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'Poetic Matrix Press' Beneath Spring/Autumn/Winter Tree Mandala Image

The Passing of Lyn Lifhsin

Author Lyn Lifshin

Some weeks ago I found out that Lyn Lifshin had passed. Our Press had the privilege of publishing two of Lyn's many books of poetry: Katrina in 2010 and Malala in 2014. I first became aware of Lyn back in the 70's when I was looking at small poetry journals, some no more then 3" X 5" and 10 pages with work from young poets. Lyn Lifshin kept showing up. After starting the Poetic Matrix Newsletter Lyn sent in pieces. She was named the Queen of Small Presses because she sought out presses like ours to support. Eventually we got to publish two books with her. I never got to meet her in person but did get to work with her extensively and it was a pleasure. To you Lyn and that sweet, beautiful voice that now fills the hearts of us all.

John Peterson, Publisher

Published in The Washington Post from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22, 2019


Last week on December 9, 2019, Lyn Lifshin of Niskayuna, NY passed away at the home of her friend Albert Jordan in Vienna, VA following illness and a fall. Lyn was a poet who had written over 130 books and chapbooks and edited four anthologies of women writers. Her poems have appeared in most poetry and literary magazines. She has given more than 700 readings across the USA and has appeared at Dartmouth and Skidmore colleges, Cornell University, the Shakespeare Library, Whitney Museum and Huntington Library. Lyn also taught poetry at the University of Rochester, Antioch, and Colorado Mountain College. Winner of numerous awards including the Jack Kerouac Award, she is the subject of the documentary film "Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass." For her dedication to the small presses which first published her, and for managing to survive on her own apart from any academic institution, she has earned the distinction "Queen of the Small Presses." Perhaps it was Robert Frost who helped launch her lifetime of poetry when in her childhood he complemented her poetry. She has also been praised by Ken Kesey and Richard Eberhart, and Ed Sanders has seen her as "a modern Emily Dickinson." She recently was named a Literary Legend by the Albany NY Public Library Foundation. She also developed a passion for dancing-ballet, ballroom and Argentine tango. A celebration of her life is being planned in Schenectady, NY for May/June. Please send remembrances and expressions of interest in the celebration of life to Lyn@LynLifshin.com.

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