Shoes: Poems About Footwear
Anthology by members of Highland Park Poetry
Co-editors: Jennifer Dotson and Mary Beth Bretzlauf
75 poems ~ 93 pages
Format: 6” x 9” ~ Perfect Bound
Price: $12.00
Publisher: Highland Park Poetry Press
ISBN-13: 9798523568879
To Order:


It has been rightly observed that common things, everyday things, things we rarely
notice, things that are “in the way,” that we trip over and curse, become the blood,
bone, and sinew of poetry. This truth could not be more evident than in Highland
Park Poetry’s latest project, Shoes: Poems About Footwear. Readers will delight
in titles like, “Bottle Cap Tap Shoes,” “Not Just A Shoe,” “Stolen Shoes,” “Shoes
and What They Would Say,” these titles and many more, do more than showcase
the anthology’s obvious subject … they fete the feet of the lives we live.


Highland Park Poetry, (Highland Park, IL), has a track record of producing at-
tractive and delightful anthologies that cover a wide range of themes, written by
local, national, and foreign poets. Its latest, the "Shoes" anthology, is artistically
produced, and superb for its relatable, yet whimsical and thoughtful array of po-
ems. On every theme imaginable, these poems take us on a journey through life.
You won't want to miss this latest anthology for its nostalgic appeal that touches
every part of our heart and "soul."
—Charlotte Digregorio, author of Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing

A few years ago, I purchased my first pair of cowboy boots. They were expensive
but have proven to be the most comfortable and durable footwear I ever had. Com-
fortable and durable. That’s it … that is how I describe Highland Park Poetry’s
new anthology. The poems collected by co-editors Dotson and Bretzlauf, speak to
my life at every turn. Whether lamenting shoes that hurt, praising shoes that ap-
pease or extolling those that make a statement, they all produce singular Aha! mo-
ments characteristic of excellent poetry. Do yourself a favor, try this collection on,
see how snuggly the poems fit.
—Michael Escoubas, author of Images: A Collection of Ekphrastic Poetry

Highland Park Poetry provides thematic anthologies that attract both poets and
nonpoets in their eclectic and accessible approach, so much that these anthologies
make thoughtful gifts. Shoes: Poems About Footwear, is no exception. Divided
into sections: Working Shoes, Comfort and Fit, A Closet Full, and Fashion State-
ment—readers will find something to delight in.
—Christine Swanberg is the official poet laureate of Rockford, IL and author of,
Wild Fruition: Sonnets, Spells, and Other Incantations.

An exceptional collection of artwork and poetry on footwear, a truly "sole" ful
—Dan Fitzgerald, author of Regional War

Who doesn’t have fond memories of an old pair of moccasins or boots, worn until
their seams were frayed? Highland Park Poetry’s Summer 2021 anthology, Shoes,
is a delightful romp through the last several decades of footwear. Poets and photo-
graphers show us how personally connected we have been to our shoes throughout
our lives, evoking memories with whimsy, appreciation, and occasionally sadness.
Whether our shoes connect us to our work, such as with ballet dancers and work-
men, or help us make a fashion statement—Doc Martens, Earth Shoes, stilettos—
the poets and photographers in this rich collection take us to moments in our lives
when our shoes really mattered.
—Kate Hutchinson, author of Map Making: Poems of Land and Identity


Jennifer Dotson is the author of Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems,
(Kelsay Books, 2020) and Clever Gretel, (Chicago Poetry Press, 2013). Jennifer is
a recent finalist in the 2021 Mary Blinn Poetry Contest and her work has been
published in After Hours, East on Central, The McGuffin, among others. She is the
creative engine behind Highland Park Poetry, which she founded in 2007. Pigeon-
toed as a child, she was enrolled in ballet lessons to help her learn to walk properly
and keep her toes pointed forward. She counted herself very lucky as her little
sister was made to wear at bedtime a pair of baby shoes firmly fixed in an outward
pointing position by a metal bar. The device was a terrible torture. She would
listen to her sister cry and bang her legs against the crib until falling asleep from

Mary Beth Bretzlauf is working on her first book of poems. Many of her poems
have appeared in several East on Central and Highland Park Poetry’s Muses’ Gal-
anthologies. Several of her short stories and poems have won local writing
contests. She is chapter facilitator for the North Chapter and Board member of the
Illinois State Poetry Society. Mary Beth lives in Northeastern Illinois with her
granddog, Wrigley. Shoes is her fourth editing collaboration with Jennifer Dotson.
Mary Beth reveals, “In my B.C. days (before children), I had a hundred pair! I was
probably the Imelda Marcos of the neighborhood.


Lonely Shoe
by Joseph Kuhn Carey

Lonely shoe
in the corner
of a dusty closet
without a mate,
thinking back
to better times,
and walking
with a friend,
so many sidewalks
and roads and
sandy beaches
embedded in soft
stitched leather memory,
faded now like
a folded-up old towel,
waiting to be found
and pulled back into
the soothing beams of
pure polished light


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