By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Dec 22, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Writer, educator and lifelong Milwaukeean Jeff Poniewaz (pronounced poen-yeah-VAHSH) passed away last week after a long illness.

Jeff was known as an "eco-poet" and was named Milwaukee’s poet laureate in 2013. He taught "Literature of Ecological Vision" and "Whitman & Ginsberg" at UW-Milwaukee from 1989 to 2009.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti called Jeff's epic "September 11, 2001"  the "best poem I've seen on 9/11." Ginsberg praised Jeff's work for its "Whitmanesque / Thoreauvian verve and wit."

I did not know Jeff very well, but I heard him read many times over the years and shared a bill with him on a few occasions. He was the long-time partner of Milwaukee poet, Antler, and a beloved friend to many. 

RIP, Jeff.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.