Jocelyn Ajami is an award winning painter, independent documentary filmmaker and writer. She is the founder of Gypsy Heart Productions which specializes in projects related to cultural awareness and social justice. Among her award-winning films are Gypsy Heart, Oasis of Peace and Queen of the Gypsies. Jocelyn has been the recipient of numerous awards, including major grants from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Leadership Foundation, International Women’s Forum and the Goethe Institute. She has published works in Armco World Magazine, Cune Press and the Ekphrastic Review. Most recently her short story, "Reaching the Border," was a finalist in the 43rd New Millennium Fiction Competition. She is also a member of Poets & Patrons. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, she works and lives in Chicago, USA.
David LaRue Alexander is an avid poet who first developed a love for poetry when he wrote his
first poem in the second grade (eons ago), and it was published in the
school paper. Since then he has written a great deal of poetry, and
has been published in a few minor venues. He doesn't write poetry for
poets. They already have the awareness, appreciation, and insight of the
written word that he wishes to share with others. He writes poems for the
everyday person who doesn't often (if ever) read poetry--those who may
not appreciate poetry unless it's written in a manner which can capture
their attentional focus long enough to gain their appreciation. He notes that they are
often a much tougher crowd than most poetic critics. He is a Psychologist,
currently employed by the Illinois Department of Human Services, and he
currently works with individuals who have a developmental disability. He is
married to a "wonderful, loving, long-suffering wife," and they have 5
children. They live in Pontiac, IL where he writes a column ("The Poet's
Place") for one of the local papers. While he loves all poetry in its
many forms, he must admit a certain penchant for verse which utilizes
rhymes (whether it be in sonnets, limericks, free verse, etc.). He guesses
that makes him Old School. :) His e-mail addresses are: Pontiacpoetry@aol.com, or DavidA531@aol.com
Bruce Amble has graduate degrees from Northern Iowa University and the University of Iowa. He is a licensed psychologist in Illinois and Kentucky. He was a featured writer in The Pegasus Review, October, 2011.
Doreen Ambrose-Van Lee was born in 1969 in Chicago, Illinois, in one of Chicago's most notorious neighborhoods, Cabrini Green. Writing since the age of twelve, she lived with four sisters and brothers; a mother, Rosetta Ambrose Scott, who was a substitute teacher; and a father, now deceased, who was a factory worker. Doreen has three children of her own, ages 13, 11 and five. She enjoys writing poetry and reading autobiographies. She earned a BA in print journalism from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE), and also served in the Armed Forces for three years. She has had poems and short stories published by major publications. Ambrose-Van Lee is the author of Raised in Da Sun which is a culmination of poems from her youth in Cabrini Green to being a single parent. It has poems of struggling to adjust as a child, going to school and being married and then becoming a single parent. It has passionate stories of self-love and love and
acceptance. It was written over a ten-year period. Ambrose-Van Lee is currently working on another book of poetry entitled, Life After Good Times and Cooley High. Ambrose-Van Lee is also a founding member of the North Austin Public Library Poetry Group which is located on the west side of Chicago. A play about her life as written through her poetry will take place at American Theater Co. in Chicago April 24 through May 24, 2015.
Gwen Ames has been writting poetry for years now and loves it
with a passion. She has had one poem published in the
Prairie Light Review (literary publication from the College
of DuPage in Glen Ellyn). She also won second place in the
Illinois State Poetry Society's contest for free verse in 2003.
A number of her poems have been dedicated to social issues.
Michael Eddie Anderson has been published in Matter, Rhino: The Poetry Journal, Pen Woman and in the Poet and Artist Chapbook of the Northwest Cultural Council. He has worked as an editor at Rhino and now serves on their Advisory Board. Anderson lives in Evanston, IL with his wife Kay.
Candace Armstrong is a recent transplant to Southern Illinois and a new member of the ISPS Southern Illinois Chapter.
Her poetry was published in the Summer 2010 issue of The Lyric, and her poetry and a prize-winning short story were
published in the Summer 2011 issue of Muse. Additional poems were published in the 2012 Summer issue of Muse and
the Winter 2012 online issue of Negative Suck. She is currently seeking an agent for a novel she has finished, and she has written several short stories.
A multi-talented entrepreneur with a doctoral degree in Ugaritology, Dr. Elana Ashley demonstrates her creativity, imagination
and strong, successful work ethic as the head of two companies; a researcher, writer and dramatic performer of educational and
entertaining programs; author and storyteller; public speaker; TV performer; ventriloquist; poet and composer of songs; and artist.
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 writing classes for Township 214 that motivate new writers and those who wish to use writing to heal. She facilitates a monthly haiku circle that meets at a local library. Susan has published two chapbooks of her poetry (Waiting Innocence and Visiting Morning and Other Quiet Places) and she is currently working on her first haiku chapbook.
John Llewellyn Axtell (1931-2011): From 1971 until his death, Axtell's poetry appeared each year in various magazines and other collections. Axtell served in the US Navy before attending and graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago. Subsequently, he worked for a number of different organizations. In addition to writing poetry, Axtell developed methods for photographing fingerprints and for colorized radar. His cartoon website, www.jaxtime77.com, is still posting new work. A poetry critic once said, "Whether John's poetry is born in his imagination or from experience, all of it has a living reality. In his work you will find feelings that beat in America's heart from her great Midwestern plains to the beauty of the western deserts." John's philosophy was that "poetry is a part of life, a part of being alive and a part of the eternal soul."
Sherri Lohrum Baker of Belleville, Illinois, is a special procedure technologist who has worked at Memorial Hospital since 1994. She has written poetry intermittently throughout her life “to purge her feelings,” and had a few pieces published in college, but usually threw her poems away. In recent years, Sherri says, she has experienced much tragedy and finds comfort in her writing that she hopes to share with others. At the insistence of her sister, who also writes poetry, Sherri no longer throws away her poems, but shares them online, often as creative broadsides.
Mary Jo Balistreri has two books of poetry, Joy in the Morning, and gathering the harvest, both published by Bellowing Ark Press. Best Brothers, a chapbook, was just published, September, 2014, by Tiger's Eye Press. Recent or forthcoming work can be found in the Aurorean, Avocet, Crab Creek Review, Grist, The Kentucky Review, Plainsongs, Parabola,The Homestead Review, Tall Grass Writers, and Whistling Skin Anthology and Wilda Morris's Poetry Challenge. Mary Jo has three Pushcart nominations and two Best of the Net. She is one of the founding members of Grace River Poets, an outreach for schools, churches and women's shelters. For more information, please visit here at maryjobalistreripoet.com
Camille Balla's poetry first appeared in Bereavement Magazine in 1994. Abbey Press published verses she wrote as greeting cards and gift items. Her poetry has been published by St. Anthony Messenger, Prairie Light Review, and DuPage Valley Review as well as in Pieces to Peace, an anthology. She has enjoyed sharing a few poems with the Internet where her verses are enhanced with music and animation. She also enjoys creating her own greeting cards.
Camille has received awards from Poets & Patrons in Chicago and a First Place Award from the Lisle Library. In March, 2010, she completed her first chapbook, Simple Awakenings. She is a mother of three adult children and grandmother of six.
An award-winning author and poet, Bakul Banerjee published her second collection of previously published poems, titled Bathymetry: Poems, in 2017. Her chapbook, titled Synchronicity: Poems, was published in 2010. For the past twenty years, her essays, stories, and poems appeared in several literary magazines and anthologies throughout U.S. and India. She has been featured at several poetry readings and presented multiple poetry workshops around Chicago. Links to her online publications and reading are available at http://bakulbanerjee.blogspot.com/.
Born in India, Bakul Banerjee lived and worked at various places in U.S. While attracted to the metaphysical traditions of the world, she delved into science. Her creative practice is based on the melding of these two apparently contradictory, yet ultimately complementary disciplines. Her scientific training enabled her to work at some of the most innovative scientific facilities built by humans. This included Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland and Advanced Photon Source, near Chicago. These experiences gave her the opportunity to appreciate scientific advancements leading to many technical and literary publications.
A Spanish professor at Lake Forest College, Lois Barr co-produced a documentary, "Isa: The People's Diva". She published Isaac Unbound: Patriarchal Traditions in the Latin American Jewish Novel as well as many articles and reviews on modern and contemporary Spanish and Latin American fiction. Her creative work appears or will appear shortly in East on Central, Love After 70, 94 Creations, Ekakshara, The Daily Palette (U of Iowa), Art From Art (Modernist Press), Du Page Valley Review, phati'tude Literary Magazine, The Legendary, Mochila, Flashquake, and The New Vilna Review. Her translations have been published in Brújula and Collage.
Jim Barton’s poetry has been published in over 125 journals nationwide and has won more than 450 awards. He is the author of four poetry collections including the Morris Memorial Chapbook Award-winning At the Bird Museum. Barton serves as Treasurer of his local branch, Treasurer of Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas and President of NFSPS. He is a public speaker and poetry event organizer in his spare time. He is married, and he and wife Cathy have seven children and five grandchildren. They live in the wooded bayou country of extreme south Arkansas. In his younger days, he lived for three winters in Fox Lake, IL.
Herb Berman is a resident of Deerfield, and a 71-year-old retired lawyer and a semi-retired labor arbitrator. In his busy years of helping his wife raise three kids and pursuing a demanding career, he didn't have a lot of time (or energy) to write poetry or much else besides briefs, technical articles, and, for the last 25 years or so, arbitration decisions. As his work has decreased, his interest in reading poetry (and history and philosophy) and in writing poems has increased. In his old age, the English major is asserting himself. Six of his poems were published in the Spring 2007 issue of Humanistic Judaism, a quarterly journal with about 2,500 subscribers published by the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Many, many years ago a few of his poems were published in a University of Louisville literary magazine and several small magazines whose names now escape him.
Carole R. Bolinski (aka Carole R. Seldin-Bolinski and CR) has published mystery short stories, flash fiction and poetry. A number of her poems are published in anthologies from contests, journals, and a book co-authored with her brother, Pearls Beneath The Rind. Before moving to southern Illinois, Bolinski was an active member in the Prescott, Arizona writing community and a member of the MADD Women Poets, a group of committed poets dedicated to presenting their work in an oral tradition. She has an M.A. in art education and an M.Ed. in secondary education.
An Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship winner in poetry in 2001 and 2005, David Bond has published recent work in the anthology Hurricane Blues, a book Great Possibilities: 150 Verne Morton Photographs, and the journals Big Muddy, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Cape Rock, Crab Orchard Review, and storySouth. A MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2006, David lives in Carbondale, where he claims inspiration from the beauty of the Shawnee National Forest. He has published two books, Colors and American Chicken, as well as a chapbook The Light That Shatters Darkness: Poems From the Spartan Mine. He works at Southern Illinois University as a Librarian.
Theresa Broemmer lives in mid-western Illinois with her husband and two children. She has a masters degree in education, and she spent five years in the early childhood field before deciding to stay at home with her children and concentrate on a writing career. She writes poetry, children's stories, and adult drama. She hopes to break into the traditional world of publishing someday, but for now she is happy with every little writing success she achieves.
Sally Hanson Calhoun, who passed away on November 6, 2014, was a practicing clinical psychologist and professor of psychology to graduate students. Sally was a graduate of University of Michigan where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority and captain of her Water Ballet Team. At Michigan, she studied English Language and Literature, receiving A.B. Honors and an A.M. She earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University. She published at least 63 writings, including some placed in anthologies. She received two Editor's Choice Awards, and an award in England through Noble House Publishing which discovered her work on the Internet. Her writings include poems, short stories, and scholarly articles. She has won numerous awards for her creative writing, and for many years was active with the North Shore Creative Writers, as well as in the Illinois State Poetry Society.
Margarete Cantrall (April 8, 1921-October 19, 2009) was born in Aurora, IL, and never lived so far from Chicago that she couldn't get there to see a play. She graduated from Northern Illinois University (B.A.) and the University of Illinois (M.A.). During the 1941-42 school year, she was state champion in extemporaneous speaking and debate. She taught English and American literature at Carroll College; University High School,Urbana, IL; and Northwestern Military and Naval Academy, Walworth, WS. For 27 years, she taught at North High School in Downers Grove, IL, where she chaired the English Department for 12 years and served two years as Assistant Principal. She designed the gifted program for the school, and sponsored a book club and student literary magazine. From 1987-2006, after her "retirement," she taught in the Older Adults Institute of the College of DuPage. Maggie, as her friends called her, held leadership positions in the Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets & Patrons of Chicago, the Jane Austen Society, American Association of University Women, Delta Kappa Gamma, and the Residents Council of Fairview Baptist Home.
Sandi Caplan's past history includes acting on the stage. She received her equity card at 35, at Drury Lane Theatre
in Chicago. She has written five plays—No Stone Unturned, a mysterious comedy which has had two stage
readings in Chicago, North Shore Senior Center, and the Citadel Theater. She is looking to have it produced
this year. She moved to Highland Park nine years age. She feels fortunate to live in a creative community.
She started at the Art Center, two years ago, and loves doing portraits. Poetry has become an important
part of her life. With Highland Park poetry with Jennifer Dotson, her poem "Reflect" was in a store window
this past summer. She is also in a group with Len Berman at the Deerfield Library.
Joseph Kuhn Carey’s poetry book, Postcards From Poland, was selected as the Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award winner in 2013. (Published by Chicago Poetry Press in February, 2014, the book, which was also selected in the 2014 San Francisco and Paris Book Festivals, is now available at www.PostcardsfromPoland.com, www.ChicagoPoetry.com, and www.Amazon.com) He is also the recipient of An American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)/Deems Taylor award for music-related writing and a Grammy-voting member of The Recording Academy. 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, University of Notre Dame Press) and has released two “Loose Caboose Band” CDs of original children's songs with his brother, Bill, both of which are available on iTunes, CDbaby.com and Amazon.com. He received a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame, a MFA in Creative Writing from University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MS in Mass Communication from Boston University. He has also written about jazz and blues artists for Downbeat, JazzTimes and The Boston Globe. His poems have been selected in the Journal of Modern Poetry JOMP 15, JOMP 16 and JOMP 17 Poetry Contests, the Writer’s Digest 7th Annual Poetry Awards Contest and 80th Annual Writing Competition, Highland Park Poetry’s 2013 and 2015 “Poetry That Moves” & “Poetry Challenge” contests and the Evanston Public Library’s 2013 Annual Jo-Anne Hirschfield Memorial Poetry Awards. When not scribbling entertaining poems, stories and songs on all available scraps of paper to read to his wife and sons over dinner, he runs a successful multi-state property management business.
William Carey, 59, has been a Glencoe, IL resident for 24 years. He is a lawyer and real estate investor by trade, musician and writer by avocation. He is married to Linn, with a son, Will, a junior at the University of Notre Dame.
Betty Carr received her M.A. Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago on a Distinguished Service Scholarship. Since then, she has been an editor/writer for the AMA, a poetry columnist for the Beverly Review, and for eighteen years has taught creative writing and conducted workshops at Saint Xavier College (now University). Approximately 300 of her poems from five manuscripts have received prizes or have appeared in literary publications such as Midway Review and Lincoln Log (Illinois State Poetry Society) and in anthologies by Crossroads and World of Poetry. In addition, she has two published prize-winning essays (Stitt and Freedoms Foundation). Her unpublished works also include a 2700-page trilogy, three novels, a novella, three books of humor, seventeen children's stories and poems, and two books on writing fiction and poetry.
Nancy Jean Carrigan (nee Bohn) (February 24, 1933 - July 18, 2014), was a highly respected, award-winning poet, painter, sculptor and engraver. She sometimes embedded poems into paintings. Her poem, "Notes on an Ancient Chinese Flute," won a grand prize in the Dancing Poetry Competition in San Francisco, and led to a visit to China as a guest of the Chinese government. Nancy and her husband Dick partnered in the writing of two science fiction adventure novels. One of them, The Siren Stars, was translated into French. Carrigan created stage sets and costumes for several Chicago ballet troupes. She also played a leadership role in the arts program at Fermilab, where her husband worked. As a young adult, Nancy did stints as editor of Aggie, the alumni publication of New Mexico State, and Water Well Journal. In addition to the Illinois State Poetry Society, Nancy was also a member of the Poet's Club of Chicago, Poets & Patrons of Chicago, and the Arbor Hill Poetry Gang. She was a founding member of the Mythopian Artist Group.
Susan Spaeth Cherry began her writing career as a journalist for newspapers and magazines nationwide. A persistent need to express herself creatively led her to start writing poetry in mid-life. Her work, which has won many awards, has been published in a variety of literary magazines and poetry anthologies. She is the author of five poetry collections: I Am the Pool's Perimeter, Reflecting Pool, Breaking Into the Safe of Life, Sonata in the Key of Being, and Hole to Whole. Susan is now setting her poetry to music she writes herself. Other composers have also created songs from her poems.
Tom Chockley writes exclusively in the haiku and related forms genre. He began seriously learning the craft of haiku in about 2010. During that time he has had the good fortune to be published in such print journals as Frogpond, Modern Haiku, and Bottle Rockets. Additionally, he has been published in online journals such as the Shamrock Haiku Journal, World Haiku Review, Cattails, and A Hundred Gourds. In addition to haiku, he writes haibun, a form of micro-fiction plus haiku. He has been fortunate to have several haibun published in Frogpond and the online journal, Haibun Today. When not chewing his fingernails waiting to see whether a journal editor has accepted a haiku or haibun for publication, he's retired.
Dave Christensen (February 17, 1921 - July 28, 2014) was retired (1984) from Southern Illinois University (Geography). His concerns were
the Earth's overpopulation and the multi-crises the human family faces. He
wrote 3 books on those subjects, and another was about to come out,
also as an e-book.
Christine Cianciosi's poetry has appeared in the Prairie Light Review, fall 2011, spring and fall 2012, and spring 2013. She lives in Winfield and is an active member and employee of the Theosophical Society in America. Currently she is attending College of DuPage and pursuing studies in writing and literature. Hobbies and interests include meditation, writing poetry, photography, and reading and studying spiritual texts for personal growth.
Nancy Clark, an Illinois native, is a former sponsor of high school literary festivals and a retired teacher of composition, literature, speech, reading, and humanities. Also a former Sylvan Learning Center owner, she now divides her time between Illinois and a second home in eastern North Carolina.
For over 25 years Joan Colby has been editor of Illinois Racing News, a monthly publication for the Illinois
Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation, published by Midwest Outdoors LLC. She lives
with her husband and assorted animals on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has 11 book titles to her credit, including Dead Horses,
The Lonely Hearts Killers and The Atrocity Book. She has been widely published in journals including Poetry, Atlanta Review, GSU Review, Portland Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and many others. Among the many awards she has received are the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature, Illinois Arts Council Literary Award,
Stone County Award for Poetry, Rhino Poetry Award, and the New Renaissance Award for Poetry.
Freelance writer/photographer Job Conger wrote his first poem in sixth grade and is still at it at age 58, going on 25. He considers himself a journalist because he wants to be and a poet because he must be. Job's articles and visual arts column "Art Seen" appear regularly in Illinois Times, a Springfield-based news weekly. He has published three books of his poetry and a compendium of poetry, biography and more about his favorite native-son poet Vachel Lindsay. He shares Lindsay's life story and recites his favorite poetry (Lindsay's and his own) for schools and organizations in central Illinois and hopes to expand his "territory" via Illinois State Poetry Society. A past president of Poets & Writers Literary Forum of Springfield, Illinois, and first secretary of the international Tanka Society of America, Job's poetry has been published in several "small magazines," and regularly appears at his own Web site at http://www.aeroknow.com/poemsofjob.htm
James Conroy is originally from New York and lives in Chicago with his wife Helen. Poems and short stories have appeared in Xanadu, Visions-International, Dan River, The Iconoclast, and numerous other journals. A collection entitled The Night Is Once Before was published in 1997. His first novel, Stealing Second, was released in April 2002. A dramatic play, BoxTown, dealing with the plight of the homeless in America, is under consideration for a college production.
Michelle Converse was born and raised in New Orleans, LA (currently living in Belleville, IL). Although she has always enjoyed poetry, she didn't begin seriously writing until after the death of her 1-year-old daughter in September 2001. Poetry was the only way she was able to express what she was feeling.
James L. Corcoran began writing for audiences at 7, and has been working as a poet/writer/artist/musician ever since. His first written work, a stage presentation which later turned out to be the first rock opera, was a three-act lyric poem entitled "Book Week" and it drew 1200 people to three performances. Starting on a national mobile art/poetry tour in a Volkswagen microbus at eighteen, interviewing his subjects has been this poet's most valuable resource. Working mainly through national library databases and archives, and self-taught using universities as part of the network, he has earned high praise building a reputation for himself on the north shore of Chicago. He is the 2003 first-place prizewinning poet for Rhino Magazine.
Don Cornwell (April 15, 1931 - December 15, 2013) was born and grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from Northwestern University where he studied political science and journalism. He spent his business career in the computer field in marketing, training and writing positions.
Don was a past president of Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets Club of Chicago, and Poets and Patrons. His light verse was published regularly in The Chronicle of the Horse. His storybook poems: Horace the Pony and You and Harry the Hedgehog and You are in print as is a collection of his poetry, Sense & Nonsense.
Don's Petrarchan Sonnet "Requited" Love won a first prize in the 1998 Chicagoland Poetry Contest.
Tracy Costello has been playing around with poetry since she was a teenager. She is a college administrator and instructor, primarily working with adult learners. It is her job to help them acclimate back into college, to become a successful student and ultimately graduate. She thoroughly enjoys her work. She is married, has one daughter, a senior at Columbia College. She can't forget her furry kids, Gracie (cat) and Stormie (Border Collie).
Robert Coté was born and lived over fifty years in the rural suburbs of Chicago. He is sure some will remember it used to be much more rural and less suburb. He and his family have lived in Crystal Lake, Illinois since 1979. Before that he lived in rural Barrington. Always having been "Artistically inclined", he made up poems and songs for all his boys when they were growing up. He even wrote a few songs for guitar (He's from the sixties. "What can I say?")
A big fan from Silverstein to Poe, in 2005 he heard Billy Collins. Inspired, he wrote a verse for his mom and he was smitten. Now he hardly makes it through the day without reading or writing something. He makes a living in maintenance and remodeling and repair, which has kept him in close contact with a diverse group of people and environments. So, he has lots to write about. Presently he is working on a collection of poems both verse, rhyme and free verse, and is pursuing getting it published.
Kathy Lohrum Cotton of Anna, Illinois, is an award-winning poet and digital collage artist whose work has been published in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies as well as nationally marketed as posters and greeting cards. Cotton is the author of three poetry collections; the illustrated volume, Deluxe Box of Crayons, was published in 2012. Since retirement, she has been editor of Anthology of Poetry and Prose, Harvest of Words, Shawnee Hills Review, The Writer's Voice, and Where We Walk. Cotton also serves on the Illinois State Poetry Society board of directors and facilitates the ISPS Southern Chapter in Carbondale.
LeRoy Dean's hometown is Pontiac, IL, where he presently resides. His paths in life have taken him from a teenager in the fifties to the U.S. Navy in the sixties; from a blue-collar worker to a nursing degree; from Illinois-Arkansas-Florida-Tennessee and back to his hometown in Illinois. Before retiring, he was working as an RN, focusing on the care of hospice patients and their families. A cabin, a cup of coffee and a typewriter; a picture he has carried around in the back roads of his mind for several years. Many roads has he traveled and many travelers has he met along the way, all with stories to be told. With his faith in God and "dust on his shoes," he travels the writer's path. As a retired RN, creative writing keeps him busy. He writes in various genres and is presently working on two books. It is never too late and you are never too old to do what you have always wanted to do, but never had the time. http://butchdean.wordpress.com
Gail Denham (Member-at-large) has published stories, essays, poetry, news stories, and photos in magazines, books, and newspapers for 35 plus years. Now focusing on poetry, Denham belongs to a dozen state poetry associations and leads writing and photography workshops at Pacific N.W. conferences. Recently, Denham won a 1st prize in a Kentucky contest, a 2nd in the NSPS Utah contest, several H.M.s and has poems used in recent anthologies. Denham's first love is story telling and humor -- thus the poems migrate toward those themes. A big bonus for her is when someone laughs out loud after reading her poem(s) (as one editor recently said she did). Denham and husband live on two acres in Central Oregon. They enjoy their 14 grandchildren and there are some greats here and there.
Mary Krane Derr's work has appeared in a variety of literary, social justice,
and spiritual publications, including Pudding, Sacred Journey, Daughters of
Sarah, Switched-on Gutenberg, Lilliput Review, and RealPoetik. She recently
received an award from the Poetry Center of Chicago, and has work forthcoming
on a CD/audiotape anthology of healing poetry to be distributed to all
hospices in Washington State. She read from her poem cycle The Ravelling
Back Into the Text of Her Genesis at the 1999 Parliament of the World's
Religions in Cape Town, South Africa.
Laurie Lee Didesch's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in: The Comstock Review, The MacGuffin, Karamu, White Pelican Review, Third Wednesday, California Quarterly, Artword Quarterly, Artisan: A Journal of Craft, The Awakenings Review, Arts Alive! Literary Review, Blood and Thunder, Poetry Cram, Voices on the Wind, A Prairie Journal, Julien’s Journal, winningwriters.com, Shadow and Light: A Literary Anthology on Memory, Feast of Fools: Poems, Stories, and Essays on Sacred Fools and Tricksters, Child of my Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents, and more.
Susan Donahue is an Illinois native who taught genre
fiction classes at the College of DuPage before
relocating to Lincoln, Nebraska where she was active
in several writing and poetry groups and was a regular
participant in the Crescent Moon Coffee House Reading
Series. Her poetry and prose have been included in
Voices from the Heartland and Writers on the Edge
and regional publications. She is currently a
resident of Wheaton, and a partner in Harris, Harris &
Donahue, Ltd., a British-American literary agency.
Jennifer Dotson is the Founder and Program Coordinator for www.highlandparkpoetry.org (begun in 2007). Her poetry has appeared in After Hours, DuPage Valley Review, East On Central, Exact Change Only, Poetry CRAM/Journal of Modern Poetry, and Willow Review. Her poems are included in several anthologies including A Midnight Snack from Poetic License Press and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace (University of Washington Press). Clever Gretel, her debut collection, received the first Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award and was published by Chicago Poetry Press in April 2013. She teaches poetry, memoir and creative writing classes for Highland Park's Library U program. Jennifer is thrilled that Highland Park Poetry celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
Her name is E. B. Dreier, but people just call her Libby. She is a Christian, disabled wife and step mother. They live in East Moline, IL. She was born on Christmas Day! She is a lover of all types of poetry and literature, and she has enjoyed her articles being published in Highway News & Good News, book reviews in The Radish Magazine, and poetry on Joyful! Some of her favorite authors are Robert Frost, Ray Bradbury, and Will Rogers. She works on writing every chance she can find! She reads, and writes and then does more of the same! It is her desire to be a writer that everyone would be happy to read...so she needs all of your ideas and tips! She adores the ISPS website too. She has a Christian children's book, as well as a devotional that she is seeking an editor for. When she's not writing, she sings often for her church services, special meetings, weddings and funerals.
Barbara L. Eaton was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. She received B.A. and M.A.T.E. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park. She published her first poem at the age of seven in The Chicago Tribune. Since then, she has published her work in various academic literary magazines. She now teaches part-time at The College of DuPage, and serves as a dramaturg for the First Folio Shakespeare Company in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Idella Pearl Edwards, born and raised in Aurora, attended Olivet Nazarene University and received a degree from the College of DuPage. She spent several years coordinating Lay Witness Missions and served as a Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church for over 20 years. Idella retired from the State of Oklahoma in 2005 as a Public Purchaser and moved to Marion, Illinois with her husband, Jack. They have 5 children and 12 grandchildren. She writes a monthly faith column for The Marion Star Newspaper. She has published several books: Hope Through the Eyes of Faith, Magnify, Inspirational Poetry for the Soul, Respect for Parents 101, Look at the Birds, Don’t Hang Your Harps on the Willow Tree, and four children’s books, The Adventures of Trudy the Tree Swallow, I’m Just Ducky, A Vacation to Remember and Happy to Be Me. She is a member of the Little Egypt Writers’ Society in Marion.
Phillip Egelston of Jonesboro, Illinois, (June 29, 1947 - July 23, 2016) was an artist, poet and expert in Victorian art glass. He published four poetry collections, Reste Placide, Light Stalking the Dark, Simply Intact and A Liberal Education and Other Poems, and a short story collection, Stories. He was a member of ISPS Southern Chapter.
Mary Ann Eiler's poetry has appeared in national and international print and online journals. Her book Specialty Profiles received awards from the Society for Technical Communications and the International Association of Business Communications. Meaning and Choice in Writing about Literature, her doctoral thesis, was published (abbreviated) by Ablex Press. Her other publications include travel memoir, linguistics, training and document design. She is a member of the Oak Park and Naperville Writers Groups, Poets and Patrons as well as the ISPS. She is currently developing a series of vignettes for young readers and writing her first novel.
Sheila Elliott is a member of the Oak Park Writers Group, Poets and Patrons and writes with smaller, informal writing groups, as well. "Dusk Casts a Thin Shawl" is her first contribution to the Illinois State Poetry Society's Web site.
Robert Klein Engler lives in Oak Park, Illinois and sometimes New Orleans. Many of Robert's poems and stories are set in the Crescent City. "Red Beans and Rice," is online at the Drunken Boat, and "The Approach to Pilottown," is at Blithe House Quarterly. His long poem, "The Accomplishment of Metaphor and the Necessity of Suffering," set partially in New Orleans, is published by Headwaters Press, Medusa, New York. He has received an Illinois Arts Council award for his "Three Poems for Kabbalah." If you google his name, you may find his work on the Internet. Some of his books are available at Lulu.com. Visit him on the web at RobertKleinEngler.com. E-mail: RKleinEngler@aol.com
jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, now resides in Carbondale, Illinois. erin-cilberto has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. He currently teaches at John A. Logan and Shawnee Community colleges in Southern Illinois.
His work has appeared in numerous small magazines and journals including: Café Review, Skyline Magazine, Hudson View, Wind Journal, Pegasus, Parnassus and others. erin-cilberto also writes reviews of poetry books for Chiron Review, Skyline Review and others. He has reviewed books by B.Z Niditch, musician Tom Maclear and others. His 11th and newest book of poetry, An Abstract Waltz, is now available through Water Forest Press, Stormville, NY. erin-cilberto has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in 2006-2008 and again in 2010. He also teaches poetry workshops for Heartland Writers Guild, Southern Illinois Writers Guild and Union County Writers Guild.
Michael Escoubas is recently retired (2013) from a 48 year career in the printing industry. A love of letters was instilled in him by his mother at an early age. She encouraged him to read widely and well. The love of words and constructing something beautiful with them fuels his interest in poetry. He chooses Wallace Stevens as his favorite modernist poet along with Robert Frost. More contemporary favorites include Mary Oliver and Billy Collins. Through membership in the Illinois State Poetry Society he hopes to network with poets and from them learn and grow in the poetic craft. He is blessed by the support of his wife of 45 years, Trudy, who herself is a poem through the life she has lived.
For nearly 10 years, John D. Evans has worked as a Special Education Teacher, program coordinator, and educational leader within the Chicago Public School system. He has engaged children, motivated parents, supported teachers, assisted administrators, and connected with community representatives. Since calendar year 2000, he has taught in both the elementary and high school environments in self-contained and inclusion settings. He has worked closely with all children, especially those with special needs. He has served as a Special Education Department Chair (elementary school), Special Education Case Manager (high school), and Service Learning Coach (high school). With Type 75 Certification and National Board Certification (candidate), he dedicates himself to continuous academic progress and success for all children. He is the author of eight books of poetry, The Evans Poetry Collection. He is also the Regional Coordinator for the International Men's Day 2010 for the State of Illinois (USA). Visit him on the Web at www.jdpoetry.com. Email: email@example.com.
Goldie Ann Farkonas was born in Flint, MI, but grew up in Southern Illinois in a small town called Centralia. Her family, after many years, then relocated in the Chicago area. Her family ethnic background is Hellenic. She graduated from what was then known as National College of Education, located on Sheridan Road between Evanston and Wilmette with a degree in Education, her certification being K-9. She taught school for 33 years and is presently retired. She lives in Long Grove with her husband, John, her widowed daughter Anne Renee and her 2 children Jakob, age 12, and Hope, age 11. She has been writing all her life and most recently compiled her work in notebooks and scrapbooks.
Earl Valentine Fischer retired at the turn of the millennium after 40 years of editing various business and professional publications. A light verse at age 37 in 1970 was his first stab at poetry. About 1986 he tried a few haiku. In 1989 he began a full-length psychoautobiography in verse, still far from finished, and got into the poetry habit--reading, writing (all sorts of poems), and doing occasional public presentations. In addition to his own work and others', his specialty is performing (in character with nine different voice parts) S.T. Coleridge's famous narrative poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
Dan Fitzgerald has written off and on for a number of years. When he found he could not write in complete sentences, he stuck with poetry. His poems have been published in The Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir and many others. His work has also appeared in several anthologies. He has written three chapbooks - Random Tales, Musing, and Your Star & Other Poems. He lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden.
Lynn Fitzgerald received her M.A. in Creative Writing and Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois and is a professor of English for the City Colleges. She received the Joanne Hirschfeld Award for her poem entitled "Florence." Her poems have been published in After Hours Press, Word Salad, Kalliope, The English Journal, the Chicago Area Writing Project, Urban Nation, Outrider Press, Northwest Community Council of the Arts Anthology, and Amused. In 1997, she was poet-in-residence for the Chicago Public Library. In 2003, she was the curator of the Reading Series at the Austin Avenue Branch of the Chicago Public Library. As the recipient of a grant for original work from the Community Arts Assistance Program of the city of Chicago, she published a chapbook in 2011 entitled Closer to the Earth. She has read poems at various venues including The Printers Row Book Fair, the Bucktown Art Fair, Columbia College, Northeastern Illinois University, NCTE National Convention, Greenview Arts Center, Zola-Liebermann Gallery, the Hungry Brain, Grosse Pointe Café, and the Pontiac Café. For the past two years, she has taught literature and poetry in Kuwait and Lebanon and is currently at work on a book of poems and photographs.
Maureen Tolman Flannery, author of Secret of the Rising Up: Poems of Mexico, and Remembered into Life, has recently released her first anthology, Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Places. Born and raised on a Wyoming ranch, she works for a surgeon in Chicago, where she lives with her actor husband Dan and their four children. Maureen is an award-winning poet whose work has been selected for inclusion in thirty anthologies and over seventy-five literary and poetry journals, including Atlantic Review, Blue Mesa Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Evansville Review, Karamu, Owen Wister Review, Pinyon Poetry, spelunker flophouse, and Green Hill Literary Lantern.
Mardelle Fortier teaches creative writing and composition at Benedictine University and at College of DuPage. She has about 50 poems in print, and has been writing since childhood. She is a past president of ISPS.
Jonathan Foster, OFM has been a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society for a couple
of years and makes use of Mardelle Fortier as a mentor/tutor. He is a
Catholic priest, Franciscan, and his ministry is spiritual direction,
retreats, and general spirtual formation. His office is in Westmont, IL,
and is part of Mayslake Ministries.
Doris Grant Frey began writing poems in grade school. She received a 3-year diploma of nursing from Missouri Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in 1966. She worked as a Registered Nurse in the private sector 25 years, then was employed at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Marion, Illinois. As a non-traditional student, she achieved a BSN in 1993, and a Master of Science in Education, Workforce Education and Staff Development in 1998. Currently retired, she worked 45 years in nursing. Other interests include hand work, crafts, sewing, quilting and always, trying to capture thoughts and feelings into poems, prose and short stories. She collects love stories. She is an avid genealogist, currently writing a book on her family tree. She has self-published a book of poems for her mother, Lola Grant Bandy, (who wrote "The Poet's Corner" in The Herrin Spokesman), and her own chapbook of poems, Seasons. She has had many life experiences and witnessed the same in the lives of her patients, family and friends. These are often reflected in her work.
Judy Galati (nee Kilby), formerly Judy DePauw, grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Referred to by friends and family as a lifelong learner, Judy was a nontraditional student at Black Hawk Community College, Moline, between 1976 and 2004. At Black Hawk, she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and participated in Upward Bound. In 2003, she received a Commitment to Student Excellence Award from that school. Judy was awarded a Liberal Arts degree from Black Hawk in May of 2004. Between 2001 and 2006, she also attended the University of Iowa, Iowa City, as a nontraditional student. In 2006, she transferred to Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, where she was a student member of the Northern Honors Program as well as the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. While attending Northern, she was invited to become a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. In December of 2010, Judy graduated magna cum laude from Northern, with a major in English and a minor in linguistics.
Judy Galati is a published poet who has received a variety of writing awards in local, state, national, and international competition. Beyond holding membership in the Illinois State Poetry Society, and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Inc., she is an active member of Lemont Writers.
Having taught English in an Illinois high school for some years, Michael Galati awakened to the realization that he might teach poetry more effectively if he practiced the art of writing poetry himself. In this way he began his apprenticeship in the poetic arts. His work has been successful in gaining publication, most notably in the Christian Science Monitor and in anthologies published by area colleges and poetry organizations. He also served as editor and columnist for his local newspaper, the Lemont Metropolitan. Widowed, he lives with his second wife, Judy, in Lemont, Illinois, a village nestled in the midst of the region's old dolomite quarries and three shipping canals. His walks meet with wildlife among oak forested moraines and numerous streams.
Patricia Gangas (March 19, 1939 - January 25, 2011) was a member of the Poets Club of Chicago and was the president of Poets and Patrons also in Chicago for nine years. She had three books of poetry published: All These Years, The Final Approach, These Places of Light. Her children's book Cats Everywhere was published in 2003. She authored a manuscript of mystical poetry called Gathering God, and a memoir titled How I Scared Cancer to Death: with God's help, neither of which has yet been published. Her hobbies were reading, attending college classes and playing Texas Hold'em. She was the wife of Thomas and mother of Peter and Valerie.
Although Maureen A. Geary was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, she remains a loyal Cubs fan. Along with writing poetry, her hobbies include playing the fiddle and baking. She hopes to publish a book of poetry and record several Irish tunes.
Until 2012, Jeanne Gerritsen was a life-long resident of Michigan except when she traveled to Mexico, Canada, England, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Moscow and Uzbekistan for many weeks at a time to study, teach, observe and photograph. In 2012, she moved to Chicago to be near her youngest daughter and family when she retired – again. She received her undergrad and master’s degrees in political science (international) at the age of 60 and 62 respectively. She is a relative newcomer to writing poetry, but she wrote/produced news articles, speeches, brochures, advertising and film scripts most of her adult life. While owning a public relations/marketing consulting firm, she received several professional honors and awards and served on the boards of numerous local, state and national small business and women-owned business associations.
Poetry is Marilyn Huntman Giese's favorite way to relax. Her poems have appeared in June Cotner anthologies, Rivulets and various publications. Mother of five children, she writes of family life, nature and social issues. An historical novel based on the life of Simon Peter, The Eye of God: A Fisherman's Tale was published in January of 2010 by Xlibris. When the World Changed: A Revolutionary Peace, published by Xlibris in 2002, follows the life of Jesus with color photos taken during her travels to Israel and Turkey.
Originally educated in Engineering Physics and Mathematics at Cornell, CCNY (BS) and NYU (MS), most of Joe Glaser's career was spent in technical business management. In retirement, he studied Liberal Arts at The University of Chicago (MLA), and began writing poetry in 2008. His poems have appeared in The Journal, printed by Northwestern University's ILR/OLLI program, the online "Front Porch Review", "Decades Review", “Muses’ Gallery of Highland Park Poetry"; the printed Journal of Modern Poetry (winning best modern poem prize and Pushcart nomination), Distilled Lives 2 and 3 anthologies printed by the Illinois State Poetry Society, East on Central print Journal of Arts and Letters. Joe also pursues candid travel photography, and his photos have been published in some of the same media as his poems.
Theresa Glover is a stay-at-home mom. She has a degree in English, and long ago won a poetry contest. Now that her son is in high school, she is writing again. She hopes to be able to send along some good poems!
Gail Goepfert is a Midwest teacher, poet, and nature photographer. While teaching English in junior high in Wood Dale, Illinois, she developed a poetry writing program, Dreamcatchers, for eighth graders who elected to skip study hall to write. Nine years of students wrote, published their work in an anthology, and traveled to elementary schools to spark a poetic interest in younger children. She still enjoys sharing her passion for poetry and words with students and adults. Her poetry sprouts from growing up in the Midwest—she was born in southern Illinois, sandwiched in some school years in Ohio and the Chicago suburbs, loved college along the Mississippi and in Iowa City, and returned to the 'burbs to teach. The best part about being semi-retired is having more time to write, read, and workshop poetry. She has been published in a Highland Park Poetry Chapbook, the TallGrass Guild’s Seasons of Change Anthology for 2010, and has had poetry accepted for publication in Avocet, Off Channel, and Quill and Parchment.
Sandy Goldsmith has been writing poetry since college. In her poetry are experiences of handing down family traditions as granddaughter, daughter, mother and grandmother. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals including Skylark, Rockford Review, Rambunctious Review and Rhino. Sandy has performed her work at the major poetry venues in the Chicago area. She has won prizes from Poets & Patrons, Triton College and the Pennsylvania Poetry Society. She is a long time member of Poets' Club of Chicago and a former editor of Oyez Review. Sandy is retired from her teaching position at Purdue University Calumet, where she taught a variety of English courses including creative writing. Her first book of poems, Imaging Center, has recently been released by Puddin'Head Press.
John J. Gordon is married, lives in La Grange, and has three children and eight grandchildren.
He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. He is the founder and president of a small automation company that designs and builds custom machinery. He has always been interested in words and writing, with the goal of communicating ideas using a minimum of words. He began writing poems for family and friends, mostly for special occasions. Currently he belongs to the ISPS, Arbor Hill Gang, and Poets and Patrons. He reads at various open mic events, has had several pieces published and hopes to have more. With increasing free time, poetry plays an important role in his life.
David Gross is the author of four chapbooks of poetry: Cup of Moon (Bull Thistle Press, 2000), What We Never Had (tel-let, 2004), Because It Is (tel-let, 2005) and Pilgrimage (Finishing Line Press, 2009). He has published in Big Muddy, Hummingbird, Northeast, Snowy Egret, The Cape Rock, Verse Wisconsin and been included in five anthologies. He lives on a small rural acreage near the foothills of the Shawnee National Forest.
Gay Guard-Chamberlin is a Chicago poet and artist living, she is glad to say, in the eclectically diverse Devon neighborhood. Gay has a Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College, Chicago. Her poems have been honored in Poets & Patrons as well as the annual Joann Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Awards, and featured in the original play Somewhere Under the Table as part of the 2014 Rhino Fringe Art Festival.
Lee Gurga is a past-president of the Haiku Society of America, former editor of the journal Modern Haiku. He is currently editor of Modern Haiku Press and the author of the award-winning Haiku: A Poet’s Guide. His honors include First Prizes in international haiku contests, an Illinois Arts council Poetry Fellowship, and the Japan-American Society of Chicago’s Cultural Achievement Award.
Lauren Finaldi Gurus was born in Oak Park, grew up in LaGrange Park, and currently resides in Boynton Beach, Florida. Her work has been recently published in The Centrifugal Eye, SaucyVox, Flashquake, Poems Niederngasse and in the 2005 Poets of the Palm Beaches Anthology. Her story, A is for Ability, will be featured in the forthcoming edition of Cup of Comfort, a book series.
Lynne Handy is an author and poet who lives in a northern Illinois river town. A former librarian, she has an intense interest in the written word. She’s also interested in the fusion of spiritual and earthly experience, which she addressed in her 2013 novel, In the Time of Peacocks, and explores again in her recent novella, The Untold Story of Edwina. She published a chapbook, Spy Car and Other Poems, in 2016. Her poetry and short fiction have been published in several online and literary journals. Visit the author-poet at lynnehandy.com
Dr. Har-El, a resident of Highland Park, Illinois, is a businessman, educator, writer, poet and historian. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is married to Rosalie for 40 years, has 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Dr. Har-El is a founder/owner of Har-El Financial, Inc., a full service financial consulting firm that is based in Northbrook, Illinois. He is the author of Struggle for Domination in the Middle East (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995). In addition to his forthcoming book, The Gate of Mercy: Where Islam and Judaism Join Together, a Perspective on Reconciliation, he publishes papers and gives lectures on current Middle East affairs. Dr. Har-El says he writes poetry to nurture his soul. His poems are written in English and Hebrew and are spiritual in nature and texture. They are now assembled in a bilingual edition entitled Riding the Waves of Bliss: Selected Mid-Life Poems, which he hopes to publish in the very near future. The following short poem tells about the motives behind his poetry:
I want to write
I want to write the poems of my life
I want to cast simple ideas into illuminating structures
I want to find lost souls and clothe them with literary garments
I want to visit dark places and, with gems of expression, bring them light
I want to invite words and verses to live in a brilliant world
rhythm and music.
Patricia A. Hare has written poetry since high school. She has recently self-published Uphill & Down, A Collection of Original Poetry by Patricia A. Hare, which is carried at three bookstores in Woodstock, St. Charles, and Palatine, Illinois. She had a reading and signing last April 2006 in Woodstock. In December 2006 she published a memoir about her parents called Bill and Mary. She would like to meet more poets in McHenry County in northwest Illinois, including ISPS members. Patricia is 2007 Illinois Senior Poet Laureate.
Alan Harris has retired from a 22-year career with Commonwealth Edison, Chicago, where he had served as a computer programmer, systems analyst, computer trainer, and Web developer. Between 1982 and 1995 he privately print-published ten books of poems and aphorisms for friends and family. These books and all subsequent poetry collections are now on the Web at Noon Out of Nowhere - Collected Poems. His entire literary collection (poems, essays, aphorisms, short stories, recordings of poem readings, and photographic essays) is entitled An Everywhere Oasis. His books in PDF format are downloadable at PDF Books. Alan is a past president of the Illinois State Poetry Society and currently maintains the ISPS Web site while residing in Tucson, Arizona.
Barbara Lauderdale Hearn is a new resident of the Land of Lincoln. She moved to Bloomington, Illinois in the summer of 2001 from having lived in Nashville, Tennessee, her hometown, for over twenty years. She received her B.A. degree in Communications from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1983. Recently some of her poems were published in The Poetic Licenxe Magazine in Kewanee, Illinois. She has had numerous other poems published in other journals across the country. She received an Editor's Choice Award in June 2002 from Sky Blue Waters Poetry Contests in Faribault, Minnesota. Before moving to Illinois with her family, she was a member of the Tennessee Writers Alliance.
Pamela D. Hirte grew up in Florida where she lived in Jacksonville and St. Augustine. She later
moved to the midwest to earn a Master's degree in Business Administration. She is a poet and
Master Gardener and likes to spend her time outdoors writing poetry or weeding. Today, Hirte
lives in Ohio with her husband, two sons and one attack cat.
Jeanette Helmbrecht was born, raised and educated as a registered nurse in New York State; served in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corpse during the Korean War and married a navy dentist. They raised six children in Mayville, Wisconsin. After the war, she studied creative writing and wrote news, humorous essays, and feature stories for several Wisconsin newspapers. Her secret attempts at writing poetry began in the 1970's. Most was pretty bad, she says, until 1997 when she began taking Internet courses. Subsequently, she joined two intense poetry workshops online and was fortunate to acquire a poet/mentor who was ruthless in his critiques of her work. The marriage ended after 24 years. She lives alone now, in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois where she works very part time in a nursery (Babies, not plants) and writes poetry. She is a former member of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and current with ISPS.
Jean Henning has always written poetry and has had poetry published through the years
in Bitterroot, Child Life, the Naperville Sun, the Marco Eagle and various
She is also the author of three books titled Six Days to Swim, a biography of a
swimmer, Sports Odyssey, a journal of an Olympic Wife, and Naper Scenes. She is a former
teacher and swam with a Synchronized team. She was also a Water Safety
Instructor and at present teaches Water Exercises on Marco Island, Florida during
Chris Holaves (January 29, 1945 - June 13, 2012) was an educator-writer whose poetry and stories came from his life experiences. He and his family emigrated from Greece to Danville, IL when he was nine. He graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. in Education. He earned an M.A. in English from the University of Illinois. His prize-winning poetry has been published in Rockford Review, The Greek Star, Small Brushes and various Illinois and Wisconsin newspapers. He started his own publishing company, Astakos Publishing, and has published two illustrated, children's bilingual books in humorous verse, Even the Dead Get Up for Milk / Hasta los muertos se levantan por leche (May 2008) and Running with the Bats / Corriendo con los murciélagos. (March 2010) He strongly believed that reading opens a child's imagination and fosters good communication skills. He hoped this series of books would be shared and enjoyed by many.
Sister Meg Holden is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Peace. She is a native New Yorker who is currently living and working in Chicago. Writing poetry since 1987, Sister Meg is a published poet who enjoys writing poetry that speaks of the events of ordinary life, nature, and spirituality.
Glenna Holloway (February 7, 1928-September 4, 2015) published her work in more than 300 places, including North American Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, The Formalist, Georgia Review, Saturday Evening Post, America, The Georgia Review, Gray's Sporting Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Christian Century, and The Lyric. Her book, Never Far From Water and Other Love Stories, was published in 2009. She was commissioned to write lyrics for the theme song for Naperville's 175th Anniversary, 2006.
Glenna’s awards included a Pushcart Prize in 2001; a Fellowship from Illinois Arts Council in 2005; the Grand Prize, Founders Award, National Federation of State Poetry Societies, 2006; top winner in National League of American Pen Women Biennial, 2006. In 2009, 2010 and 2012, Glenna was chosen by the Amy Kitchener Foundation as the Senior Poet Laureate of Illinois.
In 1991, Glenna attended the convention of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. She persuaded members of a poetry group to which she belonged to affiliate with the National Federation, and agreed to become the first president of the group, then renamed the Illinois State Poetry Society.
In addition to writing poetry, Glenna was a free-lance contributor to the Chicago Tribune and several other Chicago-area newspapers. She also received accolades for such artistic endeavors as photography and painting, and for the silver and enamel jewelry she created.
Karen H. Honnold, an artist and poet, lives in Charleston, Illinois. She has self-published a chapbook entitled Faustine, and has been published in Lucidity. Pursuing a creative life along with raising three children, her poetry started to flow after attending a therapeutic writing class in 2005.
Shelley Hu is an international trade consultant in the home decor industry. Reading and writing poems are serious hobbies of hers. She has published numerous poems written in Chinese language in prestigious poetry magazines and newspapers in China. She lives in Northbrook, IL. In addition to poetry, she also enjoys playing golf and dancing.
For Jeff Hubbard, a lifetime Illinois resident, writing and history are joined. His poems always have one or more historic themes within them. He says that he has not studied the great poets as much as he should. His writing can be very skeletal and unvarnished, he notes, but he is always working to improve them.
Mark Hudson is a poet, writer, artist, and ceramicist. He
appears on Evanston Cable TV, and he had a hidden track on
the first local 101 CD. He has designed art for a
front cover on a one-time run of a magazine called
He has an ancestry of artists going back in history to
Europe including Charles Lucy, who has
paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago.
Mark hopes you enjoy his poem "The Writer's Life" and
many more to come.
Melissa Huff has returned to a love of writing that she first discovered in her college days, now exploring formal poetry as well as free verse. She is also pursuing mixed media collage and photography, having earlier enjoyed fifteen successful years creating one-of-a-kind jewelry from enamel, copper and silver, which can be seen at www.melissahuff.com. Prior to that, Melissa represented musicians and worked in the publishing and book distribution industry. She holds degrees in both mathematics and art.
Kate Hutchinson has taught high school English in Chicago's suburbs for 30 years and now also teaches poetry writing for National-Louis University. A chapbook of her poetry, The Gray Limbo of Perhaps, was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press. She had a second book published in 2015, a full-length collection called Map-Making: Poems of Land and Identity (THEAQ Press). Kate's poems and personal essays have appeared in over thirty literary magazines. She blogs about writing and life at: PoetKateHutchinson.wordpress.com.
Caroline Johnson has two poetry chapbooks, Where the Street Ends and My Mother's Artwork, and has published poetry in Uproot, Chicago Tribune, The Quotable, and others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she won 1st place in the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row 2012 Poetry Contest, and has won numerous prizes in contests sponsored by Poets and Patrons and the Illinois State Poetry Society. A community college English teacher, she is president of Poets and Patrons of Chicago and leads poetry workshops for veterans and other poets. See her blog at http://jupiter-caroline.blogspot.com.
Steven Kappes was born in Central Illinois and has lived the majority of his life there. He first began writing poetry while he was in the Army stationed in Germany where he had his first poem published in Stars and Stripes. He has had poems published in many publications including California Quarterly, Dream International Quarterly, and Pegasus among others. He has published four chapbooks. Since 1996 he has been the director of the Red Herring Poetry Workshop in Urbana. In 2003 he was one of the Illinois poets nominated for Poet Laureate.
Thomas R. Keith is originally from Austin, TX but now resides in Chicago. He is a classics teacher by profession, specializing in ancient Greek language and literature. He has work forthcoming in the literary journals Westview and Modern Haiku, and he recently completed a verse translation of Euripides' play Andromache.
Gary Ketchum is a retired manager from a major airline who holds a university degree in liberal arts, majoring in Communication and minoring in English. He has written verse since he was a teen and enjoys creating everything from form poetry to free verse and prose poetry. He was an award-winning performer of Oral Interpretation of Poetry in festivals and competitions during college and he still enjoys performing readings of his own work and others'. His favorite poets include e. e. Cummings, T. S. Eliot, John Donne, Robert Frost and William Shakespeare.
Lonna D. Kingsbury is a Cincinnati poet transplanted from her hometown Chicago and the originator of Cincinnati's Poets Anonymous along with being the producer/originator of Countering the Silence, a concept holding the dubious distinction of being the longest running continuous cable presentation in her area. Lonna remembers University of Cincinnati fondly in the days of James Bertolino and finals at Arnolds. Her first Cincinnati publication as Lonna DuChaine occurred in Clifton Magazine as the lone female poet between Bertolino and Dallas Wiebe. She also enjoys her yearly sojourns "home" to read with C. J. Laity's Chicago Poetry Fest and Cathleen Schandelmeier's Beach Poets and at times Around the Coyote. Among her greatest honors? Running with the torch as torch guardian for our first Olympics after 9-11; being named Poet Laureate of Miami Township Ohio; reading "Her Mountain Bears Fruit Ever After" as the featured poet for Morehead University's 10th Annual Women's Symposium; and serving as the poetic interpreter for the Mason Veterans' Memorial--along with presenting the Congressional Breakfast Poem at Our Nation's Capital the year of Jean Schmidt's induction. Contact Lonna at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her Web site at kingsburyproductions.com
Joseph J. Kozma is a practicing physician, Internal Medicine. While he has written poetry all his life, he just recently went "public". He is a member of the Academy of American Poets and the International Poetry Society. He has been published in two anthologies. A third will come out in the fall of 2008. He is active in the poetry section of the Imagine Foundation in Jacksonville, IL.
Samples of his poerty are at www.poetry.com.
Ruth La Sure, an Illinois resident since 1978, is formerly from Wisconsin and California. Her interest in writing poetry escalated in the early eighties while taking some related classes at College of DuPage. Her earlier training at Pierce Junior College in California, the American Academy of Art in Chicago and the American School of Paris are primarily in the visual arts. The Prairie Light Review of College of DuPage has published La Sure's poetry, and awarded her a reading of "Lela Amy" at a ceremony of writers.
Jim Lambert is retired and lives in Southern Illinois with his wife of forty-nine years (who refers to him as her current husband) and two 30 year old desert tortoises. His self-published book of poetry The Winds of Life disappointed critics in 2007. He has been published in several small poetry journals. He is a past president of the Southern Illinois Writers Guild and is currently serving as Vice President of the Illinois State Poetry Society. His website is at www.jimlambertpoetry.com.
Jill Lapin-Zell is a former English teacher who resides in New Jersey. She has a BA in English from Temple University, an EdM in secondary education from Rutgers University and a Masters in Educational Administration from Rider University.
Jill is the author of Vanishing Into Life, her first collection of poetry published in 2015. Some of her poetry has previously appeared in A Hudson View Poetry Digest, published by Skyline Publications. She has also edited and written numerous reviews of poetry collections.
Jill Angel Langlois began 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. She holds a B.A. in English & American Literature from Governors State University, University Park, IL. Scattered Petals, her first collection of poetry, explores the healing power of nature. Whiskey Nights, her second poetry collection, is inspired by both whiskey and music. Excerpts from these collections can be found at www.illinoispoets.org Her poetry and short stories also appear on her blog: The Writing Life. Jill is currently writing a memoir entitled “Tell Me The Story,” which is about growing up adopted and reuniting with her birth mother. She lives in Yorkville, IL with her husband, Aaron, her birth mother, Sue, and their cats.
Pamela Larson has been published in issues of the CRAM Poetry Series published by ChicagoPoetry.com Press and the Daily Herald. She has won several awards from Highland Park Poetry including The Poetry That Moves Contest for June 2012. She also enjoyed coordinating a 32 poet Exquisite Corpse with Highland Park Poetry, the reading of which can be found on YouTube. Her most recent award was Second Honorable Mention in the 2012 Illinois State Poetry Society’s Contest for haiku. You can find her artwork on the cover of A Midnight Snack published by Poetic License Press.
Bonnie Pignatiello Leer has been writing poetry since grade school and was first published in an annual magazine containing poetry and prose from the students at the school. Her poems have been included in several publications since then. She was born in and grew up in the Chicago, IL area and currently resides south of Chicago in Manteno, IL with her husband and two children. The kids are both still pretty young, so life is pretty chaotic in her house. She also has a couple of dogs that alternately provide companionship and add to the chaos. She has two degrees from Northern Illinois University and has been working as an analyst (meaning she continually asks questions until people tell her to either shut up or go away) in the federal government for about the past 20 years. Her primary passion is music and she has slowly been letting her growing music collection chew up the memory on her computer. She loves to sew, knit, and needlepoint whenever she has spare time, which is not very often. She also tends to drag her camera around with her frequently and plans to add "photographer" to her resume at some point because she can't be a federal employee forever.
K. M. LeMohr returned to writing after a long hiatus. Poetry is one of his favorite forms of expression, though he also writes short stories and plays. He began writing as a teenager though passion did not take root until college. K. M. LeMohr is diligently creating a body of work worthy of publication.
Born in Chicago, Dr. Mary F. Lenox enjoys the daily privilege of writing poems inspired by nature and events. Her book of poetry, Threads of Grace: Selected Poems, was completed in 2015. She has traveled widely in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Brazil. She retired from her academic career in 2009.
Shirley Anne Leonard, a native of upstate New York, has been a resident of Illinois since 1979, and studied at Carl Sandburg College. She is the mother of five and grandmother of eight, and lives with her husband, Dr. Richard Leonard, in Hamilton, Illinois.She is the editor (since 2003) of WestWard Quarterly, a poetry journal with a positive, upbeat philosophy formerly edited by Marsha Ward. Shirley has written more than 800 poems. Her work has appeared in Time of Singing, Ancient Paths, and The FORESEE (newsletter of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference). Several poems have also been published online by Reconciliation Press, Cross Way Publications, and Quill and Parchment. Two poems have been used in books that appeared in 2007: Secure the Fort (Xlibris) by Lucy Cain, and A Glimpse of Heaven (Howard Books). She has published five chapbooks: Creation's Song, Remembering Eden, The Journey, The Promise, and The Compass (Laudemont Press). Selections from her poetry also appear on the Laudemont Ministries Web site (http://www.laudemont.org/poetry/poetry_index.htm), and the WestWard Quarterly Web site(http://www.wwquarterly.com), where poetry submissions may be made to the magazine. WestWard Quarterly has published poets from the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, France, India, Ireland, Lebanon, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, and Slovenia.
John Li, a Chinese American, was from China, has been a professional gymnastics coach in China, Canada and United States. Currently, he is an owner and program director of the Summit Gymnastics Academy in Moline, IL. He has published a collection of poetry in Hong Kong, China. He is a vice president of the council of the Chinese World Poets Association, and also a vice president of the council of the Chinese Poetry Association.
Lucy M. Logsdon’s recent (or upcoming) publications include Heron Tree, Drafthorse Lit Journal, Poet Lore, Nimrod, The Southern Poetry Review, Iodine Poetry Review, Literary Orphans, Sixfold, Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, Rose Red Review, Indian Summer Quarterly, Conclave: A Journal of Character, The Miscreant Magazine, Cross Poetry Review, The Poetry Storehouse, VerseWrights, California Quarterly and Seventeen Magazine. She has received a MacDowell Writing Colony fellowship and taught at The Frost Place. She received her MFA from Columbia University and served as the Program Director at the National Book Awards. Currently, she teaches at Southeastern Illinois College (located in southern Illinois, near the Shawnee National Forest). In her spare time, she raises chickens and ducks with her husband and cares for various other aging critters.
Shontay Luna has been writing all her life. She only discovered poetry writing after taking intermediate and advanced writing poetry workshops at Columbia College. Half of her poetry is "made up" and the other half is based on things that have happened in her life. She is listed on www.allpoetry.com under Celinda Luna and Youtube under DoorsChick1967. She has been published in Capper's Anthology and six other publications. She only recently got back into submitting after a hiatus of several years of raising kids. They're older now and it's time for her. She would like to "get her poetry out there" so her words don't "die" with her. She's not ill, just an expression.
Lennart Lundh is a poet, short-fictionist, historian and photographer. His work has appeared internationally since the late 1960s. Len reads at Chicago-area open mics on a regular basis, as well as appearing in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio several times a year.
Usha Mahisekar (d. June 10, 2016) completed her primary schooling in Sholupar, India. She received a MD degree B.J.at Medical College in Pune, India and completed a residency in Anesthesiology at the University of Illinois. She retired in January 2012. In 2014, she received an M.A. in Sanskrit from Karnatka University, and taught Sanskrit to others. She was a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society for several years, and was a regular participant in poetry readings at Brewed Awakening in Westmont, IL.
John Mahoney (passed away on May 23, 2016) was born in Joliet, Illinois during the First World War and grew up there as a voracious reader and a nature-lover. He worked as a blueprinter and leisure-time writer until drafted into the Second World War. Assigned to fire direction in the Field Artillery, John spent thirty-six months in the Southwest Pacific, chiefly in New Guinea and the Philippines. He was wounded while landing on Mindanao. His remaining time overseas was spent in Australia, mainly near Rockhampton, Queensland, where he has revisited eight times since the war. After his discharge from the Army, John enrolled at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, where he met graduate nursing student Attracta O'Connor. John received a BA in English and married Attracta in June of 1949. He spent the next year earning an MA in English at the University of Louisville. Returning to Illinois, John worked in a locomotive plant and later in various copy-editing jobs at book and magazine publishers. Settling in Westmont, Illinois, he and Attracta became parents of Deirdre, Eileen, and Georgina; and in time, grandparents of Claire Milsted, and Andrew and Monica Lim. In 1984, John joined Downers Grove Writers Workshop, which became his friendship circle as well as school for poetry writing.
Rowena R.R.A. Maalikulmulk was born African American in the winter month of October 22, 1960. She is the last female child out of five children between the marriage of her father, Othello A. Rollins, and mother, Birdie Mae Rollins. She has two daughters, Safiyyah R. Mirtia and Bahiyyafi M. A. Maalikulmulk. She lived primarily on 41st and Ellis Ave. in Chicago, IL. However, her major impact was in the projects on the South Side of Chicago at the CHA Robert Taylor Homes. She attended many schools, but managed to graduate from M.L. King High School and successfully completed her LPN certificate at Dawson Skill Center. She worked as a lifeguard during the summer for ten years for the Chicago Park District. She volunteered as a security guard for Dorothy Tillman, 3rd Ward Alderman, during the late Mayor Harold Washington years. Her last major career was as a Geriatric Psychiatric Nurse for four years. Presently, she is writing books and poems in her spare time.
Bonnie J. Manion is a much-published poet and community volunteer who has been listed in Marquis'
Who's Who in America and Who's Who Among American Women for several years. She received
the Peoria, IL Catholic Diocese' highest lay service award, The Pere Marquette Medal, in 2001.
Bonnie has published about 500 poems in over fifty venues over the past seven years. These include
St. Anthony's Messenger, Pegasus Review, Nomad's Choir, Lutheran Digest, Limestone Journal, Offerings, Karamu (coming in 2008), PK's Advocate, Northern Stars, Penned From The Heart (several volumes), Devotional, Time of Singing, and Writer's Magazine. Her poetry has won several awards from both Saint David's Christian Writers Assn. and Poets of The Vineyard. Bonnie is married (since 1961) to retired attorney Paul T. Manion of Hoopeston, IL, and they have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. She received a B.S.E.Ed. degree from De Paul University of Chicago, IL in 1965. Bonnie's Web site is located at www.BonnieManion.com.
William Marr has published 23 volumes of poetry (two in English and the rest in his native Chinese language), 3 books of essays, several books of translations, and 10 eBooks. His most recent published work, Chicago Serenade, is a trilingual (Chinese/English/French) anthology of poems published in Paris in 2015. 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 honors, including several awards from Taiwan and China 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) displays some of his literary and artistic works.
Carol Schott Martino lives in Peoria, IL. As a teenager, she began writing sappy love poems, and in later years she embraced the creative outlet as a form of therapy by finding humor in the storms in life. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Kansas Quarterly, Cedar Rock, Pudding, and The Sandhills and other anthologies. In the 1980s, she and Patricia Lieb founded Pteranodon, a literary magazine which featured poetry, essays, interviews and photography. They also co-authored Catholics and Publics, a poetry chapbook. She was an was an associate editor and poetry therapy columnist for Pudding House Publications. One of her greatest joys has been presenting The Poetry of Rocks workshops for troubled teens, encouraging them to listen to their own stories through the shapes and patterns of rocks that have skipped or been thrown into their lives. For several years, she worked as a journalist and columnist; many of her columns are featured in Schott at Sunrise, a book published by Pudding House. Also, her essays and non-fiction pieces have appeared in magazines and newspapers in the United States, such as Woman's World, Primo, Hallmark Magazine, Farm Journal, and the Miami Herald as well as publications in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Her writing is also highlighted on a website she and her husband Dan launched a few years ago - www.goodlifedestinations.com. Don Welch, Ted Kooser, Peter Meinke, Marge Piercy, Linda Paston and Dave Etter are among her favorite poets.
Farouk Masud was born in Chicago on Earth Day. He was raised in the west suburbs of Chicago and graduated from the College of DuPage in 1995 with an Associates Degree in Arts and Science. He wrote his first poem at age 14 and has been writing on and off since. His poems mostly deal with the dark aspects of life. Cynic and melancholy storytelling tends to be his specialty; which is why Edgar Allan Poe, Sara Teasdale and John Davidson are his favorite poets. Poetry is his main hobby, but he also loves: boxing, movies, music, martial arts, politics, current events and conspiracy theories. Comments and criticisms are welcome. Send to: email@example.com. He currently lives in Bridgeview, IL.
Bob McCarthy has an Associate of Arts degree from College of DuPage
and an honorable discharge from the United States Navy.
He took up reading and writing poetry in September of 1998.
He has five or six poems in print.
Marguerite McClelland (August 8, 1943 - May 29, 2015) was born in France in 1943 in the region of Alsace, growing up with French and German as native languages. She married a member of the US Air Force in 1963 and has lived in the United States off and on since 1965. She has two children and four grandchildren. Retired from teaching French and German to elementary students at Armitage Academy in Kenosha, Wisconsin, she now spends her time on environmental issues, travelling, gardening, and writing.
Cassandra McGovern writes poetry and memoir, with tremendous support from writing groups in Illinois and Arizona, as well as workshops combining travel and study in Paris, Prague and San Miguel de Allende. Her memoirs have appeared in several literary journals, including the Massachusetts Review. Two anthologies, Five Poets, 2011 and Fresh Pipes, 2012, include thirteen poems.
Irving F. Miller was born in 1934 in New York City and educated at New York University, Purdue University, and the University of Michigan. He taught and administered programs in chemical engineering and biomedical engineering for almost 40 years at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Akron. He is the author of over 80 refereed articles and book chapters in engineering, over 200 abstracts and presentations, has edited and translated several monographs, and has received numerous engineering grants and awards. Although he has written poems most of his life, he began writing poems seriously in 1995. Since his retirement from engineering education in 2000, he has concentrated on writing poems, which have appeared in journals and chapbooks, as well as on two websites. His poems are currently under review by several journals. He has published poems in InPrint, Big Table Poetry Group Chapbook, The Aurorean, Zeek, Poetica Magazine, and Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry; and in Web sites www.artworkshops.homestead.com and www.monhegan.com.
Wilda Morris (otherwise known as Wendy Morris) grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. She is a graduate of American University (DC) and has a doctorate in political science from the University of Illinois and an M.Div. She is the Coordinator of Shalom Education, an ecumenical, not-for-profit, peace and justice organization, and has served as managing editor of The Children's Corner, a children's ministry newsletter. Wilda has won prizes in free verse and formal poetry, including a 2009 Prairie Poetry Award from College of DuPage, and a 2009 Pushcart Nomination. Wilda's first book of poetry, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant, was published in 2008 by Rockford Writers' Guild Press. Her poems have found homes in a number of publications including Christian Science Monitor, Chaffin Journal, Alive Now, Out of Line, Seeding the Snow, Frogpond, and The Kerf. Wilda also authored a nonfiction book, Stop the Violence! Educating Ourselves to Protect our Youth (published by Judson Press). She is a past president of the Illinois State Poetry Society and serves as workshop chair of Poets and Patrons of Chicago. Wilda is married and has five children and fifteen grandchildren. Visit Wilda Morris's Poetry Challenge at http://wildamorris.blogspot.com/.
Martha S. Moss (December 31, 1920 - December 25, 2011) was a nonagenarian, grandmother of three, great grandmother
of five and mother of poet Susan T. Moss. Martha loved to watch the birds,
squirrels and rabbits nibble bird seed through the windows of the house she
and her husband moved to in 1949. Inspiration for her writing, often rhyming
poetry, came from observing life's passing dramas and the everyday joys
surrounding her. Occasionally, her journalistic pieces were printed in the local
and city editorial pages.
Susan T. Moss has two chapbooks, In From The Dark (Antrim House Press, 2015) and Keep Moving ‘til The Music Stops (Lily Pool/Swamp Press, 2006).
Presently, she is serving a third term as President of Illinois State Poetry Society
and facilitates the Northern Chapter that meets at the Northbrook Public Library.
She is also a member of Poets and Patrons and Poets Club of Chicago. Her work
has appeared in many journals and anthologies including After Hours, Caduceus, Vermont Literary Review, Seeding The Snow, Your Daily Poem
and Soundings: Door County in Poetry. She has also been featured on Wordslinger WLUW F.M. radio show. Susan was granted a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois and an M.A. from Middlebury College, the Bread Loaf School of English.
Robert Burns Mounts has a BA in Speech and English from Bradley University, and an MA in Drama from the University of Illinois. He worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, dealer training head for a multinational (out of Geneva, Switzerland), senior vice president at a national ad agency, and president of his own corporate training company. Recently retired, he teaches drama for seniors in Green Valley, AZ. He is married and has two grown children with children of their own. He lives in the Sonora desert south of Tucson. His lifelong hobbies are: little theater (acting, directing, playwriting), essays and poetry.
Hugh Muldoon is an older learner living in Carbondale, Illinois. He spends much of his time looking for the back doors of windmills instead of tilting at them straight on. He also raises vegetables, chickens, and his wife's ire, but only on a relatively small scale. He works on poetry a little to offset his proclivity for reading philosophy and theology. If he's not at home or poking around windmills, he can easily be found drinking coffee or beer with other older learners and ne'er-do-wells.
Kathleen Murphy grew up in Ohio, where she received B.A. in English. She's married and has raised four boys and several deceased goldfish. She's currently a writing tutor at a community college and writes for ehow.com. She's written newspaper feature stories and a humor column, and had poetry and articles on poetry published in several magazines. Her website is at www.angelfire.com/poetry/murphys_writing. Kathleen's goal is to work at improving her poetic craft. Her other goal is to make a lot of money writing poetry. Just kidding!
By day, Richard Oberbruner is in his fifth year of working with at-risk
youth for DuPage County. By night, he's in his twentieth year of writing
poetry like a fiend. No surface is safe from his pen. He also facilitates
stress management workshops for small groups using improvisational acting
techniques he learned at The Second City Theater, Chicago. He is a member
of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce Speakers Bureau.
Donna O’Shaughnessy resides in Saunemin, IL with her husband and a mad collection of farm critters on a small, sustainable homestead. A retired hospice nurse, she is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois where she was awarded the school’s Senior Quinn Award for Fiction. Winner of The Dermot Healy International Poetry Award in 2016 and highly commended in the Yeats Poetry Competition 2015, her work has also appeared in The Galway Review, Ropes, and After Hours. She is currently working on her first poetry collection.
Sue Parker wrote her first story when she was eight years old. Since then she has won many prizes for her poetry and fiction. She has won four awards from the Kansas Author’s Club, published in Woman's Day magazine, Star Magazine, The Kansas City Star, Shorelines, Grit, Potpourri and numerous literary journals. It is a pleasure to be associated with the ISPS.
Cathy Lou Pearson is a native of Downers Grove, Illinois. She is retired from
a 28 year career in management with a Fortune 500 company. During her
tenure in the corporate arena, business-related writing was the daily norm.
Now retired, she enjoys the luxury of more time. This affords her the
opportunity to exercise creative expression through poetry. Often times
the subject matter for Cathy Lou's poetry stems from memories of a
marvelous childhood and her upbringing. Additionally, she draws content
from numerous life experiences, observations and a curious imagination. She
enjoys domestic and international travel, her yoga practice, the fine arts, interior
design, cooking and spending quality time with her many friends. Cathy Lou is
a member of the American Daughters of Sweden, the Illinois State Poetry
Society, the Rockford Writers' Guild, Free Speech (a speakers bureau) and is
a lifetime member of Friends of the Downers Grove Public Library. She holds
a Bachelor of Science degree.
Ina Perlmuter is a member of the ISPS writer's group of Northbrook Library. She writes poetry which she feels transcends age and origin. She states, "Though I never went to college and am an atrocious speller, I believe I have a message to get out."
Jetara Perry is the author of Imperfect Angel: Her Journey to Womanhood and the president of the Imperfect Angels Organization. Jetara’s debut book Imperfect Angel was inspired by true events that Jetara used to create a connection to her readers in this poetically written story. Jetara has been writing, reading and/or performing poetry for over 13 years. Jetara loves writing, reading, traveling and motivating young women. Jetara started her non-profit organization Imperfect Angels in January 2016 to help young women in the Chicagoland areas with college-prep, self-confidence, self-respect, community involvement and much more! You can find Jetara on Twitter & Instagram (@JetaraPerry).
Pat Petros taught second, third, and fourth grades for thirty years, and now has time to write and enjoy sharing her poetry. She has two children and five grandchildren, all of whom have great fun reading "Mo's" (their name for her) poems.
Ivan Petryshyn started to write poetry at the age of 14, in Ukrainian and Russian. Later – also in Polish, English, Latin and German. He published his poems in the Ivan Franko Drohobych Teachers University/Institute’s newspaper.
As a teacher of a secondary school, he wrote poetry and published it in a local district newspaper.
When he was a student in Italy, he started to write serious poetry, and the love for the Italian poetry-writing is persisting today, as before.
When a Senior Teacher of the Kiev State (National) University of Foreign Languages, he contributed to an article on the Ritual Catholic poetry's metaphoric images to the UNESCO Conference. He started to write Italian poetry at that time.
When in the States, he contributed his poetry in English, Italian, Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, Latin, German to different poetic web sites having taken part in poetry Slams (ChicagoPoetry.Com), in the Poetry Café readings with Vittorio Carli and other poets.
He is an active member of the ISPS and is writing in the languages mentioned above.
Patty Dickson Pieczka's second book of poetry, Painting the Egret's Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award for 2012 from the Bitter Oleander Press. She was the featured poet in their Spring 2014 issue. Other awards include the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest in the Best Sonnet category, the ISPS poetry contest for 2012 (first place in the free verse category), Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award for 2010, and a nomination for an Illinois Arts Council Award. Other books are Lacing Through Time (Bellowing Ark Press, 2011), and a chapbook, Word Paintings, (Snark Publishing, 2002). Patty graduated from the Creative Writing Program at Southern Illinois University. Writing contributions have appeared in many journals, including Bluestem, Blue Unicorn, The Cape Rock, Crab Orchard Review, Eureka Literary Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Red Rock Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Versedaily.org, and Willow Review.
Todd Possehl is a member of the St. Charles (IL) Writers Group and has been writing since 2000. He started writing short, very short, stories--almost little parables. He gradually moved to poetic forms and started sending them out to the small presses. He's been fortunate to see his work appear in many journals and magazines. When not writing he works as a Senior Account Representative for an educational resource company in St. Charles. His hobbies include listening to music, reading, comparative religion, and learning more about the mysterious craft of poetry.
Marcia Pradzinski is a Chicago native who writes poetry and memoir. She won first place in the 2010 Evanston Library poetry contest, third place in Highland Park's Poetry Challenge 2010, and an honorable mention in Highland Park's 2010 Funny Poetry Contest. Her poems have also appeared in Nit & Wit, Amanda Blue, Rhino 2008, and Cram 9. Forthcoming issues of Avocet and Quill and Parchment's anthology on motherhood will also feature her work. She teaches ESL to graduate students at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and lives with her husband Patrick Quigley in Skokie, Illinois.
Jan Presley enjoyed twenty-two years of teaching American and British Literature, Film & Lit, and process writing to high school juniors and seniors. She can barely remember a time when she didn't write poetry. Thanks to her mother's clandestine submission of Jan's work, she won first-place poetry prizes from Writer's Digest (1999), from New Orleans' Faulkner House Word and Music Festival (2003), and later from the SIU School of Medicine’s Journal SCOPE. She has an MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University. Now in retirement, she has returned to the pull of her own writing-and-submitting process, and she enjoys workshopping with the Southern Chapter of ISPS. Home is with her husband in the beautiful hill country of Southern Illinois where she's working on a chapbook.
Donna Pucciani has a Ph.D. in Humanities from NYU and taught English, music and humanities on the high school and college levels for several decades. Her poems have been published on four continents, translated into Italian, Chinese and Japanese, and nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize. She has won awards from the Illinois Arts Council, Poets and Patrons of Chicago, Poetry on the Lake, and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. A resident of Chicago, she served for many years as Vice President of the Poets' Club of Chicago and co-edited its anthology, Skylines. Her books of poetry include A Light Dusting of Breath, Hanging Like Hope on the Equinox, To Sip Darjeeling at Dawn, Chasing the Saints, Jumping Off the Train, The Other Side of Thunder, Ghost Garden, and Edges. Her poetry and professional activities are featured on the following sites: shutterverse2.wordpress.com and donnapuccianipoet.wordpress.com.
John Quinn has been a resident of Brookfield, Illinois for over thirty years. He has been married to the same patient, long-suffering woman for two score and a couple of years, and they have two grown daughters that still light his life.
He grew up in Chicago and received a B.A. in literature from the University of Notre Dame in 1957. He spent the next 40+ years selling, programming computer software, consulting, managing and training. The thing to understand here is that he has a very short attention span and needs to change jobs a lot. Fortunately, he was with a company that fostered learning, growth and change, so he managed to survive. He retired from corporate America in 2001.
He doesn't like to garden; carpentry tools frighten him; and his wife does not like to travel so he now spends most of his time writing, reading and writing some more--that is where the patience and long suffering of his wife is put to the test.
He has dabbled in doggerel, short fiction and self-serving essays for most of his adult life. He has never felt the need to publish though he does enter some local poetry contests and has had some small successes.
He is a past president of the Illinois State Poetry Society.
Writing since college days, Andrew Rafalski has been an editor for a financial newsletter, a published freelance writer, accounting manager, engineer and IT consultant. Currently he is on the staff at the University of Chicago Design and Construction Division.
His poetry sometimes reflects the tension and incompatibility between weaving a professional career for material benefit and a literary and philosophical life for the love of it. He has lived in several countries, but spent the majority of his recent years in the US.
His poetry has been published in "The Blind Man's Rainbow" and in a chapbook published by Poetry Palace Productions in Concord, New Hampshire. Other credits include humor, inspirational and career articles in several print publications.
Dr. S.V. Rama Rao was born in India in 1936. He holds a BA (Economics), a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Master's in Art. Commonwealth Fellowship, University of London, England. He lived in London from 1962 to 1969. He taught art in the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. He was Professor of Art at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green. He has exhibited in many countries, including the USA, Europe, and Canada. He exhibited with Picasso, Salvador Dali, Braque, and others. Collection: Museum of Modern Art; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Harvard University, Boston; and many others. The Government of India honored him with "Padma Shri" title (like "Sir" in England).
Jenene Ravesloot is a poet and an artist. She received her B.A. from Columbia College, has studied drawing, painting, and textile design at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and interior design at the Harrington College of Design. She has shown her work in many venues in Chicago. Jenene is a member of the Poets' Club of Chicago, the Haiku Society of America, Poets and patrons, and Illinois State Poetry Society. Her poetry has been published in Seeding the Snow, Northeastern Illinois University's Apocalypse 9, the Chicago Quarterly Review, After Hours Issue No. 19, 20-21-22,23, the Haiku Society of America anthology, Rumbunctious Review, the Illinois State Poetry Society Anthology, and other poetry journals. Recently she was one of the winners in the Poetry That Moves contest and has appeared on Wordslingers and Richard Frammeree's UniVerse of Poetry. In 2008 she published her first book of poetry, Loot: Stolen Memories & Tales Out of School" and a jazz CD. She has been a featured poet at The Café, The Loose Leaf Tea Emporium, St. Paul's Cultural Center, Regina's Place, C.J. Laity's Café Ballou, Chicago, Waiting 4 the Bus Collective at Café, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, Coffee Chicago, and other Chicago venues.
Barbara Cagle Ray resides in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a writer of essays, short stories and poetry. Her writing credits include publication in numerous anthologies and magazines, including Christian Woman, Ideals, Simply Words and Woman's World, to name a few.
She also writes for book companies. She has appeared in twenty-seven books published by New Hope Books. She also had her poetry featured on their 2001 and 2002 calendars.
Barbara currently writes for many church papers and periodicals, including The World Evangelist and The Voice of Truth International.
Her works have been published in more than 120 countries and in several languages.
(Passed away on December 2, 2016) In 2016 Spuyten Duyvil published James Reiss’s debut novel, When Yellow Leaves, and his second novel, Façade for a Penny Arcade is to be published in 2017. His work has appeared in such places as The American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Esquire, The Hudson Review, The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, Slate, and Virginia Quarterly Review, plus anthologies, textbooks, and websites. His first book, The Breathers (Ecco Press), was nominated for a National Book Award. His fourth book, Ten Thousand Good Mornings (Carnegie Mellon University Press), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as awards from the Academy of American Poets, the College English Association of Ohio, the Ohioana Library Association, the Poetry Society of America, the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York, and the Pushcart Press. More than 300 of his reviews and essays have appeared in leading journals. As Professor Emeritus of English at Miami University, he was Founding Editor of Miami University Press in Oxford, Ohio. His surname rhymes with “peace.” His personal website is www.jamesreiss.com.
Khristan Renfro-Stella, born and raised in the State Capital, Springfield Illinois, knew as a child that she was an "old soul," and perhaps one day she could express the gift through becoming a writer. Throughout her high school years, she found such poets as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maya Angelou, and the complexities of William Shakespear's to intrigue her as a writer of creative poetry. In 1990 she published several pieces through the International Library of Congress such as "A Change of Color," "The Friendship Room," "Physically she was never raped," and "Sunday's Pain..." She also went on to begin writing feature artices for a bodybuilding publication located in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Mid-West Muscle Magazine. In 1996 she dropped the pen, and continued pursuing her bodybuilding career while doing coursework in nutrition. She graduated in 2001 from Clayton College of Natural Health with a Bachelor of Science. Still longing to pursue her writing dreams, Khristian enrolled at the Children's Institute of Literature, and received a Diploma for Children's Magazine Writing in June of 2009. In April of 2010 she published her first book, Her Blossoming Soul A Spiritual Introspection A Collection of Poetry and Prose. Her book is available at www.barnesandnoble.com, www.Xlibrispublishing.com and www.amazon.com. Khristian is currently working on several writing projects, one being a book for children and the other her second collection of poetry.
Mary Reynolds is a retiree who taught Latin, English Literature and Composition and English as a Second Language in a north suburban high school for 33 years. After years of teaching primarily college-prep essay writing, Mary is eager to explore the creative power of writing through poetry.
Marjorie Rissman was born and bred on eastern Long Island, New York.
She began writing poetry in college but put it aside when life interrupted
her creative endeavors. Recently, with the death of her sister, she has returned
to writing and is an active member of Highland Park Poetry. Several of her poems
have won awards in their many competitions. She has also been published in East
on Central and in A Midnight Snack.
Barbara Robinette retired from the University of Illinois at Springfield then moved to northern Arkansas. She loves to read poetry from Wordsworth to Whitman to Williams to the poets of today. She believes a good poem must not only be well written but also have a secret room...another level of meaning beyond the concrete images used to show feeling. She is a co-founder of the Free Verse Poetry Group of Mountain Home, Arkansas and shares her new poems, not only with fellow poets, but also with her husband, two sons and their families, and her dog and three cats.
Tom Roby publishes and performs his poetry in a variety of venues in Chicago, while leading workshops, writing criticism, and winning various competitions. He has created The Poetry Wheel, a non-competitive alternative to poetry slams, in which each poet must read in relation to the previous one and state the connection, so that the poets improvise their selections as the performance wends its way through unplanned creative waters. He is President and critique leader of the Poets' Club of Chicago, and chairperson of their annual sonnet contest. Smoke and Mirror Productions selected his poems about the adventures of George and Judy with Grin Reaper for performances at the Loop Theater in April 2004. Tom was ChicagoPoetry.com's Poet of the Month for National Poetry Month, April 2006. A member of the National Association for Poetry Therapy, he makes presentations based on his chapbook, Griever's Circuit (Fractal Edge Press, 2004), poems on the death of his wife, Mary. He and his multi-instrumentalist son, Lem, comprise Omniphonic, a duo that performs "The Sounds of Poems, the Poetry of Sound." Tracks from their forthcoming CD were featured on radio station WLUW in December 2006 and can be heard at the Vox Café archive of Wordslingers.org. Puddin'head Press will publish Tom's next book of poems in the summer of 2008.
G. C. Rosenquist was born in Chicago in 1966 and moved out to Lake County, Illinois in 1972. He now lives in Lindenhurst, Illinois. He has studied poetry and writing under Paulette Roeske at the College of Lake County in Grayslake and has three novels recently published: The Opening and Closing of the Moon (2001), The Funnel Flyer (2004) and Evermore (2005). He has a book of poetry coming out in the fall of 2006 published by Purple Sky Publishers named G.C. Rosenquist's Super Elastic Traveling Sound Circus.
Christine Ross has lived in Illinois for her entire life--and just about every nook and cranny of Illinois. Currently, she resides in Peoria with her wonderful 8-year-old daughter. She is a licensed attorney and also has a master's in library science. Having worked as an attorney in private practice, an editor for a legal publishing company, and a professional law librarian, she is now enjoying a respite from the rigors of her occupation while trying to decide what she wants to do next. She has been writing since she was 8 years old, having participated in many creative writing workshops over the years as well as writing short stories and poetry for the enjoyment of herself and friends. She has recently submitted several poems to a variety of print and online journals for publication (fingers crossed!), and she is working on her first novel as well.
David Rush's primary writing is plays and musical for theater and therefore much of his poetry is lyrics for songs, which is a poesy of its own sort. Most of his dedicated poetry, however, stems from his experiences as a Civil War Reenactor and part-time Civil War buff. He recently retired from his post as Head of Playwriting at Southern Illinois University. He lives in Murphysboro, IL.
Rick Sadler was born in Lafayette, Indiana on July 5, 1955, and grew up in Omaha, Illinois. He graduated from Norris City-Omaha, Enfield High School on May 25, 1974, whereupon he joined the United States Army on June 20, 1974. He served twenty years and retired from active service in 1994, and has traveled to Hawaii, Guam, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. He is divorced with four children. He writes religious poetry, mostly about the Virgin Mary. He became a Catholic in 1996. He currently resides in Harker Heights, Texas. He is a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church. He also teaches religion classes to fourth-graders. His poetry takes on a surreal subject with a message. The Virgin Mary has been the only subject that has really inspired him through the years.
Marge (Margaret A.) Samuel (Nov. 5, 1925-June 11, 2017), born in Chicago, was a child of the depression. She married at 21 and had 4 girls. She worked as a sales person and sewing operator. She started writing poetry after she was widowed. Marge took a poetry class at College of DuPage. After that she wrote poetry, especially poetry for special occasions. Marge was an avid crafter, and frequently made fleece blankets for people who were ill. She knitted hundreds of scarves, most of which were donated to Christmas Sharing, a project which provided Christmas gifts for needy families. She was also an avid reader. She was a member of the Lisle Chapter of ISPS for a number of years.
Marie Samuel is a retired art teacher who still teaches workshops in painting, collage, and quilting.
She finds it exciting to belong to writing and poetry groups. Learning new forms of expression
and hoping to create hand-made books as well as do illustrations are current goals.
Hobbies also include travel, reading, and seeking ways to incorporate text in her visual
art and fiber creations. "Ohio River Sojourn" was written when she had a sabbatical grant to work and live
in the Armour House on the Ohio River at Cave-in-Rock, IL.
That house is for sale now for someone in the market for a creative
retreat. It was built 25 years ago by an eccentric millionaire musician
and professor. She did many plein air paintings there. She has survived ten
years since the poem was written, but she still feels drawn to the beautiful Ohio River.
Ryan K. Sauers lives in Wood Dale. He was born and raised in Chicago, so he's lived in the area all his life. He's written poetry as a teen, but never took it seriously. He hadn't written a poem since he was eighteen. He started writing again years ago when he found a writer's group in Bensenville, where he's been going ever since. He hasn't been published, but he does frequent the Oak Park open mic at Unity Temple. He does try to keep active in the writing community, either by attending seminars, open mics, poetry readings or even taking a class when he can at the local community college.
Nancy Ann Schaefer (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen, UK) lived in Europe for nearly twenty years before returning to her Midwestern roots. A retired academic, she now lives in rural Maine with her husband, dog and three cats. Her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, including Off Channel, Numinous, Avocet, Tipton Poetry Journal, In other Words: Merida, Lake City Lights, Out Loud, Sruggle and The Rockford Review, among others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her first chapbook, In Search of Lode, was published by 918Studio. Thanks for taking a look.
Thom Schmidt is currently a resident of Naperville, IL. Originally born in Germany, he and his family have lived in Cincinnati, Atlanta and Naperville. Thom holds degrees from Miami (BA/BA) and Ohio University (MA). He has been writing poetry on and off since high school and has been published by the National Library of Poetry. He is currently working on a non-fiction book chronicling his recent dysfunctional business experiences.
In the future he hopes to begin work on a mystery along the lines of Robert B. Parker's writings. Thom is active in the community coaching his daughter's soccer team and is an avid runner and indoor rower. In the past Thom has completed many short- and long-distance races including the Chicago and Atlanta marathons.
Steven Schroeder is a poet and philosopher who teaches and writes in Chicago and Shenzhen, China. He grew up in the Texas Panhandle, and his poetry continues to be rooted in the experience of the Plains, which teaches attention to "nothing that is not there" but more especially to "the nothing that is." His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Cresset, Georgetown Review, Halcyon, Karamu, Mid-America Poetry Review, Petroglyph, Poetry East, Rhino, Texas Review, and other literary journals. His collection entitled Revolutionary Patience was published by Virtual Artists Collective in 2004. His most recent collection is Fallen Prose, published by Virtual Artists Collective in 2006.
Irene Sedeora's writing has appeared in The Mid-America Poetry Review, Dust & Fire, The Writer, Parting Gifts, Ampersand, Love Poems for the Media Age, Ripple Effect anthology; Working Hard for the Money, Bottom Dog Press anthology; other publications and online. In addition to writing poetry and short fiction, Sedeora enjoys traveling. She lives in Morton, Illinois.
Irfanulla Shariff has been writing poetry for years. He has great passion for writing
inspirational poetry. His work has been published in various poetry magazines and
anthologies. His poems were selected to appear in "The Sound of Poetry", a special
audio CD and tape collection. He was presented an International Poet of Merit Award by the International Society of Poets in 2002. Irfanulla's poetic influences are Rumi, Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. By profession, he is a Computer Scientist and Telecommunication Engineer. He is married, lives in South Elgin and has three children.
A crushing review of poetry Dorothy Bury Shaw submitted to her high school literary magazine left her cloistered with her writing in secret for many years while she pursued fine art, ultimately graduating from the Chicago Academy of Fine Art. She spent several years as a free-lance editorial illustrator enjoying the special privilege of getting a look at raw manuscripts prior to publication. The author’s hand written corrections were scattered throughout and thrilled her to the bone, while the editor comments often disturbed her. She learned a great deal about the visual and written arts while immersed in an artistic community that was both innovative and necessarily commercial. The awareness that Dorothy was never meant to be an illustrator in this environment came slowly but with an undeniable certainty. And many years would pass, with marriage and family her priority, until 2013 when her life turned at last to creating sacred art and poetry. And what emerged was truly the culmination of a lifetime’s journey, exploring different cultures and religions, from a place of open heart and compassion. At last, her creative roundabout journey had brought her to a place where both visual and written part beautifully intersected.
The first time that Richard Ellis Shaw wrote a story and shared it was when he was eight years old. He read his story to the kids in his neighborhood. He started writing poetry in high school and has never stopped. He has published over thirty poems and two short stories in a few online journals. He has been published in the Illinois State Poetry Society Anthology 2014 edition. He is currently working on a book of ten short stories with the completion of a first draft. He has read his poetry in small pubs and a bookstore in Knoxville Tennessee. He has also done some public readings in Illinois at various venues. He is a writer, enjoys photography and dabbles in art. He grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts and has lived in Illinois for many years.
Colette Shelby is a resident of Aurora, Illinois, where she lives with her husband Rob, a
musician, two teenagers, and a very barky little dog. Colette is currently
readying her first collection Departures for publication. Her other
interests include acting, gardening, and books, books, and more books.
Keith Skilling emigrated to America from England at the age of four as the result of parental kidnapping. He studied Creative Writing and Religion at Pepperdine University where he earned his BA before earning his M.Ed. at DePaul University. Keith is passionate about learning, writing, photography, his family (and two dogs), and being silly. He is a published poet and he worked as an educator for fifteen years. Currently, he volunteers in his community and continues to write.
John E. Slota is a World War II baby boomer from a working-class family. He was born in Chicago at about the summer solstice (which he thinks is somewhere in the vicinity of Archer and California Ave.). His mother and older sister provided him with much early exposure to the arts which, over the past few years, has begun to express itself. His scientific background (MS Chemistry) and the objectivity it demands is in interesting juxtaposition with some but not all of the elements of his poetic style.
Jared Smith received his BA cum laude and MA in English and American Literature from New York University, studying under poet/critic M.L. Rosenthal, former Library of Congress Adviser Robert Hazel, and New York Quarterly founder William Packard. He is the author of seven collections of poetry, including The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations (Higganum Hill Books, Higganum, CT, 2008); Where Images Become Imbued With Time (Puddin'head Press, Chicago, 2007); Lake Michigan And Other Poems (Puddin'head Press, Chicago, 2005); Walking The Perimeters Of The Plate Glass Window Factory (Birch Brook Press, New York, 2001); Keeping The Outlaw Alive, (Erie Street Press, Chicago, 1988); Dark Wing (Charred Norton Publications, Camillus, NY, 1984); and Song Of The Blood (The Smith Press, New York, 1983). His poems, essays, and literary criticism have appeared hundreds of times in journals over the past 30 years. His poems have been adapted to modern dance at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and to stage in Chicago. He is a member of The Advisory Board of The New York Quarterly, Poetry Editor of Trail & Timberline, past president of Poets & Patrons, and a member of The Academy of American Poets. He was the 2006 judge for the Jo-Anne Hirschfield Memorial Poetry Competition in Evanston. He currently is a frequent lecturer and reader at universities, colleges, libraries, and other venues across the country.
Jared served as Associate Director of Institute of Gas Technology and Special Appointee to Argonne National Lab, as well as advising several White House Commissions under the Clinton Administration, and has edited three volumes of applied sciences as well.
Marthalyn Dale Smith of Morris, Illinois, was born on February 6, 1951. She was adopted on June 26, 1951 and married on April 8, 1967. She has two children and two grandchildren. She started writing poetry in 1998 when her mother was dying. She published her own book of poetry entitled Feelings as a way to cope with her loss. She has been published many times by the International Society of Poetry and recently won the silver cup award, which was written up in her local daily newspaper. She is very proud to now be a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society.
Sherri Smith is a full-time employee, wife, pool player and grandmother of nine. She is a member in good standing of Illinois State Poetry Society. She has been published in the Herald and Review, has won an international short story contest, and has been published on several on-line sites, including ThePoeticLink.com, and kotapress.com. Her chapbooks are available by contacting her at .
Born in a hilly town Tirupathy and brought up in a coastal city Visakhapatnam in Southern India, Dr. Sarada Purna Sonty migrated to the United States of America in 1975. She received an undergraduate degree with a science major, a masters degree in literature, and a Doctoral degree in literature. Sonty has contributed significantly to the Language, Literature, and Performing Arts. She is a poet, scholar, published author, and Advocate for the preservation of Arts and cultures of India.
Beth Staas is a coal miner's daughter, the first of her family born in the United States, who lives in a trailer across the tracks (all this is true). After following her husband in a corporate gypsy existence and raising five children, she went back to school, and later taught for some 25 years. Being told she was a "good writer" all her life, she began putting ideas together, finally seeing two books published: The Two Percent Miracle and An Audience of One (both available at amazon.com). Not until some few years back did she begin writing poetry, for she thought it was presumptuous to do so. Since then, she's had several pieces published. Currently she is completing her third book and writing poems whenever the spirit moves her.
When Myron L. Stokes writes, he announces his existence. When Myron isn’t writing, he’s reading the work of other writers. He studies diligently to polish his craft. Myron listens with his eyes and sees with his ears when he designs a poem.
Following is Abby Strasser's bio written in first person:
Writing saved my life--really, my suicide note was that good, and the one to the landlord really came off polished and oh, those letters to the editor right on target, got “As” on all my English assignments in high school, pretty good at coming up with t-shirt slogans, and my grocery lists could cause you to swoon. I have also tried poetry, but I would not bet my life on it. Oh, yeah, pertinent facts--from Mankato, MN, 5'2", 100 plus pounds, 35 years old, home-schooling mom, lives with a partner who tells jokes endlessly and a daughter who complains about them. Turn-ons--really good coffee and social justice; turn-offs--really bad coffee, imperialism, and genocide, not necessarily in that order.
Naturalist, poet and writer Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. For ten years he worked as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. In addition to poetry he writes flash fiction, short stories, music lyrics and nature essays. He now resides in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Sturner has published four books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, Selected Poems 2004-2007, and Collected Poems (available in print and various e-book formats, including free PDF's; see website for details). His stories, poems and photographs have appeared in such journals as Autumn Leaves, A Prairie Journal, The DuPage Valley Review, Mad Swirl, Nomad's Choir, nthposition, Penny Dreadful, River Poets Journal, Space & Time Magazine, Tryst, and Westward Quarterly.
Christine Swanberg has published several books of poetry: Tonight on This Late Road (Erie St., 1984), Invisible String (Erie St., 1990), Bread upon the Waters (UW:Whitewater, 1990), Slow Miracle (Lake Shore, 1992), The Tenderness of Memory (Plainview Press, 1995), The Red Lacquer Room (Chiron Press, 2001). Her work appears in anthologies such as Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Travel, I Am Becoming the Woman I've Wanted, Jane's Stories, Key West: An Anthology, Pride and Joy, and the forthcoming Still Going Strong. Her newest book, Who Walks among the Trees with Charity, is now available from Wind Publications (Nicolas, KY).
Christine has been an active poet for nearly three decades and has published hundreds of poems in journals such as The Beloit Poetry Journal, Spoon River Quarterly, Amelia, Chiron, Kansas Quarterly, Creative Woman, Earth's Daughters, Mid-America Review, Powatan Review, Midnight Mind, Sow's Ear, Wind, and others.
Awards include a featured reading at Seattle's Frye Museum through PoetsWest, first and second place in Peninsula Pulse, first place in Midwest Poetry Review, second place in Nit and Wit, the Connor Award for Fiction from Northern Illinois University, the YWCA Leader Luncheon Award for the Arts, and the Womanspirit Award from Womanspace. She received a merit scholarship to attend the post-graduate seminar at Vermont College, where she worked with the late Lynda Hull. In addition, several of her poems were selected by the Poetry Center of Chicago for juried readings.
She has edited Korone; Confluence: a Legacy of Rock River Valley; Land Connections: Writers of North Central Illinois, and is currently guest editor for Moon Journal. She founded the Rock River Poetry Contest and has judged many contests including Pen Women and Illinois Emerging Writers. She has been a teacher for over thirty years and has mentored young and adult writers. Recently she taught in the Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies at National-Louis University, and was poet in residence for Midway Village.
Along with poetry, her passions include singing with Womansong Chorale and Mendelssohn Chorale; gardening; swimming; and traveling with Jeffrey, her co-adventurer and husband of 33 years, with whom she has seen much of the world. She strives to lead a somewhat simple life, true to the values of peace and justice. The Swanbergs open their home and guest room to guests of Rockford Urban Ministries and various writers who are visiting the area.
Now retired from teaching, Christine is completely available for readings, workshops, and talks. She has given workshops at the Flathead Writers' Conference in Montana, A River Runs Through Us in Northern Illinois, Illinois Wesleyan Conference in Bloomington, Illinois, the McHenry Writers' Conference, and numerous word festivals and conferences in Seattle, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Illinois. She has given readings at colleges, in bookstores, coffee houses, and libraries throughout the United States and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In late November, 1965 John Tanner was born in southern Illinois, USA.
He began writing online in the fall of 2006, an amateur poet, who writes
simply when and if the spirit muses. If you'd like to contact him directly,
feel free to sign into his "bulletin board" and leave him a message at http://tjarcher.com
Jennifer Thiermann can’t remember a time when poetry was not part of her life. Her parents had poems or parts of poems memorized that they would often recite as situations triggered them. For her tenth birthday, her mother gave her a thick book she treasures to this day; Favorite Poems Old and New, selected for boys and girls by Helen Ferris. She began memorizing a poem a week. She was fortunate at that same age to have Lucille Nixon come into her Palo Alto school and introduce haiku. She took to it and thereafter always had a few haiku books on her bookshelf. In college she took courses in Chinese Literature and Modern Poetry. She has dabbled in writing poems ever since. Three years ago, she began a serious study of haiku literature and poetry and took writing haiku as a committed practice. She is grateful to be a member of a group of haiku artists that meets at Arlington Heights library once a month to critique members' haiku.
John Trusty is a life long resident of Illinois, residing in Joliet with his wife of 40 years, and they have three sons and two grandsons. Retired from a 40+ year career in healthcare as a Medical Technologist, he is now focusing on family, writing and restoring furniture. Prior to completing a B.S. in Bio Science from the University of St. Francis, he spend four years in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in Key West. Writing experience prior to retiring was limited to job related technical manuals, policy and procedures. With the advent of more personal time, writing came to the fore.
His first-hand account of all-night partying with the Beatles in Key West in 1965 was recently published in Beatlology magazine. Most writing interests continued mainly in fiction and lyrics (blues). This recent but late-in-life interest in poetry came about at the 2009 AWP meeting in Chicago. He was moved by hearing the poetry of Djelloul Marbrook of NY; a new creative voice was opened by his offerings. The way has been shown; intentions are to pursue the muse.
Michelle Ailene True is the author of three poetry books: True Reflections (2004), True Emotions (2005) and True Identities (2005). She edited and contributed to two poetry anthologies: Reflections: An Anthology of Poetry by Members of Poetic License Writers Group (2005) and In Katrina's Wake: An Anthology of Inspirational Poetry (2005). Her first non-fiction book, to be released in fall 2006, is a powerful outline to success for aspiring poets called The Poet's Manual: How to Go From Aspiring Writer to Published Author and Beyond. She hosts an Internet radio talk show called Practical Poetry in which she interviews published poets and others in the poetry community and provides powerful poetry writing, publishing, promotional and other tips for poets. She is the Founder & Director of Poetic License, a monthly poetry writing workshop. She is Founder & Managing Editor of True Poet Magazine. She presents poetry publishing workshops at libraries and literary centers around Chicago. She mentors high school students interested in a writing career. She hosts WriterFest, an annual "meet the author" event including Q&A sessions and booksignings. For all details, see her Web site at www.michelleailenetrue.com
Judith Tullis lives in Indian Head Park with her husband, Lee. She has raised three sons and is now enjoying the time she spends learning about life from her six grandchildren. Retired from the secretarial business she owned for years, she found a creative outlet in writing poetry, a combination of the economy of words demanded in business writing (her job) and the rhythm of music (her hobby). She has had several poems published on the internet and is a member of the Brookfield Writers Group, the LaGrange Writers Group, Illinois State Poetry Society and Poets & Patrons of Chicago.
Larry Turner, after 26 years as a resident of Naperville and a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, is now living in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His poems have appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Kansas Quarterly, and a number of other magazines. His first book of poetry, Stops on the Way to Eden and Beyond, was published by Arbor Hill Press, as were his chapbooks The Girl with Blue-Eyed Parents and Brave New World, as Goofy as the Old One. His newest chapbook Quantum Waves and Nineveh's Cat is currently seeking a publisher. He produced a series of televised poetry readings by area poets for cable access television. He is past president of the Illinois State Poetry Society, and currently a member of the Riverside Writers of Fredericksburg and vice-president for Northern Virginia of the Poetry Society of Virginia.
Morning Star Mikala, a.k.a. Michelle L. W. Utendahl, is a published poet and motivational speaker who began her poetic journey as a young child. While most children were setting up lemonade stands on the corner, Morning Star was selling her poems on laminated plaques as gifts to friends and family in the community. She began her higher academic journey at QCC receiving an A.S. and went on to receive her B.B.A. from Bernard M. Baruch College in 1982. During her college years she joined the campus newspaper and loved to share her writing talent with fellow students and friends and give poetic presentations at different venues in NYC. After graduating she eventually launched "Creative Learning Literacy Programs" for children (a community based program to expose children to poetry writing, rhythm instruments, jamborees, and dance and group play). She also joined forces with a publisher with an initiative to get more literary books into the public school system. In 1998 she received the Ella Streator Award for Distinguished Alumni, an award given each year to alumnus who makes outstanding contributions to the community. She also worked for a short time as Community Liaison for the Mayor's Office in NYC before relocating to Chicago.
Morning Star Mikala has been greatly influenced by successful women CEO's like Oprah Winfrey (attended several show as an audience member in Chicago and was able to shake Oprah's hand) and Tyra Banks (currently dating her brother-in-law, John Utendahl). "The only difference between Oprah, Tyra and I is that they got their jump start early and I chose to put my career on hold, raise my children and take advantage of my jump start later in life. It doesn't matter when you jump, just as long as one day you make a move - NOW IS MY TIME!", says Morning Star.
Morning Star Mikala is currently returning back out into the community with a new poetic presentation theme called "Poeticity" (a term used by her to help motivate others on ways to find and develop poetic peace). She will focus her poetry workshops at different venues in the community and on college campuses across the United States to promote poeticity as a tool for students to utilize as a coping mechanism to help eliminate the high pressure and intense stress students experience while attending college.
For more information on scheduling a poetic presentation, please e-mail Morning Star Mikala at email@example.com, Web site: www.positivepoeticconnections.com
Beth Copeland Vargo received the 1999 Bright Hill Press National Poetry Book
Award for her book, Traveling Through Glass. As a child she lived in Japan,
India and the United States, and her poems reflect themes and traditions of
both the East and the West. Her poems have been published in Atlanta Review,
Carolina Quarterly, The Mid-America Poetry Review, Phoebe, Rhino, and
other literary magazines, and have received awards from Arts & Letters,
Atlanta Review, New Millenium Writings, Peregrine and Writers Digest. She
is a recipient of a 2002 Finalist Award in Poetry from the Illinois Arts
Council and 2001 Ethel Fortner Writer and Community Award from St. Andrews
Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, North Carolina. Vargo holds an MFA degree
in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University. She is employed as a
museum curator and freelance writer.
Curt Vevang is a Chicago native and a semi-retired Industrial Engineer/Systems guy. He has been married to Susan for nearly 50 years. They have 2 daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 6 grandchildren. His hobbies include poetry, woodworking, hiking, computers, crossword puzzles, travel and work. He writes poetry to amuse himself. Hopefully those that read his poems will be thoughtfully amused as well. Many of his poems, in chapbook format, can be found on his web site, www.curtvevang.com, by selecting Chapbooks. There, his Chapbooks can be read and printed for free. His poetry is often rhyming, often humorous and sometimes with a message. He loves it when he reads that other would-be poets say they are encouraged to write poetry by their friends. His friends encourage him not to.
Doyle Raymond Vines, who died on June 24, 2015 at the age of 67, lived in a small grower's/artist's town in southern Illinois with his lovely wife, Susan, after spending most of his working life in Arizona. Jerome AZ was his chosen hometown. A child of poverty, he grew up working in his father's salvage yard. He received degrees from SIU and ASU in Government/ Public Administration, after which he spent much of his public service life opening medical clinics for the indigent, as Manager for three Arizona Towns, and CAO of the 2000 Central Phoenix Census. A lifelong advocate of whole and natural foods, he owned a popular restaurant near ASU for a decade. He traveled, wrote and performed both spoken word and music, and played poker tournaments. He enjoyed the company of fellow writers, poets and musicians, and was involved in Transpoetic Playground, ISPS, 326 Productions Open Mic and "Howlin at the Moon". His poems have been included in a half dozen anthologies. He was the founder of Facebook's Poet's Post and editor of four poetry anthologies through SouthPass Publications. Previous works, Written Pictures and the acclaimed Winter Soup are available online and on Kindle. Two novels, two books of poetry, a thirty-song CD, and an anthology were written and in the production phase.
Most of Barbara Voegeli's poetry has been written in rhyme for her grandchildren. She took care of them three days a week for eight years and composed snapshots of the things they said and did at various stages of development. They are now eighteen (twin boy and girl) and a sixteen-year-old grandson. Whenever she reads the things she has written about them as they were growing up, it's like hitting the replay button as the experiences and words burst forth in living color. She is a graduate of the Children's Institute of Literature, and several of her pieces, both fiction and nonfiction, have been published. The only poem she has had published was the winner of the haiku challenge in the Project Linus Chicago/Northern Illinois Chapter contest two years ago. She has written a number of haiku and tanka poems and draws inspiration from walks by the Lake Michigan shore and through the outdoor rooms of the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Art Voellinger is a retired journalist with nearly 60 years of experience as a sportswriter, editor and columnist. In addition, he was a high school English teacher and coach for 32 years. A native of Belleville, IL, he graduated from Belleville Cathedral High School in 1959 and later earned a bachelor’s degree in English-Journalism from St. Joseph’s (IN) College in 1963. After teaching and coaching at Whitefish bay, WI, Dominican High School, he taught 30 years at O’Fallon, IL Township High School where he coached wrestling, tennis, soccer and baseball. When not teaching and coaching, Art was the sports editor of the Belleville News-Democrat, an associate editor at The Sporting News, a sports copy editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and a sports writer/columnist for the St. Louis area Suburban Journals. He has written two sports fictions, One Home Run, and Double Play, both published by iUniverse of Bloomington, IN. In 2015, he wrote Verses by Art, published locally for family and friends. Art and his wife, Karen, reside in Belleville and have 2 sons, Robb and Brad, and three daughters, Beth, Sara and Suzanne.
A graduate of Marquette University and Northeastern Illinois University, Constance Vogel taught high school English and Creative Writing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois. She has published
over one hundred fifty poems in journals such as Spoon River Poetry Review, River Oak Review, Rhino, The English Journal, Whetstone, The MacGuffin, Thema, Blue Mesa Review, Blue Unicorn, Willow Rreview, After Hours, ELF, Karamu, Ariel, Jean's Journal, Oyez Review, Margin, Art With Words, Dream Quarterly International, The New York Times, WomenMade Gallery calendar, and on Poetry.com, also in the anthologies Prairie Hearts and Jane's Stories, and a short story in Christmas On the Great Plains (University of Iowa Press). Her poems won first prizes in Rambunctious Review's annual poetry competitions and in Poets & Patrons and National League of American Pen Women contests. She was a finalist in the Poetry Center of Chicago Juried Reading in 2001, and a finalist in the Gwendolyn Brooks Award. She won second place in the Joann Hirshfield awards 2004 and was nominated by Skylark for a Pushcart Prize. She is a past president of Poets' Club of Chicago and The Writers. She is the author of a poetry collection, Caged Birds, and a chapbook, The Mulberry. In a review by CJ Laity on ChicagoPoetry.com she is called "one of Chicago's most daring, honest and talented artists." Her chapbook When the Sun Burns Out will be released in April, 2006.
William Vollrath was born and raised in central Ohio where he earned his Bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and his Masters in Journalism from The Ohio State University. After two college degrees, brief stints as a freshman English instructor, gravedigger, real estate appraiser, substitute teacher and bartender, plus some thirty years in advertising and financial services, he began to seriously focus on his poetic expressions. More recently, William retired to beautiful and historic Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to writing (when the muse chooses to speak to him) William stays busy playing baritone horn in a Charlottesville concert band, taking courses at the University of Virginia, searching for good fishing holes and staying connected with local and state politicians whom seem in need of a little direction. William’s poetry tends to be condensed, but multi-layered, and often contains elements of philosophy, spirituality or humor. He has been published in a variety of journals, anthologies, e-zines and web sites including: The Prairie Light Review, Rockford Review, Highland Park Poetry Muses’ Gallery, Your Daily Poem, Voices on the Wind, Echo, Eye on Life, Live Poets Society, Om Times and an Illinois State Poetry Society anthology. Awards include: Chicago’s Poets and Patrons contest free verse and humorous categories, Highland Park Poetry’s Bus Lines contest and Ohio Poetry Day’s literary figure category. William has helped conduct the state poetry association annual contests in both Illinois and Virginia, and has published two chapbooks of poetry Neon Windows and Make Mine Rare.
Undra' Ware Sr. has been writing over 10 years and has compiled a book of poems titled "The Purpose of Being." During the early 1990's he has shared his work with the New Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, Jackson, Mississippi; The Voice in the Wilderness in July 1991; Hyde Park Citizens, November 1991, Vol. 4 & No. 9; Harold Washington College, Chicago Ill. The Garland Court Review, 1991; and finally, The Literary X-Press, Chicago, Ill., Winter/Spring 1992 Vol. 2 & No. 2. In addition, he has done an obituary for Alice Butler at Jones Funeral Home in Chicago, Ill. He earned an Honorable Mention Award from the World of Poetry located in Sacramento, CA, during November 1990 and March 1991. Finally, he participated in the Gertrude Johnson Williams short story contest in July 1991. He has lived in Chicago all his life, and is currently enrolled in Chicago State University study biology. His latest work is creating a Martin Luther King Greeting Card which is in its final stage. This project will make history within the African American community. This will be the first King's Greeting Card that ever existed.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1935, Gus Wilhelmy grew up on a chicken farm. He later entered a Catholic monastery, became a monk, was ordained, taught in a seminary, and later lectured in two universities.
In the early 70's, Gus co-founded in Chicago one of the nation's largest criminal justice nonprofits, the Safer Foundation, a road back for thousands of offenders in many cities.
Some twenty years later, Gus started a for-profit fundraising corporation to especially assist smaller, struggling nonprofits.
Recently, he spent three years in Russia creating an NGO incubator in Nizhny Novgorod, involving government, business and citizen leaders dealing with Russia's societal needs. While there, Gus spearheaded a nation-wide research project on Russian NGOs under the Eurasia Foundation.
After his return to the States, Gus spent the last thirteen years promoting a widely-accepted outcome measurement tool called "The Logic Model," focused on bringing discernible change into lives.
Simultaneously, he founded the Philanthropy Club of Chicago for 1000's of development officers committed to dealing with the latest trends and changes in the world of philanthropy.
Gus's hobbies include watching his many grandchildren grow up, writing and publishing poetry, and being an avid fisherman.
Amanda Williams is a 23-year-old resident of Alhambra, IL, about 45 minutes east of St. Louis. Prior to living there, she lived all over the world and the United States as the daughter of an Army officer. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2012 with a BA in English Literature and a BA in Theatre Arts. Her Senior Research Honors project in Poetry, titled Rural Queen, was a collected manuscript of poems with a critical preface exploring the experience of living in rural Southern Illinois, and the characters, idiosyncrasies, and traditions of which that living is comprised. Since graduating, Amanda now works as a Library Assistant at Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library in Highland, IL. She is actively writing, reading, and revising with a small group of peers and friends from her writing workshops at Illinois Wesleyan. She recently attended the Kentucky Women Writer's Workshop in Lexington, and she is in the process of preparing and revising for her upcoming MFA Graduate applications. Amanda has a special place in her heart for Early Modern poets, who were her earliest encounters with poetry (barring Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein, of course). Her work, particularly her pastoral poems, have a heavy Early Modern influence in both their content and form. Her favorite Renaissance poet is John Donne, and her favorite contemporary American poet is a close tie between Billy Collins and Denise Duhamel. She is very excited to be a new member of the Illinois State Poetry Society!
Syreeta L. Williams is an author of three published books: Woman of Words, Black Poet, and her newly released book, Mamie's Sweet Potato Pie. She is an accomplished spoken-word artist, columnist, playwright, dancer, vocalist and actor. She's received numerous awards for her commitment to the arts.
As an Illinois resident, she's reached audiences such as Seed Time Harvest Conference, Gospel Rack Showcase, Joyful Ministries, Tacora Rogers Show, The Sound Stage, The Worship Center, Gospel Radio 1390, Chicago State University, Christian Poet Society, Westside Gospel, Liberty Temple Gospel Church, Superior Umbrella Association, and many more. She's been published in Gospel Synergy Magazine, Chicago Defender, The Motif Journal, Windy City Word, Austin Weekly, The Spectator, Chicago Communicator, and Austin Voice. Her literary work can also be found in libraries in Illinois.
John Wolf's poetry has appeared in Theology Today, Sufi, Merton Seasonal, Sacred Journey and other spiritual and interfaith publications. He is a freelance technical writer working in the Chicago area technology industry. He is also keenly interested in photography and how images and poems can work together, as in his book, Tongues of Trees. His photography and some of his poetry can be seen on his web site and blog.
Paul Wolf (deceased in January, 2012) was a retired Clinical Psychologist. He was born and raised in a small city on the Mississippi River. He came to the Chicago Area in 1963. He led a varied life from being a monk, then a soldier, to teaching in the Chicago Public Schools to support himself while studying to become a psychologist. His high school and college education was classical with majors in philosophy and mathematics.
Dr. Wolf started writing in his middle years. At the age of 60 he decided to take courses in writing and wrote a number of short stories, none published. He started writing poetry when he was in his mid sixties. He considered his poems musings more than anything else and published them on his blog, Musings from the Rocking Chair.
British native Ruan Wright has published in a variety of journals, print and online. The title poem of her chapbook, 'thought-fish', published by Moon Journal Press, took first place in the Chicago Poetry Summer competition. She is Chair of the Naperville Writers' Group, Assistant Editor of the Fifth Wednesday Journal, and emcee of a monthly open mic at the Bolingbrook Barnes & Noble. Her web site is www.penruan.com She lives in the south-western suburbs of Chicago, and performs regularly at open mics in the region. Ruan has just completed a 65,000 word fairy tale/fantasy novel for middle-graders and up for which she actively seeks a publisher. Its working title is Toe-rag.
Regina Young is married, a mother of five children and five grandchildren. She is the tenth of sixteen children, born to a preacher and a praying mother. She was a very early developer, walking and talking at age six months. Her favorite books to read were the dictionary and the encyclopedias. Her favorite poet is Edgar Allan Poe. She wrote her first poem at age five and has been writing poetry ever since then. At that time, she could not write, but her mother would write the words for her as she made them up. She also plays piano. Her poetry is inspired by her life experiences, her feelings and moods and inspiration that she gets from other people. Lately, she has been writing for other people, who wish to say something to someone in a greeting card format. She has written many poems. Her goal is to someday have a book published. She is almost ready now, but she is a little timid about doing so.
Loren Zee (pen name for April Luo) originally came from China and has lived in central Illinois for over 20 years. Currently, she is a resident of Bloomington, Illinois, married and a devoted mother of two beautiful children. She earned a Masters degree in Economics from Illinois State University and is working in the insurance industry as a software engineer. She writes poems in both Chinese and English languages, and has published numerous poems in prestigious Chinese poetry magazines, newspapers, and online poetry publications. She writes to reflect the nature of life and feelings. In addition to poetry, career, and parenting, she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.