Sharon Kourous grew up in rural Ohio, the middle child and only daughter in a family of five children. She earned her B.E. and MA from the University of Toledo. During her final undergraduate year she realized black leotards and a soulful gaze were not marketable attributes, and switched from an English major to education. Some years later a serendipitous encounter with a former Prof. led to a graduate assistantship and she found herself an accidental Masters in English candidate. These chance degrees served her well when, as a single parent, she returned to public school teaching. Those years allowed little time for her black-leotarded inner child, the writer she'd always wanted to be, as she taught and raised her two children.

Having survived her children's teen years and sent them off to college, she began writing seriously, and has been writing and publishing ever since. She discovered the Internet and joined Zeugma, a poets' workshop which brought friendship, craftsmanship, and increasing familiarity with Internet publishing. She has twice attended writing workshops in Ireland; during the first she mostly skipped classes and hopped the bus to various points on the island. The second trip, led by current U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, was more productive of poetry and equally satisfying for sightseeing. Her work can be found in back issues of Melic and at various venues on the Web, as well as in various print journals.

Of the poems in this batch, "How We Argue" pays tribute to the rural Ohio rectitude, strength and stubbornness she loves in her family history. The poem recalls stories told by her parents who, at 92, reside with her. She has one grandchild, and two more on the way. Sharon still lives not far from the area where she grew up. Her black leotards, however, no longer fit, and she goes about her days looking rather like the schoolteacher she continues to be.

The Poems:

Leaving the River Corrib
Heliophobia (for Hannelore Kohl)
Reading the Obituaries
Memento Mori
How We Argue