Dan passed away Wednesday evening surrounded by family and friends. He was at peace and quietly slipped through our hands. After beating the odds against his cancer so well for the last 8 years it took everyone by surprise how quickly he went downhill over the last few weeks, though he remained lucid to the end.
Dan is survived by his loving wife of over 30 years F. Ann (Goodrich) Lewis, by his sister Carol and her wife, Pat, of Amherst, MA, and his brother Michael and his wife, Claudia, of Colorado, and many nieces and nephews. He will be missed by the large community of friends and poets who loved him for his wit, compassion, and mentoring.
Dan was born November 26, 1946 in Oakland, California to Kenneth D. and Barbara (Hammond) Lewis. He graduated from Wilton High School in Wilton Connecticut, and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in English. After college, he moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts where he was involved in setting up the library and reference area for the Center for Coastal Studies. For several years he took care of many of the Peaked Hill Trust dune shacks, and lived in one for a summer.
Upon moving to Worcester in 1988, Dan became involved with the Worcester County Poetry Association, and was a board member for many years. Just a few of the projects he worked on in Worcester included: Bloomsday, a reading of James Joyces’ Ulysses; with the Del Rossi poets, performed as Adam in the dramatic reading of all twelve books of John Milton’s Paradise Lost; and as editor of the Worcester Review.
Dan would say that he made a living as a technical writer, but lived his life to write. Dan claimed to be “old enough to know better, but still find myself walking in the world agog.” His poems have appeared in numerous journals, some of which are: Blue Unicorn; Diner; Magnapoets; Paper Street Press; Sahara; Hamilton Stone Review; and Tupelo Quarterly Review.
In the last twelve years of his life, Dan wrote and published two books of poetry, This Garden and Intimations of the Focal Plane, and two chapbooks, Iconospheres and Tickets. Recently, Dan collaborated with a group of artists and poets on a forthcoming book called Echo & Spark. He also worked with jazz musicians reading poetry with jazz music, and with the Worcester Art Museum’s Poets in the Gallery.
Dan was the 2016 recipient of the Stanley Kunitz medal by the Worcester County Poetry Association for a lifetime of service honoring poetry. Dan has also received the 2012 Frank O’Hara prize for poetry.
There will be no calling hours as Dan donated his body to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A memorial service is tentatively scheduled for September 16, 2017. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Worcester County Poetry Association, P. O. Box 804, Worcester 01613.
Alfred Roy & Sons Funeral Home 12 Hammond St. Worcester is assisting the family with arrangements. To share a memory or to sign the online guestbook, please visit www.Royfuneral.com