In Memoriam: Shann Palmer

Shann Palmer

Shann Palmer

Dear Friends and Family of Shann,

I first came to know Shann Palmer via Twitter. Over the years, I’ve heard people say Twitter is a dumb platform and claim it’s silly to “mention what you had for lunch” on the internet. Those of us who used Twitter realized there was more to it than sharing our daily meals.

If you used Twitter right, you could create or find a community.

Several years ago, in a chilly October, I started the Twitter Poet Party. We held it every Sunday. Shann often attended these online events, and she also missed a lot since “Dexter” came on TV at the same time. Those of us attending these online events never seemed to tire of the “who brought the wine?” or “I brought cookies” jokes when we knew it was likely we’d never meet in person.

At some point, Shann invited me down to Richmond, VA to read at the Museum of Fine Arts. Her reading series blew all of my expectations away. I entered a modern stone and glass structure and was to give a reading in the lobby. I was warmly welcomed into the community of artists and poets who attended the reading.

“Need wine?” Shann asked me.

Shann had brought wine with her, and we drank a glass with John Hoppenthaler (my fellow reader that night).

John had met her at a conference. I had met her via Twitter. I began to get the sense that Shann was a person who made friends everywhere and kept them with her funny jokes and warm smile.

Shann— We’ll miss you.