Mark Spitzer Died From a brief illness. Poet and Mayflower, Arkansas Resident
Mark Spitzer has passed away. Mark Spitzer was known for writing Poet and Mayflower
Marks’ death was announced on Lorna Dee’ a Facebook page
So very sad tonight, waking to the news that a dear poetry grad student of mine, the talented and vibrant Mark Spitzer has passed, way too young. I received this message from him a couple of weeks ago. I felt him all morning and afternoon while running errands instead of working on a blurb for his (big) book of collected poems. I meant to finish it this evening but fell asleep.
Here’s his message to me. He also thanked me and said he “loved” how I always “encouraged” him “to let it rip!” He did. 30 books worth. I do remember early on telling him that he needed to find a subject matter he could “sink your teeth into” after liking a poem he wrote about fishing in Washington with his dad. So he wrote a series of poems…about fish. His latest book is an “eco fish book” I’m dying to read. 😥 He was a beautiful spirit, and an evolving soul. Such a loss. Condolences to his much-loved wife, Lea Graham.
“I was holding back on asking you this, but that quote you posted today (“How lucky to have lived
a life I would die for.”) told me it was time to reach out. That’s the situation I am in now. Having lived an incredible life I’ve loved and died of cancer at 57. Won’t make it more than a few weeks I fear (please keep on down low until the news is released), and satisfied with the life I’ve lived. I’ve accomplished shitloads, especially in environmental nonfiction fish writing, and now my collected poems will be coming out through Spuyten Duyvil with, it looks like, an intro from Paul Hoover. It bums me out a bit that I won’t be around to see the recognition as a poet I’ve always strived for, but I’m still excited. It has always been a dream of mine that if this should ever happen, a blurb from you would be one of like 4 names I’d want to take to my grave on the back book cover. Would you consider granting this last request from an old friend and admirer as well as a fellow believer in the holiest of tools on this planet: the power of getting to the nutmeat of the matter through the razor edge of the word?
I love you and what you still give to me, Mark Spitzer.”
Above all, Mark was a poet.
“I love you, too.”
“Those who have died/ have never left…”
~ from “Breaths/ The Ancestors Song” a traditional African poem set to music by Sweet Honey on the Rock.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the deceased’s family and friends, who have been struggling with the loss of such an intelligent and compassionate individual.