Maralee Gerke was one of a handful of Oregon poets to be published by the Oregon Poetic Voices Project. All poets around the state, published or not, were welcome to record up to four original poems to be included in the archive hosted by Lewis and Clark College.
In conjunction with Penland School of Crafts, Oregon Poetic Voices produced a series of hand-printed broadsides. Gerke’s poem, Refuge, was one of the five poems chosen from the archive to be used in the limited edition series, and she was given a copy signed by the artist who designed the broadsides.
Gerke began writing after a serious bout with cancer. “My cancer made me realize my time was limited,” she said. She became more interested in the activities that she had put off, saying that facing mortality put her into action. “I had been writing for years, but never submitted my work.”
She joined a Madras writer’s group in 2001 and they encouraged her to submit her writing to numerous publications. Gerke has since been published on a regular basis in Anthology, Nerve Cowboy, Exit Thirteen and approximately over 100 other assorted publications. She has also published two books of poems and has been accepted in several anthologies.