CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Lonni Whitchurch, a former high school English teacher from Bemidji, has written a book of poetry titled “Send the Moon,” which will be released on Amazon during the full moon on Tuesday, April 27.
Whitchurch, a Bemidji State University graduate who has lived in Florida for 34 years, says the next full moon is a perfect time for a book launch and to talk about ways the moon has influenced poets and creativity.
In “Send the Moon,” the moon in its various cycles plays an important role in many of her poems. In her final poem, the last line suggested the title of her book.
In her book, Whitchurch talks about her mentors E. E. Cummings, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton; growing up in a Minnesota town of 800; what she keeps by the bed and why; the poem she wrote on a dare; and why being married to a poet is like sleeping with a firefly.
Her husband, Ron, a retired nurse anesthetist, published the book "50 Years in the OR" last year.
Lonni taught high school English and creative writing for seven years at Cass Lake. She also wrote and produced a radio program called “Women Like Us” for KKBJ and KBUN radio stations in Bemidji.
Her poetry manuscript started as a thesis for her master’s degree and the poems were written over a span of 30-plus years. After moving to Florida in 1987, she created the concept for a chain of cafes based on Minnesota wild rice called Lonni’s Sandwiches, Etc., which she owned for 21 years.