Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rochelle Ratner

Rochelle died this week. She was my editor at Marsh Hawk Press. She was also a poet, novelist, photographer, friend of writers, and a great supporter of poetry. She was generous and fierce.

Less than a week ago she was blogging and I was starting to design her latest book. It is hard to imagine Marsh Hawk Press without her...

When my book was published, Rochelle had me come over to her apartment to celebrate. She and Ken were the nicest hosts imaginable. I looked around their ingeniously designed home and thought how lovely it was that they had found each other. Ken is blind, he is a programmer, and has a special computer adapted to his needs. Rochelle was tiny, quirky, she had a special work area built upstairs, exactly suited to her needs. The apartment was filled with books and art... She talked about her compulsion to write as a young girl in a family that didn't really know what to make of her, how long she did it in isolation, then she moved to New York, found other writers, and was much happier. They passed me a drink and we were soon laughing and she said lovely things about my book and I felt so happy that it had all worked out this way.

Far more people will miss her than I, but it really saddens me that she won't be around. She was part of the heartbeat of this city.


Dan said...

Thank you for your beautiful post on Rochelle and Ken. Rochelle was a friend of mine and she was indeed a part of the heartbeat of the city. I will miss her.


Anonymous said...

I was one of Rochelle Ratner's cousins from out in Los Angeles. I will miss her and was happy to see your comments.