Worcester County Poetry Association
Established 1971
In Memory of Friends of the Worcester Poetry Community
Worcester County Poetry Association / PO Box 804, Worcester, MA 01613 / 508-797-4770 / wcpaboard@yahoo.com

Angela Dorenkamp (1929-2013)
was a long-time member of the
Worcester County Poetry Association.

PDF copy of the obituary which appeared in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 24.

If you would like to add to this page, please send photos and comments to wcpaboard@yahoo.com (subject line: Angela)
Laura Menides, Angela Dorenkamp and Carle Johnson at the unveiling of engraved Elizabeth Bishop headstone at Hope Cemetery, 1996.  Angela joined the crowd at reading in Hope Cemetery on the anniversary of the death of Elizabeth Bishop.Angela was one of the founders of the Worcester Ramble celebrating James Joyce's Ulysses.  The Ramblers are shown here at Jewish Healthcare Center following a rousing reading of the Aeolus chapter on June 16, 2011.
Ken Happe (1934-2013) gave a Bloomsday-related talk back when WCPA was still located in the PASOW building.  He had been invited by Laura Menides; his topic was The Odyssey and the Homeric parallels with Ulysses.  The talk was very well attended and well received.  The only down side was that our space on Chatham Street tended to be a little swampy at the best of times and on that June evening, it was incredibly hot.  It was beyond hot: it was sweltering.  Ken heroically stayed the course.  He occasionally joined us at Bloomsday sites over the years.  It was always a pleasure to have him read (or guide others in reading) the passages in Latin, Italian and other languages. He was a lovely man.

PDF copy of the obituary which appeared in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, June 26.

Ken joined WCPA during our 2007 Bloomsday Ramble.  Here's Ken at Bancroft Tower and later in the day at Coney Island Hot Dog, reading the Cyclops episode with Phil Nejemy.  (A perfect union of location and text.)
Gertrude Halstead
1916 - 2012

Gertrude Halstead was a beloved member of the Worcester poetry community.  A long-time participant in a writing workshop led by John Hodgen, Gertrude was a regular at several local poetry venues. Many of us first heard Gertrude read at Poetry Oasis, founded by Eve Rifkah and Mike Milligan.  In 2003, Gertrude was featured in the literary journal Diner, also founded by Eve Rifkah, and the subject of a 2008 documentary, "memories like burrs".  In 2007, Gertrude Halstead was named Worcester's first Poet Laureate.  A memorial celebration of her life and work was held at Assumption College 2012, when friends and family gathered to read her poetry and share memories.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette Story
Gertrude Halstead Timeline
Gertrude Halstead - Sam Cornish 2008 Worcester Reading

Lynda Johnson (1935-2016) was a long-time member of the Worcester County Poetry Association  and served as WCPA treasurer for several years in the 1980s.  Every performer needs an audience, and for many poets who attend WCPA events, Lynda was there.  Members of the WCPA appreciated her superior editing abilities. She will be missed.

PDF copy of the obituary
Eleanor Vincelette (1924 - 2017) PDF copy of the obituary

During her time in college, Eleanor became a prolific writer of poetry and short stories, a frequent and popular poet at local open mikes and the author of four books of poetry and prose: Ali Anora's Life Through The Window, The Spirit and Wisdom of a Woman, Our Path is Chosen, and Pages from my Life. She interned at Worcester Magazine, served on the board of Worcester County Poetry Association, and Opera Worcester, and illustrated many organizational programs, newsletters and event posters for all the organizations she participated in.
Dan Lewis (1946 - 2017)

Dan Lewis lived on the edge of Patch Reservoir and is the 2012 Winner of The Frank O'Hara Prize. He published four collections of poetry: Tickets for the Broken Year, and The Garden in 2011, Iconospheres in 2013 and Intimations of the Focal Plane in 2016. 

Lewis was awarded the WCPA's Stanley Kunitz Medal in 2016.   He was an active volunteer member of the WCPA Board of Directors for over twenty years. In this capacity, he regularly designed and produced broadsides for other poets and published many editions of The Issue.  He  served as typesetting and design editor of The Worcester Review from 1999-2011.  

Worcester Telegram tribute to Dan Lewis
PDF copy of the obituary
Jonathan Blake interview of Dan Lewis for the Jazz History Database
Dan Lewis working away at the WCPA office.Dan Lewis reads at the Poets' Asylum in 2003.Dan Lewis and the other readers at the 2005 KunitzFest at Tower Hill Botanic Garden celebrating Stanley Kunitz 100th birthday.Dan Lewis with Christina Pappas O'Neill and Cleopatra Mathis at the First Annual Greg Stockmal Reading in 2009.Mailing out a copy of The Issue, an occasional  publication of the WCPA.The Milton Ensemble, Paradise Lost, Book I, (l-r) Michael Wakefield, Michael Hood, Rodger Martin, Robert Steele (as john Milton), B. Eugene McCarthy, Dan Lewis - photo from Rodger Martin
Dan Lewis, with Lynda and Carle Johnson, enjoying the poetry performance at the 2011 stART on the Street.Dan Lewis reads at a visit by the Dead Poets Society in October 2012.This photo is labeled "double chocolate mocha cake".  Does anyone remember the occasion?Dan Lewis reads in the Bancroft Room at First Unitarian Church in Worcester.Dan served as a judge for the 2012 College Poetry Contest.Dan Lewis reading at the Little "a" poetry reading.  Photo by Kristina England.Dan Lewis, with Mark Wagner Dan Lewis reads at the 2012 Gregory Stockmal reading (Kathleen Spavick in the background)Dan Lewis at the 2015 Worcester Poetry Pop-up - April 8, 2015Dan Lewis with Michael True at the 2016 Stanley Kunitz Award ceremony.
Dan Lewis receives the Kunitz Medal from comittee chair Rodger Martin at the 2016 Stanley Kunitz Award ceremony.Dan Lewis offers a reading of his work at the 2016 Kunitz Medal ceremony.
Byron Menides (1931 - 2017)

The poetry community mourns the passing of Bryon Menides, a long time supporter of the WCPA.  Byron's wife, Laura Jehn-Menides, is a long serving member of the WCPA board.   He attended nearly every event the WCPA organized and facilitated a number of collaborations for us.

PDF copy of the obituary
Marsha Kunin (1949 - 2017)

Marsha Kunin, who passed in August 2017, was an award-winning poet including an honorable mention in the 2017 WCPA Annual Poetry Contest: The Frank O'Hara Prize She published four volumes of poetry and her work was published in The Worcester Review.

PDF copy of the obituary
We are thankful to all those who have made a donation in memory of a loved one.
Mike True (1933 - 2019)

Michael D. True, PhD, of Worcester, Massachusetts, died in April 2019.  Mike was one of the founders of  the Worcester County Poetry Association in 1971 and the founding editor of the Association's literary journal The Worcester Review.  He was the inaugural receiptient of the Stanley Kunitz Medal in 2015; the award recognizes the total commitment to poetry as Stanley lived it: teaching poetry, mentoring poets, speaking poetry, publishing poetry, and supporting organizations which nurture poetry.

Mike was a stalwart supporter of Worcester, of peace, and of poetry. His patience and support will be missed by all who knew him.

Worcester Telegram tribute to Mike True
David O'Brien tribute to Mike True
PDF copy of his obituary from Minnesota
PDF copy of his obituary from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette