Click here to read “OWAA’s Poet,” by former OWAA president Joel Vance. He wrote this piece about Margaret Menamin a number of years ago for Outdoors Unlimited.
PITTSBURGH – Margaret Menamin Eshbaugh, 71, who wrote the poem that became OWAA’s official prayer, died of leukemia June 3, 2009, in Pittsburgh after a brief hospitalization.
A former newspaper reporter and feature writer in Rolla, Mo., she moved to Pittsburgh in 1984 and worked in advertising, fundraising, medical transcription and radio before retiring in 2001. She had a radio program on WQED Pittsburgh from approximately 1990 to 2001 called “The Baffled Generation,” on which she told humorous stories of her family and experiences growing up in rural Missouri.
Margaret wrote her first poem when she was in second grade, and saw her poems published before she was 20. Since then her poems have appeared in many magazines, journals and newspapers, including Good Housekeeping and the Missouri Conservationist.
Most recently, her poems appeared in the Lyric, the Formalist, Iambs & Trochees and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Her book, “Sonnets for a Second Summer,” was published in 1996, and her online chapbook, “Essential Tremors,” was published in 2005. Her work also appears in the book, “Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami,” published by Bayeaux Arts Inc. in 2005.
She won first place in the Writer’s Digest rhymed poetry competition in 1994 and in the Iambs & Trochees competition in 2002.
Since 1967, her sonnet, “OWAA Prayer,” has been used as the official invocation and benediction for the annual meeting of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
Her poetry Web site is www.menamin.com.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, William S. Menamin.
Survivors include husband Robert W. Eshbaugh of Pittsburgh; son Robert of Eunice, Mo.; daughter Greta Roach of Rolla; her mother; three sisters; a brother; and four grandchildren.
The family suggests memorials to a chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Photo by Werner Nagel.