Reflections on Sandy from three N.J. artists: a poet, a singer and a writer


Art can sometimes take shape in the wake of disaster. Poet Peter Murphy, singer/songwriter Ernie DeLuise and writer Scott Mazzella express  the impact of Sandy’s chaos through their work.

Not that complicated

Peter Murphy is a poet and writer from Ventnor, N.J. Floodwaters from Superstorm Sandy wiped out his entire first floor. Besides the structural damage to his home, Murphy says he lost some of his most-cherished items, including about 1,000 books and 40 years worth of manuscripts and publications in which his poetry had appeared.

Murphy continues to write poetry. One of his recent works is “Not That Complicated,” in which Sandy comes up. Murphy reads his poem for NewsWorks Tonight and describes how Sandy has affected him and his work.

Song for the locals

Ernie DeLuise is a singer and songwriter now living in Toms River, N.J. During the superstorm, he had to evacuate his rental apartment in Ortley Beach, which was among the hardest-hit areas. DeLuise could not move back because of the damage to his apartment building.

In the immediate days following Sandy, DeLuise found himself writing several songs about the storm as he processed the aftermath. One of those pieces is “Song for the Locals,” which DeLuise recorded with his band Big Baby Ernie.

Surviving Sandy

Since the 1980s, history teacher Scott Mazzella’s family has had a vacation home in Holgate on Long Beach Island. The home sustained major damage from Sandy.

In the storm’s aftermath, Mazzella teamed up with publisher Down the Shore to write “Surviving Sandy: Long Beach Island and the Jersey Shore’s Greatest Storm.” The book features stories and photographs from area residents about living through the storm, its aftermath and the long road to recovery.

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