I was sorry to read at various sources that Jeff Poniewaz recently passed away. He was currently serving as Milwaukee’s Poet Laureate. Known as an eco-poet Jeff taught Literature of Ecological Vision via the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1989. His book Dolphin Leaping in the Milky Way was awarded the Discovery Award from PEN in 1987.
Submission letters and his bio always came with this note: “His last name is pronounced POE-nYEAH-vAHsh and is Polish for ‘Because.’” Here’s a link to an appreciation of Jeff Poniewaz in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Hearing My Prayers” which Jeff Poniewaz contributed to SISMW is dedicated to his parents and ends this way: “My soul to keep my soul to take. / Now I lay me down to wake. / My goodnight kiss, this gentle gibberish. / I tuck you in, lay my hand on your heads. / Close your eyes, peer into the darkness. / Don’t be afraid. You will find each other, / you will love each other, and I will be born.” Rest in peace, Jeff Poniewaz.
“Starting to Breathe” is the creative nonfiction piece written by Patty Somlo which appeared in Solace in So Many Words. She wrote to say she has placed the essay in Ray’s Road Review (Winter, 2015). Congrats. I’m always glad when a good piece of writing gets picked up again (and again). Patty has been on a roll, placing lots of her writing lately. It’s great. You can read: her essay on teaching writing to the homeless “Sam Jones” in FLARE, the Flagler Review; her creative nonfiction piece “Snapshots” in A Common Thread, the student literary journal from Valparaiso University; and her short story “Sanctuary” in the Winter Solstice issue of Loud Zoo.
Donna Hilbert’s poem “Philosophy” appears on The New Verse News (December 23, 2014).
Pamela Miller has three poems up at Olentangy Review; they are: “This Much We Know,” “Makeovers by Fatima,” and “The New Generation of Creative Writing Students Reads the Work of a Sixty-Year-Old Poet.”
Philip Levine has two poems in the most recent Poetry. “Inheritance” is about a Bulova watch, and the poet describes my favorite number in such a way that I want to plunk some money down on it at the roulette table: “I treasured the sense of community / it offered, the beauty of certain numerals– / the seven especially, the way it leaned / into its subtle work and never changed, / and signified exactly what it was / and no more.” The other poem is titled “Froggy Frenchman.”
I’m proud to say I have a photo up at Subprimal Poetry Art, the journal of “Thought-provoking poetry and other art.” My photo (“Outside”) was taken at Hilton Head Island and is part of Issue three on “Doorways and Revelations.” Thanks to Victor David Sandiego for sharing my photo.
Fiction writers should know the Nelson Algren Short Story contest is open for submissions now until January 31. It is sponsored by the Chicago Tribune–here are the details. In 2003 SISMW contributor Joe Meno won this award for his story “Midway.”
Peace, love, and solace