free the pen, a blog for writers

June 16, 2015

A Jewish Childhood – How to Catch a Poem – for Alice

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 5:29 pm

I want to introduce you to my friend and fellow author, Jeanne Simonoff.

Jun      Jeanne Simonoff
This photo was taken by my friend Jeanne Simonoff, poet and writer, author of precious moments. Read her words and learn how to savor the moment which it leads to her amazing poetry.

I have been chasing my birth mother, Alice, around the city of Paris. She is elusive and has escaped for the past seven years. There is a thin veil between  this world and the other. It is very difficult to puncture it and bring it into my time. Writing poetry is that way, right on the tip of my tongue, shy about leaping onto the page.

This last week I took a master poetry class in Paris. For some reason, the location, in the Marais, the time of year, almost her yortzeit, the anniversary of Alice’s death, something about the sound of my fountain pen which I had just refilled that morning, writing on blank unlined paper, took on the voice of my mother, who died in 1943. She wrote herself onto the page. How do I explain that? I can’t. Just something about writing poetry.  The poem comes forward invited in by my desire to make that contact. Why this past week? You can make up as many reasons as I can.

And, I for one, am glad Jeanne Simonoff is not shy about writing it all. I love her writing and you will too.

I am so pleased to introduce you to Jeanne if you don’t already know her. She is currently working on another book of poetry. Her first chapbook of poetry is titled 13. Her memoir, which you won’t want to skip, is titled Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood.

sving myslf If you want to order Jeanne’s touching memoir, do so at:

I hope she has inspired you to capture the moment, write about it, and make use of your life’s experiences. I just love her.

Until next time,



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