Poet Laureate 1999

John E. Rice

John Rice was born in Galveston in 1941. His parents were writers and musicians. He grew up in a house full of books, art and music and has been a reader since early childhood.  Early poems, written in grade school, are recalled as "sagas" - page after page of couplets and/or doggerel verse.

Rice is married with four children and three grandchildren all of whom read and some of whom write. He has lived in Houston for nearly thirty years where he is an executive in international maritime industry. He is also an artist working in several media.  In addition to Sol, Rice's work has appeared in several other publications.

Poet's Comments: "I write poetry as catharsis or out of sheer joy. I also write 'to order' sometimes when challenged - by myself or by others. I encourage write poetry - just TRY it! I understand the reticence: writing is very personal. Reading a piece aloud to a 'crowd' or having it published is akin to standing naked and turning slowly - pot belly, cellulite, warts and all!  Many times, a poem begins to form unexpectedly for me and may, therefore, come to life on any available writing material in sometimes unusual places. And that is the fun and, sometimes, relief of it all."

Poet Laureate 1998

Betty Ann Whitney

Betty Ann Whitney was born and grew up in the tiny beach town of Narragansett, Rhode Island.  She is a published poet and an award winning artist who believes an inner need exists in all of us to live more deeply and fully and with greater awareness -- to know the experiences of others and to know better our own.

She says the function of the poem is not to tell, but rather allow reader participation.  It is this communicative experience she cares about and finds joy working with  --  and she says language matters even more to her than the message.

The author of a large collection of poems, some of which are published in various magazines, newspapers, and poetry publications, she is a member of New River Poets and Writers, Pasco County, Florida.

Betty Ann has been an active participant of Prodigy's Books & Writing Poetry Bulletin Board since 1992. A contributor to Sol Magazine soon after its beginning, she was Sol Magazine's 1998 Poet Laureate.