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Almost Touching

A Reader for Women and Men

Edited by Margo LaGattuta

John Milam, Bethany Schryburt, Mike Jones, Linda K. Sienkiewicz, Mary-Jo Lord, Lori Solymosi, Karen Renaud, Anita Page, Linda Anger, David Sabbagh, Polly Opsahl.

"An anthology of human challenge and healing."
"Detroit Metropolitan Woman" 3/97

"Even in a chat room full of people, intimate communication is not that easily uncovered; nor is it any simpler to turn back the layers necessary to distill the biological act of sex into one of making love. But, one dozen brave souls have dared to dangle their fingertips over that terrifying ledge, reaching over the abyss through their poetry and essays, in an amazing anthology called 'Almost Touching.'"
America OnLine, Writer's Club Review, 4/97

"This anthology of poetry, short stores, art work and essays is as remarkable for its origin as it is in its execution . . . Each writer contributed works on the theme of the personal meaning of being a man or a woman . . . The poems are as crisp as fresh apples in autumn, soft as the first snowfall in winter, as clear and precise as the seasons of the year . . . The poems in this book do not scream or sign, but sigh and whisper, longingly and similarly. Some weep a little, some bite quite a bit, most capture images and metaphors of moments we've all lived through and lost touch of, sights and sounds in our hometown we've never noticed before."

Introducing the Writers

To e-mail individual writers: Touring Program

Margo LaGattuta, editor, is a poet with four puhlished books: "Embracing the Fall" (Plain View Press), "The Dream Givers" (Lake Shore Publishing), "No Edge Lines" (Earhart Press) and "Diversion Road" (State Street Press). This is the second Plain View Press anthology she has edited. The first, "Variations on the Ordinary," was puhlished in 1995. She has an MFA from Vermont College, teaches writing at Oakland Community College, and hosts a weekly radio interview program. Her poems and essays have appeared in many literary magazines and presses.

John Milam is a writer and health care worker dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other life challenges. He has heen writing professionally since 1994, and he is presently working on a book about life after Traumatic Brain Injury. His writing has appeared in "Touchstone Journal."

Bethany Irene Schryburt, a Rochester, Michigan, school bus driver, earned her BA in English at Wayne State University (Detroit) in 1995 and will soon complete an MA in Creative Writing. She is editor of "Van Dyke Quarterly," a Ford Motor Company publication. While living in Canada, she wrote and directed "Yarns to Spin," winning an Ontario Bicentennial Award in 1984. She has won Tompkins Awards for both fiction and drama from Wayne State University.

Poems by Mike Jones have appeared in "HalfTones to Jubilee," "Mohius," "Zuzu's Petals Quarterly," "The Cathartic," and other journals. He is a real estate broker, appraiser and consultant by profession, also a business owner, teacher, and father of three. He has an MA in English Literature from Oakland University and a BA in Communications and English from University of Michigan.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz has exhibited artwork and taught calligraphy in Cleveland, Ohio and in Michigan, where she now lives. She designs and sews clothing and accessories. Her poems have appeared in "Muddy River Poetry Review," "Kumquat Meringue," "The Poetic Soul."

Mary-Jo Lord has a Master's degree in counseling and works at Oakland Community College as an Academic Support Coordinator. Her writing has been printed in publications by The National Library of Poetry and The National Federation of the Blind, Writers Division. She uses the pen name M.J. Lord.

Lori Solymosi, visual artist and poet, graduated from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where she received the Emlen Cresson Traveling Award. The former director and founding member of The North Penn Arts Alliance in Pennsylvania, she also graduated from the University of Massachusetts Arts Extension Services in Arts Management. She teaches art to children and adults at the Birmingham Bloomfield Arts Association and exhibits in area galleries.

Karen Renaud is a mom, writer, teacher, perpetual student and local zoning official. She and her husband Jim have four children and two daughters-in-law. She owns an accounting proprietorship and co-owns Ace Controls, Inc. A member of the Clicking Bones Writer's Group, she also edits newsletters and has spent fifteen years as secretary of various boards of directors. Her writing has been published in "Speakeasy Journal," "The Blues Review" and "The Eccentric" newspapers.

Anita Elaine Page is a retired elementary school principal living in Rochester Hills, Michigan. She started writing in 1991 and has been published in "The Mature American," "Abbey," "Womenwise" and "Parnassus Literary Journal." She is a member of the United Amateur Press Association of America and has served as U.A.P.A.A. Critic for three years.

Linda Anger attended Oakland Community College and Western Michigan University, majoring in creative writing. She was editor of "Living the HAlfLife", a newsletter for the Human Awareness Institute of Michigan. She's had a love affair with poetry all her life, and her work has appeared in "la Journal Francais d'Amerique," "PhenomeNEWS," "Touchstone Journal," "Freedom Writer's Unite" and others. A member of the Clicking Bones Writer's Group, she lives with her son Ethan Flick in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

David Sabbagh has always had a predisposition for words, but it wasn't until 1992 that he started seriously writing. His prose has been published in "MetroTimes" and "Touchstone Journal." He is currently employed in the computer services field.

Polly Opsahl is a letter carrier and union activist. She began taking creative writing classes again almost twenty years after attending Michigan State University and discovered a love of poetry. She writes regularly for "New Vision," a union newsletter, and is currently serving as its editor.

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