MWC Press, the publisher of the Midwest Writing Center, is honored to announce the publication of My Cancer Chronicle, the latest collection of poetry by former Quad City Poet Laureate and longtime Davenport Central High School teacher Richard “Dick “Stahl (1939-2020). A special launch party will be held today from 2-4 p.m. at Wallenberg Hall on the campus of Augustana College, Rock Island. It is free and open to the public.

MWC Press is working with Stahl’s family to bring this heartbreaking and powerful lyrical account that documents her experience with cancer, from the initial diagnosis to the dictation of the last two poems to her family, sharing her experience with cancer as a way to provide insight , comfort, and comfort to all who have gone through/are going through this journey, and to those who help them. As well as being a solid collection of poems by an all-time great local author, it will also serve to support those going through similar experiences.

The book will be released at a special event on Sunday, June 12 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Wallenberg Hall, Augustana College. There will be books available for purchase, light refreshments and the event will feature friends of Stahl’s poems reading and sharing memories of his life. The event will also be streamed live on the Centre’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/midwestwritingcenter

**The Augustana Strong Task Force updated its guidelines on campus events, meetings, and visitors as of April 30, 2021:

-Anyone present must be masked at all times, even if they are fully vaccinated.

-Physical distancing is required at all events, even if fully vaccinated.**

Copies can be pre-ordered now through the MWC Press online bookstore; contact the press regarding bulk or consignment orders, or bulk orders for book discussion groups, classrooms, etc. 309-732-7330

This book was made possible with support from the Stahl family, the Scott County Regional Authority, the Poetry Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

About the Author:

Richard “Dick” Stahl (1939-2020) is the author of four books of poetry: After the Milk Route (1988) and Under the Green Tree Hotel (1996), both published by East Hall Press of Augustana College; Mr. Farnam’s Guests (2004, MWC Press); and Bluffing (2016, Riverwise, Inc.), and his poems have been widely published, receiving numerous awards and accolades. A graduate of Augustana College (BA), the University of Iowa (MA), and Western Illinois University (Ed.S.), he taught English at Central High School for 34.5 years, retiring in 2001. He held the position of Quad City Arts. First Poet Laureate from September 2001 to September 2003. In 2013 he was inducted into the Davenport High School/Central High School Hall of Honor which recognizes distinguished alumni. He is survived by his wife Helen, his three children (Rita, Randy and Renee) and five grandchildren.
book release party

Praise for my cancer chronicle:

“Quad City Poet Laureate Dick Stahl’s My Cancer Chronicle takes us on an intimate journey that begins with the diagnosis of a ‘red dot’ on his nose. He watches carefully; he tells the truth. There is pain and gratitude, memories and love – all countless “symbolic gifts” forming “what we all yearn for – a better life”.
-Paul Olsen, retired professor and track coach, Augustana College

“…[Stahl’s] the voice amplifies the incredible power of speech and writing to move people and create connections. This collection of poetry artfully takes the reader on a journey, their cancer journey, a journey that is beautiful, relatable and ultimately inspiring in the face of the intense challenges faced by cancer patients, their loved ones and those who care for them. them. ”
-Brian Baxter, Executive Director, Quad City Symphony Orchestra

“In this latest collection of poems, Dick Stahl captures the ebb and flow of the human condition. Battling his deadly cancer, he smiles at a white checkered tablecloth that “looks healthy” or greets the Milky Way or a monitor Helen and he names “Charlie”. As he soberly knows that the grains of sand are falling as they ring loudly in his ears, he contemplates the radioactive beads heading for his liver. He looks straight into the demon and expresses his condition with beauty, faith and grace.
-Dale G. Haake, lawyer and former poet laureate of the Quad Cities

“Cancer stories can make dark reading. But not this one. Dick Stahl’s My Cancer Chronicle forms a playful allegation, not an elegy. Honest without self-pity, optimistic without sentimentality, brave without bravado, these richly detailed poems give us “sharper eyes” to discover joy intertwined with pain. The “quick pen” that Stahl had hoped for inspires us to celebrate life, love, and the power of words to heal that which is beyond healing.
-Ann Boaden, author of Light and Leaven: Women Who Shaped Augustana’s First Century

“Dick Stahl’s death to cancer was a grievous loss, but the poetic process he went through from early detection, through stages of treatment, moments of grace, to final dictation, keeps his spirit alive. alive and with us. His refuge from pain in poetry is both testament and memorial; a final gift to his friends and admirers.
-Don Wooten, WVIK radio host and columnist

book release party

Sean Leary is a writer, director, artist, musician, producer, and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since he started at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. A graduate with honors from the master’s program at the University of Southern California, he has written more than 50 books, including the best-selling books The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.

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