maybe because we wanted to hate them, we tried to be as coarse and boisterous as possible, whispering the secret codewords we’d devised crushed in Gail’s old Chevy as we drove from one Chicago high school to another throughout varsity volleyball season, guffawing loudly when we scored some adolescent verbal points, gyrating our limbs with moonwalk precision, scraping our high- tops ostentatiously until they squeaked on the honeyed gym floors between spikes, set-ups and flat serves that pounded our opponents. maybe their polished hair, gleaming skin and perfect teeth penetrated the hard veneer we’d effected to dominate teams less trained than us but unlike them, Maryville didn’t start picking their cuticles or spouting obscenities under their breath but rather told us we could swim in their indoor pool; even though we hadn’t brought our bathing suits, they lent us theirs, a generosity that overwhelmed us as we submerged ourselves like movie Indians in a river, every waterstirring reverberating on the vanilla tiles and softening our skin.
Jan has had 361 poems published in various journals internationally and in the U.S. including: ABZ, Mid-American Review, and Cordite Review, Australia. Finishing Line Press published her three chapbooks and first full-length poetry collection, I Wanted To Dance With My Father. Orbis, England, nominated her for the Pushcart Prize in 2020 and Constellations nominated her for it in 2021.
Besides her poetry, Jan wrote a dissertation at the University of Rochester: Age and Natural Order in Second Language Acquisition after being a nun for seven years then living in Australia for fourteen years with her Aussie husband and two children. Jan has taught ESL in Rochester, New York and Loyola and DePaul Universities in Chicago. When not traveling, or gardening at their farm, Jan and her husband like to cook for friends.