February 20th: Janet Marks Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On February 20th, we welcome Janet Marks.

Janet Marks was born in in a small town called Brady in Central West Texas. Her parents were immigrants from Lithuania and Poland. Growing up in Houston during The Depression, she was unable to attend college. After High School, she worked as a secretary and bookkeeper, married, raised three wonderful children, and found time to attend the University of Houston part-time as they were growing up. She had started writing bad poetry in Junior High School, which was published in the school paper. One summer she attended a Writer’s Conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder, which whetted her appetite for poetry. She started writing poetry seriously and published poems in her college journals and in many little magazines. In 1972, at 52 years of age, she finally earned a BA with honors in English.

As an undergraduate among so many young people, she had the feeling of living a second childhood! After a divorce when her children were mostly grown, she moved to California, earning an MA in Creative Writing and English from San Francisco State University. As a teacher of English, she worked at Paine College, Augusta, Georgia; the University of Houston; and the University of San Francisco, also teaching ESL for the Marin Community College and the San Francisco Community College District.

As runner-up for the Frances Shaw Fellowship For Older Women Writers, she was in residence at Ragdale, an arts colony, for a month, won several awards for poems on the Jewish experience from the Rosenberg Awards, sponsored by the Judah Magnes Museum in Berkeley. Some of her poems have been published in New England Review, Mississippi Review, Forum, Latitudes, South and West, Mediphors, Passager, and in the following anthologies: Bittersweet Legacy, Creative Responses to the Holocaust, Travois, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, and Poets on Parnassus, San Francisco.

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