Doug Snelson Publishes First Poetry Book

By ERIC ENGLUND | May 29, 2019
Supplied Photo

Surf City — Doug Snelson, an award-winning children’s book author, recently published his new book, Laughter Includes the Word: Revealed, A Life of Poetry. Written for students and adults, it was recently named a Mom’s Choice Award.

A Long Beach Township resident retired from the healthcare communications field, Snelson said the new volume is a selection of verse, all previously unpublished, reflecting his poetic perspective on the special and everyday events of his life. Included in the collection are copies of original handwritten drafts as well as original typewritten drafts from his Olivetti-Underwood typewriter. Each poem is accompanied by a comment about the circumstances of its composition and the year it was written.

“Some go back to when I was in high school,” he said. “Others were written just a few years ago.” 

Snelson said that at the front of the book is a very favorable review by Neeli Cherkovski, who was friends with the likes of Lawrence Ferlinghett, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski among other poets.

“The poems of Doug Snelson came as a surprise,” Cherkovski wrote. “I embraced their originality from the moment I began reading them. I was immediately taken by Snelson’s individualistic view of things and his ability to make our old words work again, even to sing. His distinctive vision, with its emphasis on the ordinary life around us, is well worth the reading. This poet accomplishes what every poet should aspire toward – he instructs on how to see and hear with aplomb.”  

Snelson said one poem that has a special meaning for him is “LBI Sunrise,” which begins

 Orange candy ball

Resting silhouette gulls

On the swaying water stag

A mirage of banana-gold sea dust

Widening the pathway,

Linking light to clapping ripples

A moist butterfly carpet

“I’ve done a lot of my writing on the Island,” he said. “It makes me think of that Henry David Thoreau quote ‘Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.’”

This summer, Snelson plans to publish his third children’s picture book, Everybody Deserves a Hug.
His two previous children’s books, Who’s Got the Face? and The Fable of the Snake Named Slim, are popular with parents, educators, and children ages 4 to 9 years old.

“I believe children’s books should be fun, interactive, and educational,” he said. “My
philosophy on storytelling is based on the idea that children and adults should be at play
as much as possible. Play includes two qualities – awe and concentration. Awe is the
ability to see the beauty and wonder of life in anything and everything. Concentration is a
focus on the joy of experiencing simple, everyday activities.”

Snelson said he liked to write vignettes when his son, Ryan, and daughter, Renee, were young. They helped him with illustrating and laying out the children’s books. 

“The inspiration for who’s got the face was a French bulldog,” he said.

All his books are available through and

— Eric Englund

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