Saturday, July 24, 2010

For the Duration


Marianne Ware, poet, novelist, & the grand dame of belles lettres—the epistolary packin' mama mentor of countless Sonoma County writers—passed away on her 74th summer solstice. Too soon. We expected her to be here much longer to greet the return of the sun. Now something of the sun is gone from us. Eclipsed.

I first met Marianne through Lee Perron—they were coordinating the Russian River Writers' Guild.  I was newly arrived to poetry, and before I knew it, I was roped into the Writers' Guild, which became both my teething ring and my training ground.

Little did I know, I was also fresh fodder—grist for the mill—to help run it. And later, I was left holding the bag. But I learned to stick it out for the duration. At the time, I was living out of my car after a bad breakup. She even found me a place to live—at her daughter Laurie's cabins.

Because Marianne was adamant that prose also be represented at the RRWG reading series, and because of her, I learned to dabble in prose. Dyslexic that I am, I discovered what writing—like people—came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Not just poems and stories, but letters, notes, lists. They all served to inform.

Marianne brought the light of writing into the lives of so many of us. She encouraged us to find our own true authentic voice. To spread our wings and to fly close—but not too close—to the sun. She always encouraged the next generation of fledgling writers: Doug Powell, Glenn Ingersoll, Trane deVore. The Guild offered a platform for new and established writers to read together.

We booked poets & writers—even musicians from near and far to share their love of the word. Utah Phillips, Rosalee Sorrells, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Ed Balchowski. Some of the writers she encouraged made it to the big stage: Andrei Codrescu, Michael Oandatje, D.A. Powell, Jane Hirshfield come to mind. But  the history of the Guild is a whole other story. We are here to honor Marianne today.

It takes a lot of energy to run a poetry & prose reading series. Little by little, Marianne was  letting go, transferring the reins of power over to us—as she had set her sights in another direction. She wanted to finish her epistolary novel about growing up red diaper baby.

Marianne was a consummate political activist like her father before her, and her arena was fighting discrimination against women and she was an outspoken spokesperson for people with disabilities. She was a big woman with a giant heart.  And though she had major diabetes-related health issues, she persevered. She taught me to fight the system and take a stance to redress societal wrongs. She taught me that poetry matters.

Marianne turned that determination to earn a MFA at Goddard. I admired her steadfastness. She became the phoenix, and shed her old self. Resurrected, she was. And it led her to the next significant part of her life's work as an English/ Creative Writing instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College. And despite physical hardship and mounting health issues, she persevered. She empowered another generation of would-be writers to follow their own voice.

I met Marianne during her second life transition—from mother and wife, to that of writer. I  also witnessed the next transition from writer to teacher and from teacher to sage. But her reign as sage was cut short too soon. She taught me to live in the moment. We are all here "For the duration" as Marianne would say.





We created a memorial blog for Marianne Ware, where you can read some of her poems online. We hope to add more later, so, check back form time to time.

Marianne Ware's obituary

Marianne Ware passed away on June 21, 2010 at the age of 74. Marianne moved to Guerneville with her husband and three daughters in 1969. She organized and energized numerous creative writing groups over the years, was a co-founder of the Russian River Writer's Guild, and produced several volumes of poetry and prose of her own. She shared her love of writing, along with her enthusiasm and irreverent sense of humor with generations of students over her 21 years as an English teacher at SRJC. The only things she loved more than a good book or a beautifully written poem were her seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Her lively wit and gift with words lives on in them. Marianne will be greatly missed by her husband of 55 years, David; daughters, Laurie Celli, Wendy Whitson, and Carrie Ware-Kawamoto; grandchildren, Angelo, Vincent, Nicholas, Gabriel, Rosemary, Mia, and Carly; and great-grand children, Sofia and Dylan. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held July 24, 2010 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sebastopol Community Center Youth Annex, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol.
Published Online in the Press Democrat from July 3 to July 4, 2010
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pressdemocrat/obituary.aspx?n=marianne-ware&pid=143882883#sthash.empvFAsy.dpuf
Marianne Ware passed away on June 21, 2010 at the age of 74. Marianne moved to Guerneville with her husband and three daughters in 1969. She organized and energized numerous creative writing groups over the years, was a co-founder of the Russian River Writer's Guild, and produced several volumes of poetry and prose of her own. She shared her love of writing, along with her enthusiasm and irreverent sense of humor with generations of students over her 21 years as an English teacher at SRJC. The only things she loved more than a good book or a beautifully written poem were her seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Her lively wit and gift with words lives on in them. Marianne will be greatly missed by her husband of 55 years, David; daughters, Laurie Celli, Wendy Whitson, and Carrie Ware-Kawamoto; grandchildren, Angelo, Vincent, Nicholas, Gabriel, Rosemary, Mia, and Carly; and great-grand children, Sofia and Dylan. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held July 24, 2010 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sebastopol Community Center Youth Annex, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol.
Published Online in the Press Democrat from July 3 to July 4, 2010
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pressdemocrat/obituary.aspx?n=marianne-ware&pid=143882883#sthash.empvFAsy.dpuf
Marianne Ware passed away on June 21, 2010 at the age of 74. Marianne moved to Guerneville with her husband and three daughters in 1969. She organized and energized numerous creative writing groups over the years, was a co-founder of the Russian River Writer's Guild, and produced several volumes of poetry and prose of her own. She shared her love of writing, along with her enthusiasm and irreverent sense of humor with generations of students over her 21 years as an English teacher at SRJC. The only things she loved more than a good book or a beautifully written poem were her seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Her lively wit and gift with words lives on in them. Marianne will be greatly missed by her husband of 55 years, David; daughters, Laurie Celli, Wendy Whitson, and Carrie Ware-Kawamoto; grandchildren, Angelo, Vincent, Nicholas, Gabriel, Rosemary, Mia, and Carly; and great-grand children, Sofia and Dylan. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held July 24, 2010 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sebastopol Community Center Youth Annex, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol.
Published Online in the Press Democrat from July 3 to July 4, 2010


Here is a Press Democrat link to Marianne's husband Dave Ware's obituary
David Randall WARE(1934 - 2016)
WARE, David Randall It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, David Randall Ware, on June 28, 2016 at the age of 82. The cause was due to complications from colon cancer surgery. Dave, as he liked to be called, was a man of strength and determination. He was born in Rotan, Texas on March 16, 1934 to Minnie Jewel and Alfonso Ware during the Dust Bowl. He and his five brothers and sisters spent some of their early years as migrant farm workers and eventually made their way from Texas to California. Dave spent these difficult years caring for and nurturing his younger siblings while his parents worked. It was also during this time that he began his career as a cabinetmaker at the age of 16 by working for Jackson Bros. Cabinets. Dave met his wife of 55 years, Marianne Ware (nee: Horwitz) in Compton, California when he was a young man. He described this meeting as life changing as Marianne brought humor, intelligence and creativity to his life - all qualities that Dave possessed but needed encouragement to express. Marianne passed away in 2010. Dave and Marianne married and gave birth to three devoted daughters: Laurie Celli of Forestville, CA, Wendy Whitson of Petaluma, CA and Carrie Ware-Kawamoto of Pleasant Hill, CA. Dave enlisted in the U.S. Army on November 13, 1953 and served dutifully as a Sergeant for three years. He was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. Although Dave was a lifelong democrat and against the draft during the Vietnam War, his military service was a source of pride for him in later years. He volunteered at a local V.A. Center, sitting with Veterans and offering a caring ear and support. Dave moved his family from Southern California to Guerneville, California in the late 1960's and never looked back. He loved the redwoods, the clear air and the privacy. It was here that he set up his own cabinet shop (Dave Ware Cabinets) on his property and found the peace and independence that he longed for. Dave could fix anything and enjoyed using his hands to build and create. He was a woodcarver, master cabinetmaker, played the banjo and auto harp and loved to sing folk songs. He also completed his A.A. degree at Santa Rosa Junior College on June 15, 1974 under the G.I. Bill. Dave was a family man at heart - he cared deeply for his daughters (Laurie, Wendy and Carrie), his sons-in-law (Michael Celli, John Whitson and Jon Kawamoto), his grandchildren (Angelo (Michelle), Vincent and Nicholas Celli, Gabriel and Rosemary Whitson, and Mia and Carly Kawamoto) and his great-grandchildren (Sofia, Dylan and Isabel Celli). He was a nurturing and present father who showed up for his children in all of the many ways he could (baking bread and cooking, helping with school projects, repairing things, building them furniture, and offering big bear hugs and "I love you" every time he talked to them). He will be greatly missed. Dave reconnected with old friends and made deep friendships with members of his grief support group during the last six years of his life. Those relationships brought him much joy and pleasure. Please join us for a celebration of his life on Saturday, July 16th at 10:00 a.m. at 543 Clement St. in Santa Rosa.

Published Online in the Press Democrat from July 3 to July 4, 2016

David Randall WARE (1934 - 2016)

1 comment:

Twilark said...

This is a lovely tribute to a really amazing person, all her strengths shine through in your account. It must have been a great experience to have worked so closely with her.