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spacer.gif   Legendary Chicago Poet Mark Perlberg Passes Aways
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - 12:49 PM
Chicago Poetry Letters Section .

Dear C.J.

Sad week for Chgo poetry. Chgo poets Mark Perlberg and G.E. (Gerry)
Murray both died in the past few days. Thought you might like to know.
Here is something I sent to an obit writer at the Chgo Trib.

I wonder if anyone has contacted you regarding the death of Chicago
poet, Mark Perlberg.I believe he died on June 23. Mark was an important
poet both locally and nationally. He published three books of poems and
another book of his work is due later this year from Louisiana State
University Press. Mark was one of the founders of the Poetry Center of
Chicago and served as that organization's president for some years.

Mark also taught poetry workshops at the Newberry Library for a number
of years. Mark was widely published in many literary journals and I
felt honored to have published his work in the past few years. Among
other excellent qualities I felt that his poems offered passion,
humor, and a keen sense of observation.

Best, Ron Offen

(Do you have comments or words to say about the passing of Mark Perlberg? You are invited to share your thoughts in ChicagoPoetry.comís Letters Section.)

Check out Mark Perlberg at

Check out the article in the Chicago Sun Times and in the Chicago Tribune

Buy The Impossible Toystore

I first met Mark Perlberg around 1989. I did a reading with Mark Perlberg, Paul Hoover and Mary Hawley at a place called Lower Links back in 1991. I reviewed Poetry Center of Chicago events for the Letter eX Poetry Newsmagazine throughout the early nineties. Mark's voice is one that will be missed; it lives on in his work.

--CJ Laity

Dear C.J.

I'm sorry to hear of the deaths of Mark Perlberg, with whom I served on the board of The Poetry Center for the first fourteen years of its exsitence and later, in the 90s, when I returned to the board, and G.E. Murray, who was for so many years the leading poetry reviewer in the city. I'm grateful to both of them for their kindness over the years and would like to send my condolences to their families. The Poetry Center began with a large prospective board but for most of its developing years the board was Mark Perlberg, Martha Friedberg, Lisel Mueller, Alice Ryerson, Maxine Chernoff, Art Lange, and myself. Mark, Martha, Lisel, and I were founding members, invited by Paul Carroll. In those days, a board member would nominate an event and it would be approved by the rest of the membership at a meeting. We had seven or eight readings a year, one for each board member and usually an additional event like Saul Bellow and John Cheever that would serve as a fund raiser. The meetings would alternate from one residence to another, but the favorite and most comfortable places to meet were the homes of Mark on Stratford Place, Martha in Hyde Park, and Lisel in the country outside Lake Forest. When Alice joined the board, we could meet at the home where she grew up, Ragdale, later converted to the arts colony. I don't know how widely known it is that Alice's daughter, Francie Shaw, is married to the language poet, Bob Perelman. There was a good balance on the board, and we cared for each other personally. Maxine and I were still in our twenties when all of this began. I remember that we missed the Saul Bellow event when our daughter Koren was born in 1976; I organized the Cheever event the following year. Exciting times for all of us. Lisel announced her first major literary award, the NBA, while climbing the final set of stairs to our third floor Sheridan Road apartment.

Best, Paul Hoover

Note: Former Executive Director of the Poetry Center of Chicago, Mark Perlberg has passed away. Here are the letters from Ron Offen and Paul Hoover.

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