Highland Park Poetry welcomes all poets - there is no geographic limitation. For more information on how to become a Participating Poet, query firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participating Poets & Artists for Trees 2020/2021
Candace Armstrong writes in the beautiful woodlands of Southern Illinois. Her poetry has been published in several journals including The Lyric, Midwest Review, Journal of Modern Poetry as well as online in Quill and Parchment among others. She also writes prose and expects her first novel to be published in December. She enjoys gardening, cooking, and hiking with her husband and their canine child, Murphy. When asked for a tree fact, Candace says her current favorite book is The Overstory by Richard Powers.
Carla Barger is a poet and lyric essayist. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she also teaches writing and poetry and co-directs the Digital Humanities Initiative. You can learn more about Carla, including where to find her published work, at CarlaBarger.com. Fun Fact: the fruit of the Maple tree are called samaras, but most people know them as “helicopters” or “whirlybirds.” The wing-like seeds spin as they fall and can be carried up to 2 miles by a windy storm.
Mary Beth Bretzlauf's poems have appeared in several East on Central anthologies. Many of her short stories and poems have won local writing contests. She is chapter facilitator for the North Chapter of the Illinois State Poetry Society. Mary Beth lives in Northeastern Illinois her husband and dog, Wrigley.
Peter Brinckerhoffsays "I am an artist/architect,following the tradition of architects like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Aalto, Maki and Calatrava. Making art is like breathing and the feeling I get when completing a successful art piece is peace, gratitude and relief. I work mainly in oils and watercolors, as well as graphite, charcoal, color pencil, pastels and pen and ink. I am an artist for over 60 years and a registered architect since 1980."
Michael H. Brownstein latest volumes of poetry, A Slipknot to Somewhere Else (2018) and How Do We Create Love? (2019), were recently released (Cholla Needles Press).
Teresa K. Burleson is the author of A Pilgrim's Lyre and Rose Without Thorns. She has been free-lancing over 40 years and has credits in over 45 magazines. Tree Fact--One of the oldest living trees is a Bristlecone pine, called Methuselah, which is estimated to be 4,765 years old!
Marie Louise Buteri is a French entrepreneur and amateur photographer who would never say no to a good walk in the woods. She is a tree hugger partisan and currently lives in Paris with her nine plants and her partner Miranda.
Tim Callahan says, “I am an artist and worked in the animation industry for over 20 years. I began writing poetry in earnest in 2011 and my work has been published in the Altadena Poetry Review, the Journal of Modern Poetry, Stone Lantern and others. I live with my wife on edge of the Angeles National Forest. Interesting fact - All the trees in a grove of aspen are connected through a network of roots. In essence, the entire grove is a single organism.”
Emily Thornton Calvo is an artist and a poet who often includes her poems in her paintings. You can see them at emilycalvo.com. If she could be a tree, she would be a palm tree because she could hang at the beach with friends all day.
Monica Cardestam spent years working in business management before leaving to focus on raising her children. Looking for a creative outlet, she signed up for a Sumi-e class intrigued by the catalog description of: “Paint subjects from nature using simple brush strokes…The goal of the Sumi-e painter is to use the brush with both vitality and restraint.” She now also creates art in charcoal, watercolor pencils and paints, and has had her artwork displayed in a numerous venues along the North Shore.
William Carey invests in commercial real estate and in writing. He lives in Glencoe, Illinois. Fun fact: oak trees produce 10,000,000 acorns in their lifetimes. Watch out below!
Jackie Chou is a poet residing in Southern California who writes both free verses and Japanese short form poetry. She lives by a tree that is truly shaped like a heart. She imagines the longing words of estranged lovers whispered through its leaves. Her work has been published in Lummox, Poetry Superhighway, Altadena Literary Review, poeticdiversity, and others.
Tina Cole lives in a rural area of the U.K. near the border with Wales. She likes to write about people and relationships, her collection – I Almost Knew You (2015), focused on those themes. Other published poems have appeared in many U.K. magazines and collections, (Mslexia, Aesthetica), and in The Guardian newspaper. In spring 2020 she won the Yaffle Press Poetry Competition - her new collection, Nothing butthe Strength of Names - will be published by Yaffle Press in Spring 2021. Fun fact: the Maple tree in her yard has grown almost ten feet in the past twelve years.
Kathy Lohrum Cotton is the author of Common Ground (2020) and Deluxe Box of Crayons (2012). She serves as a board member of the National Federation of Poetry Societies and Illinois State Poetry Society and is the editor of Encore Prize Poems. Cotton says that most of the 20-year-old towering trees shading her home were planted in memory of her husband Gene.
Gail Denham tells us, "Writing keeps me sane at times - Have had stories, essays, poems, and newspaper articles, plus many photos published in magazines, newspapers, books, over the last 45 years. We love to travel, visit ghost towns, find desert areas that speak calm to us. With four sons and loads of grandkids, we're thankful to God for allowing us to enjoy all this."
Cari Desiderio is a native of the Chicago area who enjoys nature and writing. She has published several small poetry chapbooks about women's topics, spiritually minded matters, family and the great outdoors. Fun fact - In one day a tree can lift 100 gallons of water from the ground and disperse it into air.
Charlotte Digregorio has authored seven books including her poetry/reference: Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing, inspirational during life’s challenges. Libraries, corporations, hospitals, and galleries host her poetry exhibit, launched with Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. Illinois Governor Rauner honored her for her decades of literary achievements (2018). Charlotte shared this fun tree fact: The white oak is the state tree of five states including Illinois.
Jennifer Dotson is the author of Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems (Kelsay Books, 2020) and Clever Gretel (Chicago Poetry Press, 2013). Visit her author page, www.JenniferDotsonPoet.com. She is also the founder and program coordinator of Highland Park Poetry.
Miranda P. Dotson is a current undergraduate student of Anthropology and French at American University. She currently resides in Paris.
Idella Pearl Edwards self-published her first book at age 71 and now, at age 80, has written over 20 devotional books, poetry books and children’s books. She writes a weekly column for one of the local newspapers. Her favorite pastimes include: spoiling grandchildren, working jigsaw puzzles, writing, photography and spending quality time with her husband, Jack. Idella observes, “Trees live longer than any other living thing. The oldest tree is 4,845 years old.”
Michael Escoubas is editor and book reviewer for the highly regarded online poetry journal, Quill and Parchment. His poetry has enjoyed wide circulation across a range of venues. Michael is fascinated by scientific research indicating that trees communicate with each other and is endeavoring to learn about this interesting phenomenon.
Isadora Esson describes herself as “A once feral New Yorker, she was tamed by motherhood in the wilds of Australia where the eucalypts drop their boughs with every strong wind.”
Lawrence Federhas lived in Highland Park, Illinois for thirty-five years. He has been a member of civic commissions. He is currently active in community groups, enjoys golf, bridge and loves trees.
Daniel J. Fitzgerald lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden. His poems have been published in The Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir and many others. His work is also included in several anthologies both in print and online. Dan shares that the talipot palm (Corypha umbraculifera) of tropical Sri Lanka and India may live as long as 75 years before it flowers and fruits just one time and then dies.
Phil Flott is a life-long tree lover and has planted many trees. His younger brother has cut down many trees.
Judy Friedman is a long-time Highland Park resident and lifetime writer who draws inspiration from nature and all things green. She is a fan of Highland Park’s rich local history, its parks, preserves and natural spaces, and finds ever-awesome beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Heller Nature Center, the Ravines and the Green Bay Trail. She is widely published in Better Homes & Gardens magazines, books, and creative titles, including Highland Park’s own East on Central. When not among the trees, Judy works as a DePaul University writing instructor, private ACT English/Reading tutor, and scholarship director.
Diane Funston is a lifelong gardener of words, flowers, and vegetables. She lives in California where the weather suits her life. The redwoods groves are her spiritual place.
Cynthia Gallaher, a Chicago-based poet, is author of four poetry collections, including Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs and Spices (The Poetry Box, 2019), and three chapbooks, including Drenched (Main Street Rag, 2018). She is also a yoga instructor and certified aromatherapist. Amidst research for other poems, Cynthia found out that one species of eucalyptus tree in Australia can grow to more than 325 feet tall, higher than the Statue of Liberty or Big Ben, and perhaps only surpassed by some California Redwoods.
Marilyn Gehant, a longtime resident of Illinois, now lives in California near a small stand of Redwoods. Her poetry has been published in print, online and twice rode the Pace bus. More recently, her Haiku are featured in the GEPPO journal, The Pinwheel and All This Talk anthologies, sponsored by the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Redwood trees or Sequoia sempervirens can grow to 300 plus feet, yet their roots are only 6 to 12 feet deep. To withstand extreme winds, they extend their lateral roots 50 feet or more from the trunk, and add strength by interlocking their roots with neighboring trees in the grove.
Carol L. Gloorhas been writing poetry for many years, even though being an English major almost killed it for her. Her work most recently appears in the online journal Heirlock, and she has upcoming work in the online journal Gyroscope and in the hard copy anthology Aunt Flo. She adds this fun tree fact: "Maples and some oaks are the best for climbing because they often have branches low to the ground, which function like ladders for kids who venture as far up as they can until the branches get too skinny to support them—I know this from personal experience and the experience of my grandkids."
Alwyn Gornallhas been published in: On Writing, Another North, Dreich and Highland Park Poetry’s Daily Poems. He has also written scripts for performance by amateur theatre groups. Nowadays he concentrates on developing his poetry, writing children’s fiction, staying out of trouble and supporting the writing community in Newcastle, north east England. He is in awe of the biodiversity that trees bring to the natural environment – A mature Oak supports up to 280 different species of insects!
Gwynneth Green lives in Little Silver, New Jersey. As a poet and having worked with Ekphrastic poetry for years she has turned to new form of expression. She creates a visual statement with her own photographs and uses them for inspiration for an ekphrastic poetic flow. Gwynneth then breaks down the flow into a precise expression. That is embedded it into the photo creating her unique photo/reflective art. Her favorite lives deep in the heart of Hartshorne Woods and she says, “When hiking I always stop and hug it. Its energy is immense.”
Mark G. Hammerschick is a poet based on the north shore of Chicagoland. He has a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He grew up under the shade of an enormous Catalpa tree in his backyard on a shady tree lined street in Chicago.
Janea D. Harris is an author and poet who loves how creative writing has the ability to elicit all types of emotions in people. She enjoys writing for people of all ages and is often inspired by real-world events. She published her first children’s book in 2019, All Girls Have Sup-HER Powers, The Power of Voice which was inspired by her daughter. When she is not writing, she enjoys volunteering with various education and community-based organizations. Janea’s fun tree fact is some trees social distance themselves to remain healthy.
Geoffrey Heptonstall is currently locked down in Cambridge, England. His publications include a full collection, The Rites of Paradise (Cyberwit, 2020), and a novel, Heaven’s Invention (revised edition Black Wolf, 2017).
Linda Imbler is the author of five paperback poetry collections and three e-book collections (Soma Publishing.) This writer lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband, Mike the Luthier, several quite intelligent saltwater fish, and an ever-growing family of gorgeous guitars. Learn more at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com. Fun Tree Fact: If a birdhouse is hung on a tree branch, it does not move up the tree as the tree grows. The trunk gets wider, the branches get longer, and new growth grows upwards!
Julie Isaacson has tried to follow some sort of regimen during the pandemic: Read, write, walk, teach, edit, cook, practice piano, repeat. She also keeps informed as to the news, and in light of climate awareness, would like to recommend learning about and replenishing trees, by visiting Arbor Day Foundation or Plant for the Planet, which includes supporting children in tree-planting activities world-wide. We're all in this together!
Annie Jenkin lives in the south west of England where she gains her inspiration for poetry through the beautiful coastline and countryside. If there is an opportunity to draw on history or folklore, it is used. When walking in woodland, Annie avoids stepping on exposed tree roots because she feels these are the tree's toes! She has published in the Quill and Parchment, The Avocet, Whispers in the Wind blog as well in books with my local poetry group - Waterfront Writers.
Caroline Johnson is the author of The Caregiver (Holy Cow! Press, 2018), and has published poetry in Lunch Ticket, Origins Journal, The Quotable, Naugatuck River Review, Blast Furnace, Encore, Kind of a Hurricane Press, among others. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, she won the 2012 Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Poetry Contest. She is the current president of Poets & Patrons of Chicago, and you can read about her at www.caroline-johnson.com. She lives in a house surrounded by Burr Oaks and her favorite Robert Frost poem is “Birches.”
Betsy Dolgin Katz has been in love with poetry since her high school days although she pursued a career as a leader and teacher for an international school for adult Jewish learning. She has spent the great majority of her years with her husband raising her children and enjoying the blessings of Highland Park. Betsy offers this fun tree fact: “My scientist husband taught me that if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, it still makes a sound.”
Ed Kaufman is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist with a practice in Highland Park and Chicago. Ed has a long-standing interest in photography and began writing poetry while listening to music at the Ravinia festival in 1998. As a child in Brooklyn, he was fascinated by the Ailanthus Tree because it grows through sidewalks.
Judith MK Kaufmanis a poet and memoirist, who believes her late-in-life pursuit of creative writing was the result of living in this town, where the arts are an integral part of the community. Judith is a founding member and Editor-in-Chief of Highland Park’s journal of literature and art, East on Central, now in its 20th year. Her poetry has been published in a number of literary journals, anda memoir about her parents, Caught Laughing: the Esther and Bernie Story, was published in 2017.
Tricia Knoll recently moved from Oregon to Vermont – two states that venerate trees. She has planted more than 40 trees in her lifetime. For more poetry, visit triciaknoll.com
Gert Knop is an artist and writer from Zittau, Germany.
Chuck Kramer is a photographer and writer. His poetry and stories have appeared in many publications.
Ann Lamas lives and writes in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. All of her cars have had manual transmissions. She currently drives a 2019 VW Golf.
Joan Leotta loves trees, the ocean, collects seashells, and most of all, enjoys spending time with family. Her chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon is out from Finishing Line Press. Mini collections of her work are free from Origami Press. Fun fact: The sycamore tree is the largest deciduous tree in the Eastern United States, growing up to 30 meters tall and living nearly 600 years. A sycamore tree symbolizes strength, protection, eternity, and divinity.
Terry Loncaric is the author Crashing in Velvet. She has shared her poems on shop windows, in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. She has hugged many trees and never been arrested. Some of her favorite places to touch trees are Stanley Park in Vancouver, Chicago Botanic Garden, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and the forests of Maine.
Barbara Boothe Loyd graduated from the University of Maryland with a BFA in art history and literature in 1974. She lives in Fredericksburg, Texas. Her poetry and memoirs have been published in several anthologies. Aspens flutter “Hello” easily and Barbara considers them the friendliest trees she knows.
Lennart Lundh is a poet, photographer, short-fictionist, and historian. His work has appeared internationally since 1965. Did you know that a tree's roots typically grow during fall and winter?
William Marr has published a total of 23 books of poetry. He is a former president of the Illinois State Poetry Society.
LaVern Spencer McCarthy lives in Blair, Oklahoma. She has published eight books, five of poetry and three of short stories. She has won hundreds of awards for her poetry. LaVern tells us that “Trees are the longest living organisms on earth and never die of old age. There are around one hundred thousand species that we know of.”
Matt McGeewrites short fiction in the Los Angeles area. In 2020 his stories have appeared in Barrelhouse, Sage and Gnashing Teeth. When not typing he drives around in rented cars and plays goalie in local hockey leagues.
Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines and she has four Best of the Net nominations. Her latest title, The Muse in Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net. Fun Fact: The sugar maple was adopted as the New York State tree in 1956. Its pointed leaves turn to brilliant colors in autumn. The sweet sap that is stored in the trunk of the sugar maple makes prized syrup. The wood also makes fine furniture and burns well in woodstoves and fireplaces.
Adrian McRobb is a Poet-Author-Photographer who has been writing poetry for over 30 years. He is the past winner of various poetry competitions, broke a local record by coming 1st-2nd-3rd-4th in the open verse section of the 'Gathering.' Adiran offers this fun tree fact - trees are the oldest organisms on earth, and the only one which doesn't die of old age!
Wayne L. Miller is a writer and poet from Northern New Jersey. His work has been published in PANK, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Paterson Literary Review, LIPS, Exit 13, Statorec, and various other journals and anthologies. Sometimes what he writes is not poetry and never can be. https://www.waynelmiller.info.
Michael Minassian is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online magazine. His poetry collection, Time is Not a River, (2020) is available on Amazon. A second poetry collection Morning Calm and a chapbook Jack Pays a Visit are forthcoming in 2020. He was surprised to learn a single tree produces 260 pounds of oxygen a year. For more information: https://michaelminassian.com.
Alexander Monshaw is an artist and lover of nature. You can find him on the trail, bushwhacking through some shrubs or at Beat Street, his toy store in Winnetka. Fun Tree Fact: the world's oldest tree is over 5000 years old.
Silvia Morgan was born in Mexico City, married an American teacher, and moved to California. She has one son and two beautiful little granddaughters. For the last 25 years she has organized local poetry and music events in San Pedro where she lives. Her poems appeared in several anthologies and internet sites. She self-published four poetry books, and illustrated a bilingual children's small coloring book with her husband's help. Silvia found this fun fact that “Contrary to popular belief that evergreen trees best thrive in cooler climate forests and regions, a big number of evergreens are tropical trees that grow in tropical forests and regions with warm climates. This is because the soil in tropical regions is poor in nutrients.”
Lakshmy M. Nair is a scientist, poet, and nature photographer. She is a native of Kerala, India. She writes both in English and Malayalam, her native language. Her debut collection is titled A Lament.Her poems are also published in other anthologies, Winter Moments, Coffee, Tea & Other Beverages, Driving Cars: Poems about Getting Here, There, and Everywhere in automobiles and Poetry is a Mountain. All are available on Amazon. Lakshmy also shared that Hindus have always given great reverence to trees and plants because they are the foundation of life. When a Hindu person dies, since a tree is cut to make the funeral pyre, another tree is planted at the cremation site to replace the cut tree. Hindus also believe that the soul of the dead lives through the newly planted tree. Coconut trees or Mango trees are commonly used for this purpose. Worshipping trees is part of the Hindu religion, and several Hindu works of literature have trees as the characters. In the Rig-Veda, one of the oldest (1500-1200 BCE) Hindu script, it is said: Do not be like the Devilish Buzzard that troubles other birds by grabbing their necks and killing them. Do not trouble the trees. Do not uproot or cut them. They provide protection to animals and birds and other living beings.”
Ann Privateer is a poet, artist, and photographer. Some of her work has appeared in Third Wednesday and Entering to name a few. She grew up in Ohio surrounded by a canopy of maple trees.
Kim Reed is a poet and playwright living in Uptown Chicago on the shore of Lake Michigan. She hosts Uptown Poetry Pop Ups and Workshops, an open meetup in 2020, and is the former host of Andersonville Poetry Podcasts, a smorgasbord reading group that met in 2015. Her dramatic writing in 2020 has been read in @9 Chicago Naked Angels Theater Company and Chicago Dramatists. Kim supplied this interesting fact that the trees and plants on the Western edge of the Montrose Beach shoreline are called "The Magic Hedge" because many species of migrating birds are attracted to these natural shelter stops.
Jen “Pen” Richards
Marjorie Rissman started writing poetry in high school over fifty years ago but has not been prolific until joining Highland Park and Deerfield poetry groups. Now a member of ISPS, Poets and Patrons, and treasurer of East On Central Association, she spends many hours with poetry, poets and writing. She is responsible for the demise of a dozen trees from all the paper consumed.
Many years retired, Barbara Robinette lives with her husband in the woods of northern Arkansas. She believes poetry is for the everyday working person and that a good painting is pleasing to the eye. While walking the dog down the lane to the mailbox, she is thankful to be surrounded by tall oaks and hickories that stay in their places, year after year.
Ronald S. Rocha is a native of Los Angeles, California and published author. His primary focus is on fiction, short story, novels, and poetry. Rocha is a member of The Merano Writers Group of Pasadena California and a four-year published member of the Altadena Literary Review Anthology. He graduated from California State University, Northridge School of Literature. Tree Fact - Methuselah, a bristle cone Pine located in the White Mountains of California, is approximately 5000 years old, making it the oldest tree on earth.
Dr. Sneha Rooh is a palliative physician and founder of Orikalankini an organisation that is changing narratives around Menstruation and sexuality in India through art, theatre, and dialogue. She loves to write, travel and to be paid for it.
Miriam Sagan's most recent book is Star Gazing, a collection of poetry about astronomy. She works with poetry installation in diverse settings such as a community college haiku pathway and fairy houses sculpture with poetry in an RV park. Fun fact: groves of aspen are sisters--genetically identical--which is why they all turn yellow at the same moment in autumn.
Marie Samuel is a retired art teacher and exhibiting fiber and mixed media watercolor artist, who enjoys using text in my work. Her current eco arts fiber series project is “Inspired by Words" with short quotes by notable writers and statesmen. Marie lives near the Cache River wetlands where both Tupelos and Cypress trees are common. To easily tell them apart, look for pine needles or leaves. The Cypress is a coniferous tree, and the Tupelo green leaves turn bright scarlet in the fall.
Diana Smith is proud to have been previously published by Highland Park Poetry, BAC Street Journal, After Hours, Point of View, Apocalypse, Moon Journal, Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum, and Tucumcari Literary Review. She feels that poetry has opened her heart, helped her look at her journey, honor it, and honor others. She is a former librarian. A favorite activity of hers is sitting on the patio and experiencing this beautiful ash tree.
Joris Soeding’s most recent collections of poetry are Forty (Rinky Dink Press, 2019) and Home in Nine Moons (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, 2018). He is a 5th grade Language Arts teacher in Chicago, where he resides with his wife, son, and daughter. A fun tree fact is that German settlers introduced the Christmas tree in the U.S. in the nineteenth century.
Alice Marcus Solovy was born in Chicago and now lives in Highland Park, Illinois. She was an Employer Relations Representative with Illinois State Employment Service before her very happy marriage of 43 years. She has two lovely daughters, two nice sons-in-law and four terrific grandchildren. She’s written several genealogy articles, once had a cooking column in a limited circulation publication, and wrote a historical novel,Beyond The Scent Of Olives.
Pat St. Pierreis a writer of poetry and fiction and also an amateur photographer. She has had three poetry books published which are available on Amazon. Fact - one of the identifying features of jack pines is their yellowish prickly cones that occur at their tip.
Christine Swanbergis the author of several collections, most recently Wild Fruition: Sonnets, Spells, And Other Incantations (Puddin'Head, Chicago – and review by Barbara Eaton just posted here), Christine has published at least 500 poems in many national journals, won many awards, and given readings throughout the United States. She has been interviewed in Poet's Market, Book Ends Review, and Northwest Quarterly, among others. She won the Mayor's Award for Community Impact, and the YWCA Leader Luncheon Award for the Arts, and a Merit Scholarship from the Vermont Writers' Program. After a long teaching career including the Clearing in Door County, she created a sanctuary of trees and flowers that attract myriad creatures.
Kay Thomas is a painter and teacher of Asian arts and crafts as well as a poet. Here poetry has been published in the Journal of the Sumi-e Society of America and her paintings have been exhibited in many shows in America and Canada. Kay’s fun tree fact focuses on bamboo - Because bamboo bends in the wind but does not break, it symbolizes people who stick with their principles under pressure. Because it is an evergreen, it also symbolizes long life.
Dennis Trujillo currently lives and works in South Korea. His first collection of poetry, Dragonflies and Algebra, was published in April, 2020, by Future Cycle Press. Dennis is inspired by the scientific discoveries that trees actually do talk to each other through roots, fungi, carbon, and nitrogen exchanges.
Agnes Vojta grew up in Germany and wrote her first poem as a child sitting on a branch in a yew tree she had climbed. She now lives in Rolla, Missouri where she teaches physics and hikes the Ozarks. She is the author of Porous Land (Spartan Press, 2019) and The Eden of Perhaps (Spartan Press, 2020), and her poems have appeared in a variety of magazines.
A wife, mother and grandmother of nine grandchildren, Lori Wall-Hollowayresides in Pasadena, which is part of the San Gabriel Valley located in Southern California. Throughout the years her poetry has appeared in various publications from the area including the Altadena Poetry Review. Lori notes that plants have sensory systems and they respond to external factors based on their epidermis. In research, it was found that trees straighten themselves to resist stress and relax to release.
Lynn West says, “My Highland Park home inspires me. Wave and water pull me to create branching new ideas. East on Central, Highland Park Poetry and The Art Center provide hubs for expression and sharing. Also, did you know that the world’s rarest tree Pennantia baylisiana on Three Kings Island, off the coast of New Zealand has sat alone since 1945?”
The Rev. Court Williams, known by most as Fr. Court, was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, but after being stationed in Central Illinois while in the Air Force, met his wife and settled in Illinois. An English graduate from Northwestern University, Fr. Court, an Episcopal Priest, enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and plays in his spare time. He says, “Growing up in the state of Oregon, I was used to trees being 20 or 30 feet around and 150 feet or more in height. When I first moved to Illinois I couldn’t believe what people were referring to as “forests!”
Rita Yagerhas been writing for 50 years. She loves to write about nature, whimsy and the complexities of human relationships.
Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England. His poems have appeared in print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Israel, Canada, the US, Australia and Hong Kong. His collection Voyager is published by Dempsey & Windle. Mantz says, “Our cat climbed up a cherry tree and, as it looked down, spat at me: never before, never again.”
Participating Poets - Highland Park Poetry
Emma Alexandra, poet, historian, avid walker and hiker, celebrates her immigrant’s journey from Morocco to Chicago’s Humboldt Park Neighborhood in the early 1960’s to Highland Park, Illinois in 2000 with her poetry collection “It’s Long way from Casablanca to the Shores of Highland Park.” She has collaborated with several Highland Park visual artists such as Sumner Garte, Yelena Klairmont, and Howard Jacobs creating poetry for their work and the artists creating visual art for her poetry. She believes that collaboration between visual artist, musician, performance artist, and poet liberates the human mind’s intriguingly complex Musescape.She is dedicated to promoting the artistic and practical preservation of the natural environment whose inspiration is essential to creative health.
Susan B. Auld lives in Arlington Heights. Her free verse poetry, haiku and haibun have been published both online and in print journals. She is a member of the Haiku Society of America and the Illinois State Poetry Society. Susan teaches Continuing Education writing classes for Township 214 that encourage new writers and writers who wish to use writing to heal.
Mary Jo Balistrerihas two full books of poetry, Joy in the Morning and gathering the harvest (Bellowing Ark Press), and a chapbook, Best Brothers (Tiger's Eye Press). She has recent or forthcoming work in Parabola,Grist, The Hurricane Press, Plainsongs,The Tiger's Eye,Avocet, Crab Creek Review,Quill and Parchment,The Heron's Nest,Acorn, and A Hundred Gourds. Poetrystorehouse has offered videos of two poems. She has six Pushcart nominations, and two Best of the Net. She was a poetry judge for Arizona Writers Association for two years and just recently a judge for Wilda’s blogspot.com. Mary Jo is one of the founders of Grace River Poets, an outreach for women's shelters, churches, and schools. Please visit her at maryjobalistreripoet.com
Lois Baer Barr - A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Languages and Linguistics, Middlebury College’s Spanish School and the University of Kentucky, Lois is a professor of Spanish at Lake Forest College. Her poems and stories have been published in Persimmon Tree, The Examined Life, Journal of Modern Poetry, Flashquake, Poetica, Phat’itude, East on Central, Ekakshara, The DuPage Review, The New Vilna Review, The Jewish Literary Journal and Mochila. Six anthologies have included her work. She has received Pushcart nominations for poetry and fiction. Her books, articles and reviews on Spanish and Latin American literature, with a special focus on Latin American Jewish Literature, have appeared here and abroad. Her chapbook Biopoesis won Poetica Magazine’s 2013 contest. You can see more about her at https://www.amazon.com/author/loisbaerbarr
Deerfield resident Herb Berman is a lawyer/labor arbitrator, reader of poems, and sometime-poet. His poems have been published in about 20 literary magazines, and his book of poems will be published in 2014.
Mary Beth Bretzlauf is working on her first book of poems. Many of her poems have appeared in several East on Central and Highland Park Poetry’s Muses’ Gallery anthologies. Several of her short stories and poems have won local writing contests. She is chapter facilitator for the North Chapter and Board member of the Illinois State Poetry Society. Mary Beth lives in Northeastern Illinois with her granddog, Wrigley. The Majesty of Trees, Poets & Artists Respond Root, Trunk & Branch is her third editing collaboration with Jennifer Dotson.
Lorraine Brownlives inChicago with her husband Greg. She has been writing poetry and short stories since childhood. Her poem Cheaters received 1st place, non-resident in Highland Park Poetry’s 2010 Funny Poetry contest and Looking back at me received 1st place in HPP’s 2011 Rhyme & Time contest. Her poems What my momma said and He won’t eat my soup were included in CRAM 9 and CRAM 10; along with her poem Once in CRAM 11. Lorraine is an actress and voice over talent for television & radio; co-founder of the Chicago Bulls Cheerleaders (The Luv-A-Bulls) and former NFL-Chicago Bears Cheerleader (The Honeybears). She shares some of her interests on her blog, A multi-dimensional life... http://lorrainelorrainelorraine.blogspot.com
Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, poetrysuperhighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samsidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is(Fractal Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100 Degrees Outside and Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011). He currently resides in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Mary Beth Bretzlauf is currently working on her first book of poems. Many of her poems have appeared in several East on Central and Highland Park Poetry’s Muses’ Gallery anthologies. Several of her short stories and poems have won local writing contests. She is chapter facilitator for the North Chapter and Board member of the Illinois State Poetry Society. Mary Beth lives in Northeastern Illinois with her granddog, Wrigley.The Majesty of Trees, Poets & Artists Respond Root, Trunk & Branch is her third editing collaboration with Jennifer Dotson.
Joseph Kuhn Carey'scollection, Postcards From Poland received the Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award and was published by Chicago Poetry Press in early 2014. [Copies available from PostcardsfromPoland.com, ChicagoPoetry.com and Amazon.com]. Postcards from Poland garnered numerous awards and recognition. His newest (as yet unpublished) collection, Back to the Black Forest: A Poetic Journey Through Germany, has already been awarded 1st Place in both the 2016 Amsterdam Book Festival as well as 2016 Northern California Book Festival. He is a Grammy-voting member of The Recording Academy and recipient of an ASCAP/Deems Taylor award for music-related writing (for articles about jazz composer/musicians Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, and Charlie Haden). He's published a chapbook of poetry ("Bulk-Rate") and a book on jazz (Big Noise From Notre Dame: A History of the Collegiate Jazz Festival) and has released two Loose Caboose Band CDs of original children's songs with his brother, Bill ("The Caboose is Loose" and "Mighty Big Broom," the latter garnered two first-round Grammy nominations). He earned his B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a M.S. in Mass Communication from Boston University. He's interviewed bakers for Bakery Magazine, written about jazz and blues artists for Downbeat, JazzTimes, and The Boston Globe. His poems have been selected in the Writer's Digest 7th Annual Poetry Awards Contest & 80th Annual Writing Competition as well as the Evanston Library's 35th Annual Jo-Anne Hirschfield Memorial Poetry Awards. He's been published by East on Central, the Journal of Modern Poetry, Highland Park Poetry and more. When not scribbling entertaining poems, stories and songs on all available scraps of paper to read to his wife and kids over dinner, he runs a multi-state property management business.
Tricia Marcella Cimerais a Midwestern poet with a worldview. Her work appears in many diverse places — from the Buddhist Poetry Review to the Origami Poems Project. Her poem The Stag won first place honors in College of DuPage’s 2017 Writers Read: Emerging Voices contest. Tricia lives with her husband and family of animals in Illinois / in a town called St. Charles / by a river named Fox / with a Poetry Box in her front yard. Visit The Fox Poetry Box on Facebook!
Kathy Lohrum Cottonof Anna, Illinois, is a poet and collage artist whose work has been published in literary journals, magazines and anthologies and as posters and greeting cards. Cotton is the author of three poetry collections; including the 2012 illustrated volume, Deluxe Box of Crayons. She supports poets and poetry by editing/designing poetry books and by serving on the board of directors of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies as Encore editor, and the Illinois State Poetry Society as facilitator of the Southern Chapter and ISPS newsletter editor. Samples of her illustrated poetry are available at: www.minddances.yolasite.com
Gail Denham’s short stories, essays, news articles, poetry and photos have been published in a wide variety of publications nationally and internationally. Denham leads photo and writing workshops at various Pacific Northwest conferences. Her photography is meant to have the meaning of “story”. In all her work, humor plays a big part, plus family closeness. Denham and her husband have four sons and 14 grandchildren, plus a few greats. They live near Sunriver, in Central Oregon where photo opportunities of the great outdoors surround them. Her poem, "Save That Smile" was selected for the 2015 Poetry That Moves Contest. Gail says she is thankful for the outlets for poetry such as Highland Park Poetry. "I take advantage of submissions to this contest, that anthology, on-line possibilities. Especially enjoy the story contests -- those that say "narrative" or "story". Perhaps that's because I began life (almost) as a story teller and most of my previous writing career has been stories. Often I start with the first line, try to figure out a name that fits the idea and I'm off, never imaginging where that poem will lead. The greatest satisfaction is to breathe a big sigh, laugh, or say "ahhhh" at the ending."
Charlotte Digregoriowrites thirteen poetic forms, has won fifty-one literary awards, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She recently received an official commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for her decades of literary achievement. Her sixth book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, was recently published. Her poems have been translated into eight languages, and her traveling poetry/art show is featured at libraries and corporate centers, among several venues. She writes a poetry column for Winnetka Living. Her books are sold in forty-six countries, and four have been adopted as supplemental texts and have also been featured selections of book clubs. She has given workshops at writer's conferences throughout the U.S.; is a writer-in-residence at universities; and speaks regularly at libraries and chain bookstores. Charlotte hosted a radio poetry program on public broadcasting, and was an executive officer of the Haiku Society of America.
Photo by Martha Abelson Photography
Jennifer Dotson studied acting on the East Coast when the siren song of Chicago's storefront theater scene lured her to the Midwest. Along the way she stumbled into writing, first with plays and later poetry. Her poems have appeared in After Hours, Caravel Literary Journal, DuPage Valley Review,East On Central, Exact Change Only, Poetry Cram/J.O.M.P., Her Mark 2005 and Willow Review. She has poems included in several anthologies including A Midnight Snack, from Poetic License Press. Her debut collection, Clever Gretel, was published by Chicago Poetry Press in April 2013 and is available on Amazon.com. Just released from Kelsay Books is her second collection, Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems. Check out her new author page at www.JenniferDotsonPoet.com. She teaches creative writing, memoir and poetry through "Library U" at Highland Park Library and leads workshops such as "Performance Skills for Poets," "Poetry for the Apocalypse," and "How-To Poems: From the Functional to the Fantastic." Jennifer is thrilled that what started as a small idea to recognize local poets in the community has grown and bloomed into Highland Park Poetry.
Mary Ann Eiler’s poetry has been published nationally and internationally and translated into Chinese. She studied with Ilya Kaminsky (Iowa Summer Writing Festivals) and was a participant in poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her poetry won awards from Poets and Patrons, the Alliance Française (Chicago), and the International Association of Sufism. She authored physician publications for the American Medical Association, served as judge for international technical writing and high school poetry competitions, and holds a diploma from the Institute of Children's Literature (Connecticut) for her manuscript Annie's Doll - A Study of World War II on the Home Front. Mary Ann holds a PhD in Linguistics and loves France. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Oak Park, IL with her dolls.
Michael Escoubas -Michael began writing poetry for publication in August of 2013. Early in life his mother said, You have a gift for words; I hope you do something with that gift. Michael writes poetry, in part, because of his mother’s encouraging words and because he believes poetry brings people together. Michael has published one chapbook, Light Comes Softly, which is available by contacting the author.
Diane Funston lives in Marysville, California. She has been appointed as the 2020-2021 Poet-in-Residence for Yuba Sutter Arts and Culture. As such, Diane created and facilitates Poetry Square, a monthly live online poetry reading featuring three poets plus herself reading their own work. She features poets with diverse voices as well as reading from diverse geographical locations via the Internet. Diane created a poetry group in Tehachapi, California in 2001, where she lived for almost twenty years, and she is still involved with today. She is also very active in Sacramento poetry and poetry in her hometown area of Rochester, New York. Diane holds a degree in Literature and Writing from CSU San Marcos, California. She has been published in a variety of anthologies and is putting together her first chapbook.
Mary Jane Gabrielsen began writing poetry in the winter of 2003, noticing an ice-covered window in the office of their late 50’s Colonial.She lives in Deerfield with her husband, Gary, and two sons, Kevin and Brian.With a B.S. degree in Administration of Parks and Recreation from EasternIllinoisUniversity, and graduate studies at DePaulUniversity, she has a keen interest in the influence nature plays in our daily lives, and a fascination with the interplay of familiar characters and their effects upon our perceptions in a fast-paced landscape of visual commonality. Her work has been published in recent editions of East on Central, A Journal of Arts and Letters.She has been a student member of Poet's Attic, Highland Park, since 2003 and enjoys participating in open mic poetry readings at Highland Park Library.
Joseph ("Joe") Glaser -Originally educated in Engineering Physics and Mathematics at Cornell, CCNY (BS) and NYU (MS), most of Joe's career was spent in technical business management. In retirement, he dove into Liberal Arts, got an MLA from the University of Chicago, and began writing poetry in 2008. His poems have appeared in The Journal, printed by Northwestern University's OLLI program, the online Front Porch Review, Decades Review, Muses’ Gallery of Highland Park Poetry, the printed Journal of Modern Poetry (JOMP-16, 18, 19, winning best modern poem prize and Pushcart nomination in 2013), Distilled Lives 2 and Distilled Lives 3 anthologies printed by the Illinois State Poetry Society, East on Central print Journal of Arts and Letters. Joe also pursues candid photography, especially when traveling, and his photos have been published in some of the same media as his poems.
Marne Glaserwas raised in the suburbs of NY, and after several rehearsal moves, found herself living in Chicago some 27 years ago and has stayed put ever since. Her training has been in music, psychology, and education, but she was an English major for a few months, and she did win the limerick prize her freshman year of college. Much of her writing falls into the verse and lyrics category, often lighthearted, but occasionally deep. She has been known to include songs of her own writing when she performs with some of Chicago's fine jazz musicians. As a new direction, and a bit of a discipline for her errant ways, she's been trying out haiku of late--the real kind, not 5-7-5. Twice she has participated in HPP's Poetry Pentathlon, plus the bus poem contest, and some Madame ZuZu readings. On the side, she's just finished two years as one of the Directors of the Off-Campus Writers Workshop in Winnetka where she continues to contribute as the Facebook czaress.
Carol L. Gloorhas lived for 75 years, and hopes she’s learned something—it seems to vary from day to day. Her poetry has appeared in many online and hard copy journals, most recently in Gyroscope. She has upcoming poetry in the hard copy journal Glimpse in the online journal AJI Magazine, and in the anthology Aunt Flo. Somehow, she never tires of reading and writing poetry.
Gail Goepfertis a poet, amateur photographer, and teacher. Currently, she is an associate editor of RHINO Poetry. A Mind on Pain is her first chapbook—publication Finishing Line Press 2015. She is published in a number of anthologies and journals including Avocet, Off Channel, After Hours, Caesura, Florida English, Jet Fuel Review, and Examined Life Journal and online at Emerge Literary Journal, Ardor Literary Magazine, Room Magazine, andBolts of Silk. She was a Poet of the Month for YourDailyPoem.com. Two of her poems rode PACE buses as part of our Poetry That Moves contest. She’s been a semi-finalist for Journal of Modern Poetry and Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013 and 2014. She has photographs online at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Olentangy Review, 3Elements Review, and in February 2015, one of her photographs will appear on the cover of Rattle, She received a month-long residency at Lake Forest's Ragdale Foundation in April 2014. She spent time in Brockport, New York, studying Gilgamesh and its implications for the classroom thanks to the National Endowment for the Humanities. Gail was born and raised in the Midwest states of Illinois and Ohio, from near the Piasa Bird along the bluffs of the Mississippi to the eagle-watch waters of the river near the Quad-Cities, from the Glass City, Toledo, Ohio, to a long and present stay in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. You can find her online at gailgoepfert.com.
Kathleen Gregglives with her husband and one cat in the beautiful Bluegrass region of Kentucky, where storytelling is as much a tradition as bourbon distilling and horse racing. Kathleen studied under the current Kentucky Poet Laureate, Jeff Worley, for a year through the Author Academy program at Carnegie Center in Lexington. She is actively involved in the Kentucky State Poetry Society, presently serving as treasurer. Kathleen is honored to be a Participating Poet at Highland Park Poetry.
Cynthia Hahn has been a Professor of French at Lake Forest College, teaching language, literature, culture, film, translation and creative writing since 1990. Hahn's first poetry chapbook, Outside-In-Sideout, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2010; it gives voice to the process of grieving. Cynthia's second volume of bilingual poetry (French-English), Co-ïncidence(s), was published by alfAbarre Press (Paris) in 2014. It is illustrated by Parisian artist Monique Loubet. This volume meditates on the theme of life as a journey and much of the bird imagery reflects movements of the soul. She presented the book at two Salons du Livre: in Chicago at the Alliance Française and in Gatineau, Quebec in Spring 2015. She writes poetry in French and English and has published over 50 poems in a variety of journals, books and online venues, most recently with East on Central and the Ekphrastic Review. She regularly publishes literary translations (poetry and prose), and has translated French writer Olivier Lebleu, Tunisian Hédi Bouraoui, Algerian Noureddine Aba, Lebanese authors Evelyne Accad and Ezza Agha Malak, as well as East African writer Abdourahman Waberi. She has translated Michael Tyler's rhyming children's book, The Skin You Live in into French (2020). She plays West African drums in "Diamana Diya," and bass guitar in "Fast and Cheap". Visit Cynthia's web site - www.cynthiathahn.com
Jacqueline Harris was born and raised in Lake County and currently resides in North Chicago, IL. She is a graduate of Shimer College with a BA in Humanities. She is a writer of poetry and short fiction, as well local spoken word artist. She has published two short stories and is currently working on a poetry CD. Her first collection of poetry is Random Acts of Verse.
Janea D. Harris is an author and poet who loves how creative writing has the ability to elicit all types of emotions in people. She enjoys writing for people of all ages and is often inspired by real-world events. Her published children’s books include, Through the Window of Winter the Rabbit (2020) and All Girls have Sup-HER Power, The Power of Voice (2019). Janea's poetry is published in multiple poetry Anthologies. Additional details can be found at www.supherbooks.com. When not writing, Janea enjoys the performing arts and volunteers with various community-based education organizations. Janea lives with her husband, daughter and son on the North Shore of Chicago, Illinois.
Julie Isaacson has lived in Highland Park since 1982, where she also taught Special Education and Early Literacy. Since retiring from North Shore School District 112 in 2013, Julie has enjoyed exploring a variety of passions. She has published works in East on Central and Voices and Visions of Sister Cities. She authored two books, The Angry Chef: Satisfying Recipes Inspired by Unsatisfying Relationships. In addition to writing poetry for Highland Park Poetry, she enjoys writing courses at Lake Forest College and Story Studio in Chicago. While enhancing her craft through her studies, Julie also teaches writing skills to adolescents in her Highland Park home. Another avenue of her interests involves her participation as a storyteller for Short Story Theatre. Julie is grateful for being able to enjoy the best of all worlds, and the new, creative friends she’s met through her endeavors.
Caroline Johnsonhas two poetry chapbooks, Where the Street Ends and My Mother’s Artwork, and more than 70 poems in print. A nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of Net, she has won numerous state and national poetry awards, including the 2012 Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Poetry Contest. Her writing has appeared in Lunch Ticket, Rambunctious Review, Origins Journal, The Quotable, Encore, Naugatuck River Review, Blast Furnace, New Scriptor, Prairie Light Review, Kind of a Hurricane Press, among others. She served as president of Poets & Patrons of Chicago for four years and leads poetry workshops for veterans and others in the Chicago area. An English teacher for 20 years, she now works as a community college academic advisor. Her first full length collection of poems, The Caregiver, is forthcoming from Holy Cow! Press in May 2018.
Edward P. Kaufman, MSW, LCSW, BCD, is the Director of Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He is in private practice in Chicago and Highland Park, Illinois. Mr. Kaufman has written numerous papers on child and adolescent psychotherapy, psychological development and the emotional aspects of teaching and learning. He has written about films and leads professional study groups on films. He is an editor and contributor to AEmotions and Learning Reconsidered: International Perspectives published by Gardner Press in 1993. Mr. Kaufman is interested in music, scuba diving, photography and poetry.
Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where he taught literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University. Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Expound, The Muse: India, Red River Review, Snakeskin,Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2017). He has also done several collaborations with composer Richard Lavenda of Rice University in Houston, including a one-act opera, Barricades, for which he wrote the libretto. Klepetar is the author of twelve poetry collections and chapbooks, the most recent of which include Family Reunion (Big Table), A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps) and Why Glass Shatters (One Sentence Chaps).
Tricia Knoll was born in Highland Park in 1947 during the middle of a heavy snowstorm. Her parents brought property during World War II but couldn't build until after the war. Her father served as President of the School Board when Red Oak School was built and delivered her diploma to her in the first graduating class from Deerfield High School. She now lives in Williston, Vermont. Her poetry appears widely in journals and anthologies and has received 9 Pushcart Prize nominations and one Best of Net. She has four collections in print - Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press), Ocean's Laughter (Kelsay Books), and Broadfork Farm (The Poetry Box, poetry about life on a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington on the slopes of Mt. Adams). How I Learned to Be White from Antrim House received the 2018 Indie Book Award for Motivational Poetry and includes poems about her life growing up in Highland Park. A new book called Checkered Mates is coming out from Kelsay Books in 2021.Website: triciaknoll.com
Candace Kubinec lives in Greensburg, Pennsylvania and is a member of the Ligonier Valley Writers. Her poems and short stories have appeared in The Loyalhanna Review, Highland Park Poetry Muses' Gallery and Kind over Matter. She is a finalist in the 2015 Poetry That Moves competition.
Jill Angel Langloisbegan writing short stories at the age of eight and poetry at the age of twelve. Her poems and short stories have appeared in literary magazines, anthologies and newspapers in the Chicagoland area as well as nationally and internationally. She holds a B.A. in English & American Literature from Governors State University, University Park, IL. As a judge for the Florida State Poetry Society, she maintains that the beauty of a poem is written with truth in the heart of the poet. Scattered Petals, her first collection of poetry, explores the healing power of nature. Whiskey Nights, her second poetry collection, in progress, is inspired by both whiskey and music. Excerpts from these collections can be found at www.illinoispoets.org
Michael Latza has been published in several literary journals, including, The Solitary Plover, Red River Review, Willow Review, and Bear River Review. He has also published nonfiction on the Prairie Home Companion website. Michael studied poetry under the late James Liddy, in the fall of 2007, in Milwaukee. Michael was born in Chicago. After a career as a mailman for 25 years, he teaches English, composition, literature, and creative writing at the College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL, where he also edits the creative writing journal, Willow Review. Mr. Latza earned his MA in English from Loyola University of Chicago.
Joan Leottatells stories on page and stage. Her poems, essays, articles, and short stories have been widely published. She has been a Tupelo 30/30 writer and a Gilbert Chappell Fellow. She performs personal and folk tales of food, family, and strong women in libraries, at schools, in museums and at festivals. To relax and think up new tales she walks the beach, collecting shells. She has four poetry books in print (or online). Languid Lusciousness with Lemon (Finishing Line Press), Nature’s Gifts online with Stanzaic Stylings, Dancing Under the Moon, and Morning by Morning, mini-chapbooks with Origami Press.
Lennart Lundhis a poet, photographer, short-fictionist, and photographer. His work has appeared internationally since 1965, including twenty-seven books and several exhibitions.
Photo by Chuck Bennorth
An award-winning writer and editor whose work has appeared in East on Central, Elle, North Shore, and other publications, Carol Spielman Lezak holds a B.A. in fine arts from BostonUniversity and an M.A. in medical librarianship from the University of Michigan. She also studied fine bookbinding under the late William Anthony and is a biographee in Marquis Who's Who in America. Her perspective: While a picture may indeed be worth a thousand words, poets use their love of and skills with language and words to paint their own canvases that can be viewed with the inner eye. Lezak developed an appreciation for the art early on via her mother, whose collection of works by poets as diverse, entertaining, and insightful as Dorothy Parker, Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, and Ogden Nash stirred her daughter's imagination.
Terry Loncaric is a journalist, poet, and perpetual truth seeker. Her poems have appeared on storefronts, in magazines, and in anthologies. She has lectured on feature writing at Columbia College and Roosevelt University. She contributes entertainment stories to Pioneer Press in the Chicago suburbs. She has won many awards for her feature stories in Indiana and Illinois newspapers. She works as a teaching assistant in the Special Education Department of Hoffman Estates High School. Loncaric loves empowering students with learning disabilities to conquer their fears of writing. Her first chapbook, Crashing in Velvet, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014.
Olivia Maciel Edelman received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Olivia Maciel was awarded the First Prize for Poetry in Spanish by Northeastern Illinois University (2014), Poet’s House Award, New York City (1996) for one of three best books of poetry in the U.S., for Más salado que dulce / Saltier than Sweet (March Abrazo Press), and the José Martí Award for essay writing in homage to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, awarded by the University of Houston and the Consular Body of Houston (1993). Maciel is the author of Shadow in Silver (Swan Isle Press), Filigree of Light (Swan Isle Press), and Cielo de Magnolias. Cielo de Silencios (Pandora Lobo Estepario Ediciones), among other publications. Olivia Maciel enjoys reading, taking walks, and listening to music. Sometimes she draws, paints, or takes photographs. Olivia Maciel was born in Mexico City and resides in Chicago. She is currently a professor at North Central College.
Olivia Maciel Edelman recibió su doctorado en la Universidad de Chicago. Olivia obtuvo el Primer Premio de Poesía en Español otorgado por Northeastern Illinois University (2014), el Premio Casa del Poeta, Nueva York, por uno de los mejores tres libros de poesía en los Estados Unidos por Más Salado que Dulce (1996), y el Premio José Martí, otorgado por la Universidad de Houston, y el Cuerpo Consular de Houston, por ensayo en honor de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1993). Maciel es autora de Sombra en plata (Swan Isle Press), Filigrana encendida (Swan Isle Press), y Cielo de Magnolias. Cielo de Silencios (Pandora Lobo Estepario Ediciones), entre otras publicaciones. A Olivia le encantan la lectura, los paseos al aire libre, y la música. De vez en cuando pinta, dibuja, o toma fotografías. Olivia Maciel nació en la Ciudad de México y reside en Chicago. Actualmente es Profesora en North Central College.
Marjorie Maddox.Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell University (MFA) and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Marjorie Maddox has published eleven collections of poetry—including True, False, None of the Above (Poiema Poetry Series); Local News from Someplace Else (Wipf and Stock); Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation, (Yellowglen Prize); and Perpendicular As I; the forthcoming Wives’ Tales (Seven Kitchens Press)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (2017 Fomite), and over 450 stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State Press), she also has published two children’s books with several forthcoming. For more information, please see www.marjoriemaddox.com
William Marr has published 23 volumes of poetry (two in English and the rest in his native Chinese language), 3 books of essays and several books of translations. His most recent published work, Chicago Serenade, is a trilingual (Chinese/English/French) anothology of poems published in Paris this year. His poetry has been translated into more than ten languages and included in over one hundred anthologies. Some of his poems are used in high school and college textbooks in Taiwan, China, England, and Germany. In addition to writing poetry, he has also engaged in translating Western modern poetry into Chinese and has edited several anthologies of Chinese and Taiwanese modern poetry. He is a former president of the Illinois State Poetry Society and has received numerous awards, including three from Taiwan for his poetry and translations. A PhD recipient and a scientific researcher by profession, he has been in recent years pursuing other artistic interests including painting and sculpting and has held several solo as well as group exhibits in the U.S. and China. His Website, The Art World of William Marr (http://feima.yidian.org/) displays some of his important literary and artistic works.
Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net.
Bruce McNutt is a physician who spent 10 years in private practice and the last 22 years in the pharmaceutical industry.He is the proud father of 4 grown children and has three grandchildren. He has been married to his hero, his wife Martha for 37 years and has a friend—a beautiful golden retriever Barkley who is his constant companion.His family and friends have provided him with the impetus for his poetry which he began creating after the birth of his first grandchild in 2004.Bruce believes that each of us is a poet and need only free the feelings and emotions that are at the core of our being in order to share that poetry with others.
Adrian McRobbpoet-author-photographer, was born in West London. Brought up in Feltham-Germany-North Yorkshire, Adrian joined R.N. as an Engineer after short apprenticeship at Eutectic Welding Co. Now resides in the North of England, in Cramlington Northumberland. His poetry has appeared in literary magazines including, First Time, The Linnets Wings, Forward Press and charity anthologies for ‘Mind’ and ‘Shelter.’ Past holder of the Lowford Trophy for writing excellence, he is a Kindle author and has six publications on Amazon.
Arlyn Miller teaches poetry to young people in the schools and in the community through Poetic License, Inc., an organization which she founded and directs. A poet herself, her poems have been published in journals such as Calyx, Jewish Women's Literary Annual, and Literary Bohemian. Two of her poems are to be published in May 2009 in the on-line journal, Literary Mama. She lives in Glencoe with her husband and three children. Check out her Web site at www.poeticlicenseinc.net.
Khalid Mukhtar lives in Bolingbrook, a suburb of Chicago, with his wife and four children. He was born and raised in India and immigrated to the US in 1998. He works as a software engineer in Deerfield. He is an avid enthusiast of traditional poetry styles and that is where most of his poems fall. He contributes regularly to his blog at khamuk.com where he solicits feedback from his gradually growing online readership. In addition to poetry, Khalid is an aspiring novelist and has completed two works of fiction drama over the last two years. He is actively seeking to publish them as he carries out research for his third novel.
Marilyn Peretti of Glen Ellyn loved having her poem, Moon Rain, appear on a bus through the Highland Park Poetry program! She is pleased that 12 poems have been published at New Verse News, online, since these poems are expressions of her views on current events and political topics. She won first prize twice in the Ann Arbor newspaper contest and enjoyed the celebrations there where her son, Tom, lives. So there are many enjoyable activities related to poetry writing, besides publishing in journals and her self-illustrated books published on blurb.com. She's published in Kyoto Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Fox Cry Review, Journal of Modern Poetry, Grey Sparrow, Snowy Egret, and others. Also a nomination for Pushcart Prize. Marilyn is an artist and exhibited with the Nature Artists’ Guild for 26 years, so some of her poetry books contain her own artwork.
Patty Dickson Pieczka's second book, Painting the Egret's Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from The Bitter Oleander (2012). Other books are Lacing Through Time (Bellowing Ark Press, 2011) and a chapbook, Word Paintings (Snark, 2002). She won the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest in the Best Sonnet category (2014), first prize in the 2012 Illinois Poetry Society contest as well as the Frances Locke Memorial Award (2010). She graduated in Creative Writing at SIU. Writing has appeared in many journals such as Bluestem, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Versedaily.org, and Willow Review.
Donna Pucciani, a resident of Wheaton, Illinois, has published poetry globally in such diverse journals as Shi Chao Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, Acumen, Iota and Gradiva. A seven-time Pushcart nominee, her most recent book of poems is EDGES.
Jenene Ravesloot is a member of The Poets’ Club of Chicago, ISPS, and Poets & Patrons. She is also a member of the Omniphonic Trio, a sounds-of-poetry band. She has written four books of poetry. Her poems have been published in the Caravel Literary Arts Journal, The Poetry Storehouse, Connotation Press, PackingtownReview, The Miscreant, After Hours Press, Exact Change Only Press, and other journals.
Sylvia Riojas Vaughn is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She has been selected as a Houston Poetry Fest Juried Poet three times. She belongs to the Dallas Poets Community. Her work has appeared in Red River Review, Tradae, HOUSEBOAT, Diálogo, Beyond the Hill (Lost Tower Publications, 2017), The Muses' Gallery, Desde Hong Kong: Poets in Conversation with Octavio Paz, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press, 2016), and in anthologies and journals in the U.S. and abroad.
Marjorie Rissmancomes to Illinois via New York, Michigan and Massachusetts. After a long sabbatical from writing and the death of her sister, she has picked up where she left off. Her poems can be found online at HP Poetry's Muse's Gallery, or in the last three issues of East on Central, and the 2014 ISPS anthology. She participates regularly at HP Poetry's open mic events and is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. The 2014 Poetry Pentathlon was her most ambitious competition. In addition to writing, Marjorie is a Highland Park real estate broker, active in local politics, devoted to her four grandchildren and committed to repairing the world.
Donna Ritter discovered a fondness for written expression through a high school creative writing class. Since 2006 she has been journaling her insight after morning Bible reading and has progressed to writing poetry, biography and memoir, showcasing God's awesome power, strength and love. She credits her writing ability to her relationship with God, seeking His wisdom in prayer before she writes every day. Her poems have been published in Highland Park Poetry's Muses' Gallery (Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Winter 2016) and in the 2012 and 2016 Highland Park Poetry Challenge Chapbooks.
Kathleen Robinsonfacilitates the Champaign-Urbana chapter of the Illinois State Poetry Society. Following a career of technical and scientific editing, she has rediscovered the joy of writing poetry that she last experienced in high school. After retiring from Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2014, Kathy immersed herself in humanities studies and the University of Illinois branch at the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning. Her poems are philosophical reveries on community and family life, and gardening in all its many senses. She has published online and reads regularly at open-mics.
Tom Roby IVpublishes and performs his poetry in Chicago. He is President and critique leader of The Poets' Club of Chicago. He is also a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society and Poets & Patrons. His poems have appeared in After Hours Press, Exact Change Only, Poetry Fish, Frog Pond, and other poetry journals, and anthologies, well as on north suburban PACE buses. Tom has published a chapbook, Griever's Circuit (Fractal Edge Press, 2004), and two other poetry books: Shape Shifter (The Puddin'head Press, 2008), and Pressure Points (Bendinger, 2012). His poems were presented as poetry-theater at the Loop Theater. With The Poets’ Club of Chicago he has developed the Poetry Wheel in which each poet reads explicitly in relation to the previous poem. The Wheel has performed at various poetry venues and fests, including Chicago Public Libraries. He is also part of Omniphonic, a trio that performs poems with sounds-of-poetry. It has hosted the annual Omniphonic Challenge for poetry bands and produced a CD. Tom’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/tom.robyiv
Sue Roupp has relocated with her husband to Wisconsin. Highland Park Poetry is indebted to Sue for her energy and enthusiasm which inspired several of our past programs and contributed so greatly to our growth and spreading the word on the North Shore. Sue is a poet and a teacher who is generous with her gifts. Sue says: "Poetry writing focuses on an intense emotional connection in an economy of words and carried along by the inherent craft and rhythm of each line. This "less is more" style of writing allows the writer to capture the essence of meaning while providing a universal story through metaphor or the give and take of each word bumping or caressing each other as we move through the poem." Sue served as the Guest Judge for our 2015 Poetry That Moves Contest.
Tania Runyan is the author of the poetry collections Second Sky, A Thousand Vessels, Simple Weight, and Delicious Air, which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her book How to Read a Poem, an instructional guide based on Billy Collins’s “Introduction to Poetry,” was released in 2014. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Christian Century, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, Willow Springs, Nimrod, and the anthology A Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. Tania was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011. She tutors high school students, writes for the Good Letters blog, and edits for Every Day Poems and Relief.
Nancy Ann Schaefer (Ph.D.,University of Aberdeen, UK) is a retired academic who recently relocated to rural Maine. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, journals, and Web sites; a few have won awards. In Search of Lode, her first chapbook, was published by 918studio (2012). Her poem “Glad grace” was selected for display in twoChicago suburban libraries as part of National Poetry Month (2014), and “Ahimsa” has been chosen as the June entry (2015) in the Poetry That Moves Contest by Highland Park Poetry. Nancy lives with her husband, dog and three cats and is now revising her next poetry collection. In her spare time she volunteers to drive puppies (from kill shelters) to Lewiston, in central Maine, where they stay/are fostered until their ‘forever homes’ are found. Thanks for taking a look.
Marjorie L. Skelly's cross-genre book, The Unpublished Poet: On Not Giving Up on Your Dream, published by In Extenso Press in 2015, consists of essays, short stories, and poems. She has won first place awards from Poets & Patrons, the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Poetry Memorial Contest, and the Palatine Public Library. She hwas twice reached semi0finalist status for the Word Works Washington Prize for a poetry book as well as in the Gwendolyn Brooks Open-Mic Contest. Marjorie has taught writing at several universities and libraries in the Chicagoland area. She is also a singer and has sung with North Shore Choral Society, Edgewater Singers, and loves signing the Jazz/Gospel version of Handel's Messiah known as "Too Hot to Handel." She lives in Chicago with her husband Jim and daughter Maggie.
Pat St. Pierreis an author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her fourth poetry chapbook will be published in 2021. She is widely published both online and in print. Some of her poems have been published in Three Line Poetry, Ephrastic Review, Jellyfish Whispers, Pangolin Review, Scarlet Leaf River, Highland Park Poetry, etc. Her fiction and nonfiction have also been widely publishedwhile her photography has adorned the covers and pagesof Mountain Tales Press, Minute Magazine, Poetry Pacific, Touch Journal, Plants and Flowers and others.Her blog is www.pstpierre.wordpress.com.
Jacqueline Stearnsholds a B.A. in Mass Media Communications from William Paterson College, now University. She has been published in the Highland Park Poetry Muses’ Gallery, and has been published in the 2014, and 2018 Montclair Write Group Sampler Anthologies. Her flash fiction is included in The Montclair Write Group Flash Fiction Anthology of 2019. She was an associate editor of New Jersey Peace Action Peace Poems.
Christine Swanberg’s books include Tonight On This Late Road, Invisible String, Bread Upon The Waters, Slow Miracle, The Tenderness of Memory, The Red Lacquer Room, Who Walks Among The Trees With Charity, The Alleluia Tree, and Wild Fruition: Sonnets, Spells, and Other Incantations. She has published about 600 poems in about 100 journals and anthologies. She is the first inaugurated Poet Laureate of Rockford, Illinois.
Judith MK Tepferwas born at the age of 50, before which she had one middle initial and neither the ability nor the inclination to write creatively. Her late-in-life muse directed her to other writers and visual artists and the eventual founding of East On Central, a Journal of Arts and Letters from Highland Park, Illinois. Editor-In-Chief of East On Central, poet, and freelance editor, Judith's writing can be found in Poetica Magazine, Journal of Modern Poetry, Collage (Lake Forest College) and the online publication, Pirene's Fountain (www.pirenesfountain.com).
Taunja Thomson's poetry has appeared in The Cincinnati Poets’ Collective, The Cincinnati Poetry Review, The Licking River Review, The Aurorean, Lime Hawk Collective Arts Journal, Really System, Squalorly, Wild Age Press, This Dark Matter, Melted Wing, The Cahaba River Journal, Sandy River Review,Watershed, Portage Magazine, Panoply Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Winamop,Amore (an anthology of love poetry), Potomac, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Ekphrastic Review, Halcyon Days, CQ California Poetry Society, Surreal Poetics, Masque and Spectacle, Peacock Journal, Zingara,Heyday Magazine, Half-Baked, The Light Ekphrastic, Crawl Space, the Chicago Press’s The Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Golden Walkman Magazine, The Mages Lantern, RedOmnivore Review, Claudius Speaks, and Pink Panther Magazine. Her poem A Sailor’s Language has recently received an Honorable Mention in Causeway Lit.’s poetry contest. In the upcoming months, her work will be featured in These Fragile Lilacs and Placeholder Magazine. She co-authored a chapbook of ekphrastic poetry entitled Frame and Mount the Sky that was published in June of 2017. Her chapbook, Strum and Lull, placed in Golden Walkman’s chapbook competition. She is a Pushcart nominee. Check her our on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TaunjaThomsonWriter. Taunja resides in Kentucky with herhusband and six cats, where she practices kickboxing and water gardening.
Judith Tullislives in Indian Head Park with her husband, Lee. She is Treasurer of the Illinois State Poetry Society and a member of Poets & Patrons of Chicago. Her poems are published in Distilled Lives: 20th Anniversary Anthology, the DuPage Valley Review, Seeding the Snow and several internet sites.
Curt Vevang is a Chicago native and a product of the Chicago Public Schools. He has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois. He has published three poetry books, “a scant bagatelle”, “the nature of things”, and most recently, “poetry as we like it”. He has also published two rhyming children's books illustrated by 6th grade students. All five books are available at Amazon, keyword Vevang. His poetry has been published in anthologies, poetry magazines, and various poetry websites. He has won honors from the Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets and Patrons, the Journal of Modern Poetry, the Northbrook Arts Commission, and the Poetry Society of Tennessee. Most recently his poetry won first place in the Humor category in both 2019 and 2020 poetry contests sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.
William Vollrath recently retired and relocated to beautiful and historic Charlottesville, Virginia where he has finally found time to focus on writing, after varied experiences as a grave digger, ad salesman, college English instructor, real estate appraiser, bartender, political activist, stock broker, substitute teacher, volunteer, father and husband. He hopes that sharing his varied experiences, perceptions, frustrations and joys will be both good therapy for himself and may even provide some moments of lasting illumination for others. His poetry has won numerous awards and been published in a variety of journals, anthologies, e-zines and web sites.
Jamie Wendtis the author of the poetry collection Fruit of the Earth, which won the 2019 National Federation of Press Women Book Award in Poetry. Her poems, essays, and book reviews have been published in various literary journals and anthologies, including Feminine Rising, Lilith, Jet Fuel Review,Literary Mama, the Forward, Third Wednesday, and Saranac Review. She holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska Omaha. She teaches high school English and lives in Chicago with her husband and two children. Visit https://jamiewendt.wordpress.com/
Lynn Westlives in Highland Park and says, "I gather my poetry and photographs from the soul. When life brings bricks, stones, sun, shade, I filter through a medium that reflects and pleases my inner muse. My writing originated as an escape from a reality I couldn't cope with. The muse emerged and took many delightful forms. I have been writing for 7 years and have recently been published in East on Central. My favorite aspect of creativity is getting to know local artists and sharing our unique ways of looking at the world."
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. Her poem 'A Rose For Gaza' was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition 2014. This and many other poems, have been published in recent anthologies including - Stacey Savage’s ‘We Are Poetry, an Anthology of Love poems’; Community Arts Ink’s ‘Reclaiming Our Voices’; Vagabond Press’s, ‘The Border Crossed Us’; ‘Degenerates - Voices For Peace’, ‘Civilised Beasts’ and ‘Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones’ from Weasel Press; ‘Alice In Wonderland’ by Silver Birch Press, and many rather excellent on line and print journals.
Michael P. Wrightis a native Chicagoan currently residing in Highwood and a published poet. Mr. Wright dabbled with poetry in the mid 1990’s and started writing again in August, 2006. What began as a joketoa neighbor has escalated to readings throughout Chicago and winningfirst and second place in Highland Park Poetry’s 2013 Poetry Challenge in the Sports and Games category. Mr. Wright has dabbled in journalism, writing for a The Bleacher Banter, the newsletter of the Chicago Cubs bleacher fandom in the mid 1990’s, and the College of Lake County Chronicle. Mr. Wright yearns to write that “over the top” perfect poem that reaches out to everyone.
RM Yager is a retired nurse/teacher/photographer who loves to write about marginalized and at risk people, she loves to tackle topics about over the top feelings and situations that most people are afraid to confront. She brings family, relationships, and dysfunctional people to the forefront, but also loves to write about babies and little children, especially her grand daughter, nature, healing and whimsy. She has lived on the north shore of Chicago for almost 30 years but is an inner city transplant, who grew up in Lakeview. Her works have appeared in the Winnetka Living as well as within editions of East on Central, Avocet Nature Journal, Highland Park Poetry Muses' Gallery, Rockford Writers Guild,The Good Life Magazine, and The Front Porch Review. Look for her work in an upcoming edition of The Blue Collar Review. She is indebted to her fellow poets who pushed her into finally submitting poetry in 2018.