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.
CONTRIBUTING POETS & ARTISTS - SUMMER MUSES' GALLERY ON SHOES
Nila Bartley is recently married and lives with her husband in Chilicothe, Ohio. She loves to inspire people to think about the good things in life with her writing. She laments, “I think high heels are pretty but can no longer wear them since I have gotten middle-aged.”
Jessica Weyer Bentley is an author and poet. Her first collection of poetry, Crimson Sunshine, was published in May of 2020 (AlyBlue Media). Jessica has been anthologized in the 2020 Women of Appalachia, Women Speak Series Vol. 6 and in the 2020 edition of the journal, Common Threads, by the Ohio Poet’s Association. Jessica resides in Northwest, Ohio. Jessica notes, “Shoes to me represent a companion of an individual. They comfort, protect, and accentuate the soul. Shoes can reveal our mood, our individuality, and even our economic status. They are an extension of our being.”
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. Shoes is her fourth editing collaboration with Jennifer Dotson. Mary Beth reveals, “In my B.C. days (before children), I had over a hundred pair! I was probably the Imelda Marcos of the neighborhood.”
Fiona M. Campbell is a single mum of three from Aberdeen, Scotland. She’s presently taking a break from teaching music to follow her writing dream. Fiona says: “My favourite black heels sit pristine in my wardrobe, since I was diagnosed with MS and my walking's too wobbly to wear them. I hated having cheap school trainers when everyone else was wearing Nike and Adidas.”
Monica Cardestam became interested and dabbled in poetry in college as an English major where she was inspired by poets such as Robert Frost and Langston Hughes. Her creative passions were set aside for years working long hours in the business world. Having left the business world, she is creating art and writing poetry where inspiration many times comes from the simple things in life like her humble, well-loved shoes and the adventures of where they took her.
Joseph Kuhn Carey, lives in Glencoe, Illinois, is the author of Black Forest Dreams and Postcards From Poland. Joe fondly recalls his days of selling shoes in Marshall Field’s department store during college summers and listening to the older salesmen as they told their often hilarious shoe-selling tales during breaks.
William T. Carey lives with his wife in the Chicago area. He completely invests in poetry and real estate. He smiles more and more. His poems have appeared in various journals. William says: “My favorite shoes are any that fit my narrow feet--impossible to find!”
Chris Chandler was born in Georgia, the son of a Baptist minister. Chris found his own way of spreading "The Word." Part preacher, poet, and wandering minstrel, Chandler casts a spell over an audience as a tireless performer and activist, performing wherever the rabble need to be roused. Chris reveals that “In my miss-spent Punk-Rock youth, I wore combat boots exclusively, purchased at an army navy surplus store, and ironically, made in Vietnam.”
Jackie Chou is a poet of free verses and Japanese short forms who has work forthcoming in Mollyhouse Lit and Cyan: an Anthology of Confessional Poetry. Her favorite shoes are black leather loafers. She bought her first pair when she was in college, after seeing other girls wear them. Prior to that she wore whatever her mother gave her.
Jan Chronister has authored two full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks. She has owned at least ten pairs of Mary Jane Crocs in various styles and colors (including leopard print!), and loves them because they don't mind getting wet. janchronisterpoetry.wordpress.com
Hinda Cole is originally from Illinois and now lives in a cohousing community in Portland, Oregon. She heard about Highland Park Poetry through her cousin Julie Isaacson. She adds: “I have always had a lot of shoes. Some of which I wear.”
Tina Cole lives in a rural part of the UK near the Welsh Border. Her poems appear in many U.K. magazines including, Creative Countryside,Poetry Café,Mslexia, Aesthetica and The Guardian newspaper. She likes to write about people and relationships good or bad. She hates the clickety-clack of high heels and only wears comfortable shoes.
Gail Denham is a “sorta” retired writer, photographer and journalist. Gail says, “Shoes - styles come and go - I've heard women have surgery so they can wear spiky heels. I remember long after I was married, I dug in my mom's shed and there were my white duckbill shoes. Now I wear the widest, most giving shoes ever, as my feet and toes have gone on strike, poor things. They've been through a lot.”
Charlotte Digregorio has authored seven award-winning books, including Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing, an inspirational poetry/reference book; Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; and Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio. She was honored by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in 2018 for her lifelong achievements in the literary arts. Digregorio writes fourteen poetic forms, has won sixty-one poetry awards, and was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. Her poems have been translated into eight languages; she translates poetry books from Italian into English; and her traveling haiku/art (haiga) show is featured at libraries, hospitals, corporate centers, and park districts. She has organized national writer's conferences and is a writer-in-residence at universities. She blogs about various genres of writing and posts The Daily Haiku by global poets at www.charlottedigregorio.wordpress.com. Her favorite shoes are her mother's 3-inch red and black high heels from the 1960s that are too pretty to wear!
Jennifer Dotson is author of Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems (Kelsay Books, 2020) and Clever Gretel (Chicago Poetry Press, 2013). Jennifer is a recent finalist in the 2021 Mary Blinn Poetry Contest and her work has been published in After Hours, East on Central, The MacGuffin, among others. She is the creative engine behind HighlandParkPoetry, which she founded in 2007. Pigeon-toed as a child, she was enrolled in ballet lessons to help her learn to walk properly and keep her toes pointing forward. She counted herself very lucky as her little sister was made to wear at bedtime a pair of baby shoes firmly fixed in an outward pointing position by a metal bar. The device was a terrible torture. She would listen to her sister cry and bang her legs against the crib until falling asleep from exhaustion.
Janz Duncan and her husband live in the Lake District National Park, England where they live and work at Blenheim Lodge, their Bowness on Windermere Bed and Breakfast overlooking Lake Windermere. During spare moments, she enjoys writing and walking with her husband and rescue Great Dane. Her work has appeared in Trouvaille Review, Burgundy Balloon, and Heart of Flesh. Her favorite footwear are sheepskin boots, enabling her to walk around the lakes and fells of the Lake District without getting blisters. Yippee!
Idella Pearl Edwards self-published her first book at age 71 and now, at age 81, has written over 25 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 tells us, “The shoes I love most are my sneakers. At my age, comfort is my prime consideration.”
Michael Escoubas serves as editor and senior book reviewer for the highly regarded literary and cultural arts journal Quill and Parchment. He is the author of one chapbook, Light Comes Softly, two full-length collections of ekphrastic poetry, Monet in Poetry and Paint and Steve Henderson in Poetry and Paint, and one devotional collection entitled, Little Book of Devotions: Poems that Connect Nature, God and Man. Regarded as something of a late bloomer, Michael did not write for publication until after his retirement from a career in the printing industry (2013), at age 66. Prior to this Michael read, studied and educated himself in poetry for approximately 25 years. Self-taught, his background includes studies in classical poetry, modernist poetry, including the works of Dickinson, Whitman, Stevens, Eliot, Frost and many others. In addition, he has immersed himself in commentary, theory and philosophy of poetry.
Indira Esson loves rugby, makeup and fashion. She has a dog named Yenta which is Yiddish for busybody. And she loves her Doc Martens.
Isadora Esson is a full time mother returning to academia to find the newest manifestation of myself. She states, “Shoes for me are about comfort, not fashion.”
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. He tends to wear his shoes long after they have much use left, even when the soles are cracked. This may or may not be a metaphor of his life.
Karen Fried of Carmel, Indiana has been writing poetry for more than 40 years and has been published in various publications. She won best poem in the Santa Barbara Writers Conference a few years ago. As far as shoes, her favorite are her slick burgundy boots which she wears all year except summer and they take her everywhere!
Judith Stern Friedman is a writer, teacher, coach, and advocate for keeping the written word alive. In 30+ years of professional writing, she has been widely published in national magazine and book publications, including Better Homes & Gardens home décor, holiday, crafting and quilting titles. She shares her expertise through writing workshops, coaching, tutoring, and university-level teaching. Most recently, Judy has begun to write for her own interests, exploring themes of nature, folklore, and human experience, with emphasis on writing short. Her poetry and prose have been published in Highland Park’s East on Central and Highland Park Poetry’s published anthologies, including nomination for a 2021 Pushcart Prize. Her flash non-fiction piece, A Favor for a Friend, also won a prize from Rose Metal Press. Judy’s fun shoe fact: Despite a 40,000-year history, it was not until 1850 that shoes were made distinctly for the left and right foot.
Dominique Galiano is a school bus driver for Dist 113 in Highland Park and lives in Des Plaines, Illinois. Her poems have been published online as well as printed anthologies. Favorite shoe these days, are a soft, stylish loafer, created for comfort, by Skechers.
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). Her nonfiction/memoir/creativity guide Frugal Poets’ Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren’t a Poet won a 2017 National Indie Excellence Award. Cynthia adds, “I loved dancing on toe shoes when I was a youth in ballet school, but never liked walking in high heels.”
Nancy Hepner Goodman grew up in Oregon but has lived over half of her life in Highland Park with her husband and daughter. Upon retirement two years ago, Nancy started reading and writing poetry and short stories and hasn’t looked back. Previous work has appeared in stories-stuff.com. Nancy never mastered the art of walking in high heels preferring flats, despite her 5-foot, ½-inch stature.
Alwyn Gornall is a Yorkshireman who now lives in the northeast of England. His writing is inspired by emotion, environment, and his state of mind. His work has appeared in: Another North, Dreich, Highland Park Poetry, Northern Writer’s Studio, Tiger Shark Press and Drifting Sands. Shoe fun fact: Persian Cavalry men were the first to wear high heels as they helped the riders feel more secure in stirrups when riding horseback.
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 is the owner of SupHER Books, LLC and her published children's books include, Through the Window of Winter the Rabbit (2020) and All Girls Have Sup- HER Powers, The Power of Voice (2019) available at www.supherbooks.com. When she is not writing, Janea loves spending time with her husband and children, partaking of the arts and volunteering with various community organizations on the North Shore of Chicago, Illinois. Janea says, “My feet are always cold, I love cozy boots.”
Teresa Harris says, “I enjoy hiking the hills of the Shawnee National Forest. I try to have shoes that are flexible and supportive, qualities that I look for in people as well.”
Janis Butler Holm has served as Associate Editor for Wide Angle, the film journal, and currently works as a writer and editor in sunny Los Angeles (a perfect place to wear Skechers). Her prose, poems, and performance pieces have appeared in small-press, national, and international magazines. Her plays have been produced in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
Mark Hudson is pleased to be included in this anthology. A fun shoe fact? Mark Hudson's podiatrist recently retired, and he was sorry to see him go. But he has met his new podiatrist, and he is looking forward to working with him!
Kate Hutchinson is a retired high school English teacher who is now working her way through all the books she didn't have time to read when she was working. Her most recent collection of poetry is Map Making: Poems of Land and Identity. Kate has never owned 4-inch stilettos, though she was fond of a pair of 2-inch Candies that she wore to dance clubs in the early '80s.
Linda Imbler has eight published poetry collections and one hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry. She is a Wichita, Kansas based author. Learn more at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com. Fun Fact: Around 200 B.C., Greek actors used to wear leather sandals with cork platforms called the Cothurnus. As tall as six inches, the Cothurnus' height was dictated by how important the actor was; the more central the protagonist, the taller the shoe, and the easier he was to see.
Julie Isaacson has deep passions: visiting her kids in California, walking her dog, teaching, writing, and teaching writing. She has also loved shoes since she learned to walk in them. Her father had a shoe store and her mother was a fashionista. Buying shoes is not a guilty pleasure. Just a sole-ful necessity. Shoes have appeared as a topic in Julie's performances as a storyteller. She is a regular contributor to Highland Park Poetry, East on Central: Journal of Arts and Letters, and is the author of an anthology, The Angry Chef: Satisfying Recipes Inspired by Unsatisfying Relationships.
Paul M. Jamar, former Texas radio station owner/broadcaster, family man, and now retiree in Missouri, is passionate about poetry, gardening and farming. His experience in writing began with voluminous letters to his future wife, followed by years spent writing advertising copy for radio, creating Christmas books for his children and family, and compiling many volumes of Christian poems. He loves comfortable well-worn shoes.
Caroline Johnson mistakenly wore two different shoes at her first teaching job once, and her students let her know! She has two illustrated poetry chapbooks, Where the Street Ends and My Mother’s Artwork, and more than 200 poems in print. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, she won 1st place in the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row 2012 Poetry Contest. Her full-length collection, The Caregiver (May 2018, Holy Cow! Press) was inspired by years of family caregiving; visit her at www.caroline-johnson.com.
Judith MK Kaufman is the editor-in-chief of East on Central, a Journal of Literature and Art. She writes poetry and memoir and is the author of Caught Laughing: the Esther and Bernie Story, a memoir of her parents' lives. At the moment Judith's favorite shoes are her slippers which, given how much time she's (we've all) had to spend at home, are the most used pair of shoes she's worn all year.
Richard V. Kaufman is a retired physician who loves to fish and write short, humorous poems in equal measure. He splits his year between Highland Park, Illinois and Florida. Richard provided this bonus ditty: “Do not run roughshod into that good night. / Take off your shoes. Turn off the light.”
Betsy Dolgin Katz retired this week having spent her life as a teacher in adult Jewish education. She now can pursue her second love, writing poetry, full time! Fun fact: Michael Jordan just sold a worn pair of Nike shoes he wore during his basketball career for $560,000.
Tricia Knoll has more shoes than she can ever wear, with a fondness for slinky boots. She lives in Vermont where it snows a lot. Her recent collection is Checkered Mates (2021). triciaknoll.com
Michael Ethan Landau likes to write poetry because it is one of the few things he can do that, on occasion, other people appreciate. He says, “I like to say what I want, and poetry lets me do that.” His fun shoe fact is about Judy Garland’s Ruby Red Slipper from the ‘Wizard of Oz. Five pairs of the magical slippers were made for the movie, and four still remain – including one that was stolen from a museum in Minnesota honoring Garland.
Joan Leotta of Calabash, NC, plays with words on page and stage with stories and poems from real life and her imagination, usually dealing with food, family, and strong women. She says, "Shoes are one of my weaknesses. I'm a sucker for elegant yet utilitarian footwear. I must admit that in spite of the efforts of early dance teachers, dance will never be one of my strengths." During the pandemic she eschewed elegance and bought a pair of animal slippers to wear daily as an homage to her Mom.
Terry Loncaric is a self-professed comfort shoe snob. Her two books of poetry are CrashinginVelvet and Poetryin anAgeofPanic. She has read her poetry at many venues,including libraries, cafes, and Printer's Row book fair. Her poems have appeared in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, journals, on storefronts, and in other public spaces.
Cindy Madara is an author and flower farmer whose writings are inspired by the orchards and meadows that surround her home. She prefers hiking boots over platform wedges when rototilling her flower fields. Cindy lives in Mullica Hill, New Jersey with her husband and two grown children.
William Marr has published over thirty books of poetry, including Autumn Window and Between Heaven and Earth (both in English), several bilingual (Chinese/English) collections as well as four multilingual (with French and Italian translations) anthologies. He is a former president of the Illinois State Poetry Society. He loves the pair of comfortable shoes he bought in Taiwan more than 20 years ago, and still wears them from time to time, in spite of his wife's mocking laughter. Ha!
Michael Maul is a “Best of the Net" poetry nominee. He is also the author of a full poetry collection, Dancing Naked in Front of Dogs, and a poetry chapbook, Birds Who Eat French Fries. His work has appeared widely in the USA, been anthologized, and published in translation in a number of countries abroad. Michael divides his time between a residence on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and a new summer/autumn home in Glenview, Illinois. He says, “My fun shoe story begins when a Fortune 500 corporation asked me to help create an event during a diversity training retreat. What I recommended was to have all attendees (from boardroom, to mail room, to factory floor) bring an extra pair of shoes to the retreat. Then, as an ice-breaker exercise (to precede the keynote address) the shoe-pairs were mixed up, randomly exchanged, and all attendees had to walk a mile (in actuality much less than a mile) in another employee’s shoes. It was a silly, non-threatening, but very effective way to reduce distance between co-workers while teeing-up the topic of “empathy”!
Susan McClellan is a Librarian from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her writing has appeared in the Atherton Review, Trouvaille Review, and on the Popular Pittsburgh Blog. Susan loves to wear sneakers and she has never owned platform, very high heels, or any type of skating shoes.
Cassandra McGovern’s prose and poetry have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, OxMag, Olentangy Review, Not Very Quiet, and other publications. Cass is currently composing poetry for a chapbook about Medieval families in a Scottish village. Cass says, “The shoes I love I can’t wear any longer: high-heeled boots in dyed orange ostrich. I bought them in Hong Kong in 1994, not realizing the United States would charge me a high tax, and wore them until my legs could no longer stand up in high heels. I keep them in my closet to remember those lovely days.”
Bob McNeil is a writer, editor, illustrator, and spoken word artist. Lyrics of Mature Hearts, a recent poetry anthology he compiled, is available on Amazon. Bob wrote, “My earliest memory concerning footwear was a pair of white bucks I wore as a child. Family members told me Pat Boone donned that style. At six or seven years of age, this fact did not impress me. What left an impression was how they fussed over every smudge on the color-bereft suede kicks. All these years later, as a parent, I question the sanity of giving colorless shoes to a child who finds amusement in mud and puddles.”
Adrian McRobb, originally from Feltham, West London, lives in Northumberland, North East England, describing himself as an atheist with a sneaking regard for God. He is a pessimistic optimist, who list his hobbies as…Poetry, Writing and ‘talking in lift’s also Victoria sponge cake… Fun fact about shoes: Barleycorns were used to measure shoe sizes, also leather lengths, a barleycorn was decreed by King Edward 1st as 3 to the inch. This measure is still in use today in England and Northern Ireland.
Silvia Morgan resides in the city of San Pedro, California, and has been writing poetry and haiku for about thirty years. She self-published with her husband’s help four poetry books and a bilingual children’s coloring book. Silvia has led many poetry readings at public libraries. Some of her poems have appeared in poetry websites and local writers groups Anthologies. Silvia says: “I dislike the sound of squeaky shoes when walking in a very quiet place!”
Wilda Morris was wearing sneakers most of the time while writing the poems in her book, Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick - and while walking the streets of San Miguel de Allende, one of her favorite places. She is the workshop chairperson of Poets & Patrons. You can enter her monthly Poetry Challenge at http://www.wildamorris.blogspot.com.
Lakshmy Nair is a scientist, writer, and nature photographer who lives in the suburb of Chicago. She is a native of Kerala, India. She writes both in English and Malayalam, her native language. Her debut book, “A Lament,” a collection of poems. Her poems were also published in other anthologies: Winter Moments, Coffee, Tea & Other Beverages, Driving Cars: Poems about Getting Here, There, and Everywhere in Automobiles, The Majesty of Trees: Poets & Artists Respond Root, Trunk, & Branch, Poetry is a Mountain, and East on Central, Volume 19. She tells a story from years ago when she was attending a science conference in Atlanta. On the day was to make her presentation, she discovered she had packed two different shoes of the same foot. With no time to shop, she had no choice but to wear the beat-up walking shoes she wore to travel. She wonders if she started a fashion trend as even actors wear gym shoes with their expensive gowns during the Oscars!
Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enjoying life as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer. Papa’s Motto: Long Weekends Forever! His least favorite and most uncomfortable pair of shoes were issued to him in the army.
Phyllis Patterson is a bike riding, aerobic walking great-grandmother who loves to tell stories and write. Tucked away in a string tied box that holds her birth certificate and marriage license, lays the pair of battered, well-worn shoes preserved in bronze from her first steps. She resides outside Pitman, New Jersey.
Ann Privateer is a poet, artist, and photographer. Her all-time favorite shoes are her grey suede loafers.
Jenene Ravesloot is a member of The Poets’ Club of Chicago, the Illinois State Poetry Society, and Poets & Patrons. She has written five books of poetry and has published in various print and online journals.
Jen Pen Richards enjoys blogging, pet sitting, volunteering at Forest and Found and finding ways to be creative. She does not regret wearing clunky Earth Shoes. She does however wonder why she wore clogs during a snowstorm. Let’s just say she was slip sliding away. Frye boots are her jam.
Marjorie Rissman shared this astonishing story: “When I was a student at Sarah Lawrence College I was a shoe model several times at the New York Shoe Fair. Salespeople came from around the country to select the next season’s styles and colors. It was exhausting work especially watching out for overly friendly hands that seemed to like my size four feet and pantyhose-covered legs!”
W. R. Rodriguez explains that as a youth, he worked in the shoe shine parlor that his family owned in the South Bronx. On behalf of bootblacks everywhere, he would like to say that his favorite shoe is any shoe on the foot of a big tipper. Read or listen to his poetry at: wrrodriguez.com.
Rie Sheridan Rose's poetry appears in numerous publications, including Speculative Poets of Texas, Vol. 1, Texas Poetry Calendar, and Illumen, to name a few. She has authored six poetry chapbooks, twelve novels, and lyrics for dozens of songs. She closely identifies with Hobbits, and wears shoes as little as she can get away with!
Marie Samuel retired as an art teacher in 2001 and has since to quilt and have made several series of eco-art quilts with environmental themes. Poetry is also an interest and means to share her environmental concerns. Her hometown of Herrin, Illinois had a fine shoe repair shop begun by an Italian immigrant and continued by several generations of a different Italian family. Around ten years ago the Shoe Hospital closed and later on reopened as a popular nail business run by Asian immigrants.
Julie Sheldon tells us, “At 59 years old, I began writing poetry when the coronavirus pandemic struck last year. I am an early retiree living in semi-rural England and find inspiration from all around me, from Nature, the pandemic, and personal experiences and observations. Did you know that in Europe, in the 16th and 17th centuries, heels on shoes were always coloured red? My favourite ever pair of shoes were red! Too high for me now though!”
Alice Marcus Solovy says, “I was very happily married to a wonderful man for 43 years till he passed away. He thought I had too many shoes. When I heard that the average woman had thirty pairs of shoes, I learned that I was exactly average!”
Miranda Stewart is an incoming college student who enjoys science, language, art, English, and philosophy. She is an avid reader who works at a library, and can often be found in her room, sewing or admiring her plants. Her favorite pair of shoes are her grey canvas Vans.
Christine Swanberg states, “As official poet laureate of Rockford and being a shorty, you would think I would wear high heels. Alas, at my age my toes go numb. These days I opt for backless shoes that I can slip into without doing anything more.”
Since 1977, Nick Sweet has been a freelance stage director for theatres in Oklahoma, Texas, Alaska and Georgia. Included in his 150 productions is the historic outdoor drama "Trail of Tears" at Oklahoma's Cherokee Heritage Center. He was named Senior Poet Laureate for Oklahoma (2010) and for Texas (2013) by the Amy Kitchener Foundation. Nick says, “My first footwear that I truly loved was a pair of Converse All-Star sneakers (low cuts). I had saved the $8 from my paper route and it seemed like it took forever. The year was 1960 and all my favorite pro players were wearing them. I was eleven years old and a little league basketball player myself. Coincidently, I made the All-Star team that year and I'm convinced that my "Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars" had a lot to do with it.”
Kay Thomas is a painter and teacher of Asian arts and crafts as well as a poet. She decided to study Japanese Ink Painting (Sumi-e) after seeing a demonstration on public television. Her interest in Asian arts led to painting and study trips to Japan, China and Taiwan. She has extensive experience teaching painting to adults and children. Her work has been exhibited in many shows in America and Canada and is in public and private collections. And she loves shoes! Fun fact: The oldest surviving shoes date back around 10,000 years.
Connie Vitale is a chronic beginner poet who divides her time between her work as a psychotherapist and her play as a tango dancer, poet, reader, hummingbird whisperer and beginning harpist. All of her play time is spent either barefoot or in strappy stilettos, her favorite pair being the black and white t-straps with tiny polka dots that is highlighted in the poem. That they stir memories of Paris is simply a bonus!
Lori Wall-Holloway is a wife, mother and proud grandmother of nine grandchildren, residing in Pasadena, California where her poetry appears regularly in the Spectrum anthologies. She enjoys capturing moments in the lives of those she loves and hopes her work will give encouragement to subsequent generations. Her poems have been published in various publications throughout the years including the Altadena Poetry Review, Lummox and the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly. Fun shoe fact - In 1920, shoemaker Frank Sbicca, an Italian immigrant and his wife Ernesta started Sbicca Shoes in Philadelphia. In 1943, they moved to California where the family business is now in its fifth generation. This is special to our family because my mother and her family (Italians themselves) were friends with the Sbiccas when she was young.
Lynn West says that “sharing my poetry and photography brings me joy and light. My work has been published and featured in a variety of venues. I enjoy being on the board of East on Central. Thank you Highland Park Poetry for selecting my Shoes for the Muse! Fun fact: My feet are long fellows being a size 11. Finding stylish shoes to squeeze into has always been a challenge. My mother would advise me to throw away the shoes and wear the box!”
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. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has been published in many journals including Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Gyroscope Review and So It Goes. Lynn’s fun shoe fact is “I have some ankle boots that I bought in a sale over twenty years ago. I'll need bereavement counselling when they finally fall apart!” https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/.
Diane Wlezien is a retired Fine Arts teacher who is currently enjoying writing poetry, painting, gardening and singing. She lives on a farm with her husband, Michael and a menagerie of very lucky rescued animals. When relaxing, she loves her Haflinger sandals. (And not just because they’re named after a horse!)
Michael P. Wright says, “Shoes are important and I have shoe issues as I speak to you. They are fitting and getting old. I loved the old penny loafers from the mid 1960's. They might have been Florsheim shoes. They were adorable looking.”
RM Yager is a retired nurse, who at the urging of her many poet friends began submitting poetry after age 65. She loves to write about controversial topics that stop people in their tracks, the true complexities of relationships, nature and little children. RM tells us, “I had a pair of saddle shoes that I just hated to wear, and purposely scuffed them all up on the first day I had to wear them to school. I really love snazzy boots and flip flops!!!!!”
Yvonne Zipter is the author of the poetry collections Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound, The Patience of Metal, and Like Some Bookie God. Yvonne is also the author of two nonfiction books Diamonds Are a Dyke’s Best Friend and Ransacking the Closet as well as a Russian historical novel titled Infraction. Her favorite pair of shoes these days are a pair of cream-colored Chuck Taylors, a sentiment made all the more meaningful by the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris also harbors love for this shoe.
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. Postcards from Poland garnered numerous awards and recognition. His newest collection, Black Forest Dreams: A Journey Through Germany (Kelsay Books, 2021), 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., Grand Little Things, The MacGuffin, Panoplyzine, 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. In 2020, Kelsay Books published 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.
Photo Credit: Martha Abelson Photography
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 Emotions 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.
Edward Morin writes poems about animals and birds in which he tries to take them as seriously as they take themselves. His third poetry collection, The Bold News of Birdcalls was released by Kelsay Books in January 2021. His other collections are Labor Day at Walden Pond and The Dust of Our City. Transportation: Hot Tunes and Blues from Motor City (1988) is an album of his recorded original songs. His poems have been published in Hudson Review, Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, River Styx, The MacGuffin, and elsewhere. His co-translations of modern Chinese and Greek poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, New Letters, TriQuarterly, Chariton Review, and Two Lines: A Journal of Translation. His recent co-translations of poems by Arab authors Yousef el Qedra and Khaled Jumaa have been published in Banipal: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Asymptote, The Dirty Goat, and Catamaran. He is currently a co-host of the Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series of readings and a writers’ workshop in Ann Arbor, MI. With graduate degrees in English from The University of Chicago and Loyola University (Chicago), he has taught English and writing at Wayne State University, University of Michigan, and five other universities and colleges.
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.
After having taught middle and high school English for 32 years, Marianne Peel is now nurturing her own creative spirit. She has spent three summers in Guizhou Province, teaching best practices to teachers in China. She received Fulbright-Hays Awards to Nepal (2003) and Turkey (2009). Marianne participated in Marge Piercy’s Juried Intensive Poetry Workshop (2016). Marianne’s poetry appears in Muddy River Poetry Review, Naugatuk River Review, Belle Reve Literary Journal, Jelly Bucket Journal, Gyroscope Review, among others. She has a collection of poetry forthcoming in September 2021 from Shadelandhouse Modern Press.
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.