year for five years [to a different student each year] is available.” The letter asks that the student selection be made by English teacher Nancy Greenaway and a guidance counselor.

Wilder was a part-time teacher in English, French and poetry at the island school for many years. In the letter presenting the grant to the board, Patricia Petersen, Executor for Wilder’s estate, writes, “An example of her creative efforts … was that her island students wrote poems which were quite powerful.”

Petersen further describes Wilder as bringing “a wealth of experience to the classroom. Besides being a teacher, Bosley was a journalist and travel writer, having lived in New Delhi, India, Singapore, Cambodia, China and San Francisco before moving to Block Island.”

Wilder was also a poet and author, publishing three books of poetry: “When Things Began to Happen and other Poems” (1963), “The Wind is Mine and other Poems” (1970), and “Portraits and Landscapes” (2000). She also wrote a mystery novel, “Murder at Black Dragon River” (2006), the latter reviewed in The Block Island Times. For years she also wrote a travel column for the local weekly.

Petersen requests that “information on the student(s) chosen be sent” to her by the school, so she “can pass that on to Bosley’s children.”

Padien and other board members recalled Wilder’s creative involvement at the BIS, noting the way she brought poetry and literature to life for several generations of the island’s youngsters.

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