Mike Orlock is the featured reader for the Dickinson Poetry Series at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on December 10 at 7 pm.
Orlock, a retired high school teacher and coach, splits his time between Illinois and Sturgeon Bay. He enjoys travel, reading, writing, films, and spending time with his two children and four granddaughters. He has been married since 1975 to his high school sweetheart Liz, his best critic and source of inspiration.
For twelve years, from 1989 to 2001, he wrote film reviews for the Reporter-Progress newspapers in suburban Chicago and was a contributing member of the Chicago Film Critics Association. His short fiction has appeared in TriQuarterly, the literary journal of Northwestern University, and Another Chicago Magazine. He has twice been honored with Illinois Arts Council Awards for his short stories.
Orlock came late to writing poetry, inspired by a course he took in Learning in Retirement taught by his friend and mentor, David Clowers, in fall of 2009. Since then, his work has appeared online in “Your Daily Poem” website, in the WFOP yearly calendars, Verse Wisconsin, the Los Angeles Times, the Peninsula Pulse, and various other venues. He won the Wisconsin Writers Association “Jade Ring” award in 2014 in the Free Verse category and is a member of the Unabridged poetry group in Door County.
He describes his poetry as “light verse with a topical twist.” and subjects include family relationships, his pet dogs, travel, the Door County landscape, politics, retirement, and poetry itself. Orlock explains, “I like poems that are clever and accessible, profound in a funny or poignant way, and I try to write poems that are fun to read or think about.”