I first met Linda Blaskey several years ago at a poetry group meeting in Dover. Most of us were new at critique groups, several of us new at poetry, and all of us a bit nervous about sharing our work in such a public setting. Linda was clearly the most experienced poet in the circle. At the time she was Poetry Editor of the Broadkill, had won the Dogfish Head prize for her chapbook “Farm” and had been involved in many workshops and writing groups. But she wasn’t leading this group. She just shared her poem, listened to our non-expert critiques, offered expert critiques of our work, and was unfailingly kind and patient. Soon she invited me to join a more experienced group of writers. Then she introduced my work to Jamie Brown, publisher of The Broadkill Review. But I wasn’t the only poet she was helping as time passed. Linda helps anyone who asks for help and is always honest, kind, and full of good humor. Linda loves poetry and she lives a poetic life. She shares what she learns. She promotes poetry events and books by local authors. She helps those of us who are naïve about the “business end” of publishing by pointing out the best places to submit and the pitfalls to avoid. Her long dedication to the Dogfish Head competition has brought an ever-expanding, continually improving the level of submissions. She has done the same as Poetry Editor of The Broadkill Review. She is a tireless worker involved in programs that bring the various arts into collaborative programs. It has been my honor and great pleasure to have Linda as a mentor, a colleague, and, most of all, a true friend. I know that she will enrich any endeavor that she may pursue.
Jim Bourey is the author of “The Distance Between Us: Poetry” forthcoming from Cold River Press.