Up to the age of thirty-nine, I lived a quiet life on a tree-lined street where I taught college students. The sun would trade places with the moon. The fishes lived happily in Lake Michigan near my house. Nothing much ever happened. Then, a strange thing: One day Lady Poetry came bounding down the street and tapped me on the shoulder. That’s when I became a fool for poetry. For three years I stopped what I was doing and, with brief intervals for eating, I did nothing but read poetry until I thought I knew something about the art and craft of writing.
So I began. And for the next seven years, everyone seemed to agree:
My poetry was no good, or at least not worth publishing. How could it be any good? I was just learning the ropes. Rejection became my constant companion. But nothing succeeds like failure, and eventually, the poems that I wrote found their way into small magazines, literary journals, and eventually, into books. To date I have published sixty-eight children’s picture and poetry books. They are all listed on my website at www.jpatricklewis.com. My first book of adult poetry, Gulls Hold Up The Sky was published in 2010.
Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:
1. I have visited Russia twelve times. Having lived in the Soviet Union for a year in 1972–73, I was smitten with the country from the day I met some Russians who have since become my dear and lifelong friends.
2. When I was twelve years old, I wrestled a bear—and won! You can see a picture of the event on my website.
3. I have a twin brother who is my best friend. If you don’t have a twin, I strongly suggest you go out and get one. When people ask if my twin and I look alike, I always say, No, he’s the ugly one.
At present I live in a catacomb in Westerville, Ohio, with my wife, Sue, and our two dogs, Luna and Pearl. It’s really cool there. I mean really—cool.