Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Marjorie Kowalski Cole died on Friday, December 4. I'm in the process of working on her book of poetry, which is ready for the printer for all extents and purposes (except that the biography of the author needs to be rewritten slightly now).

There was a memorial for her last night, to which Hans and I intended to go, except that we couldn't find St. Raphael's Catholic Church, where it was held. We drove around and around looking for it, Hans getting steadily more and more frustrated and tense because of the traffic, and me finding it funnier and funnier because the church was obviously well-protected against the possibility of atheists ever darkening its doors. We even stopped in to Fred Meyer's in a vain attempt to find a phone book and asked directions, which turned out to be to the Church of Latter Day Saints. We finally gave up and went to the Eagle, where we drank a toast to her honor with Irish whiskey.

I'd only gotten to know Marjorie (although I knew her by sight before that) from her contributions to The Ester Republic. I was delighted that she submitted her book manuscript to me for publication; Inside, Outside, Morningside should be out in January or February. My favorite poem by her is still "Ice Cream."

One of the things I liked about Marjorie was that she was feisty. She stood by her convictions. She founded Call to Action Alaska, a chapter of the national Catholic activist group Call to Action (which supports women's ordination, among other things). They helped bring Col. Ann Wright up to Fairbanks for her first speaking tour in Alaska. I think Wright stayed at Marjorie and Pat's house.

Ester and Alaska have lost a good person and good writer who made the world around her a better place. I will miss her.

No comments: