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 grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.

As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.

She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that. 

Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.

Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.

In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!

When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.