Local author publishes poetry book about the Midwest


A local resident recently published a collection of poetry devoted to the beauty of the Midwest.

Greg Romanek’s book, “Prairie Paths” is a cycle of poems assembled to mimic the seasons and the feeling that they create with a local feeling that one acquires by spending time in the Midwest.

“I love watching the land, it’s peaceful, and I think it’s good to know about it,” said Ryan Liebman, senior physiology major.

Four years ago Romaneck wrote and assembled, “Prairie Paths,” from his poetry and sought to represent DeKalb County and its often overlooked beauty, Romaneck said.

He wrote the book for two reasons, citing the beauty and charm of the Midwest, and how it is often overlooked and to help him deal with his personal bout of depression he felt during that time, Romaneck said.

“I’ve lived in DeKalb for over 33 years and I feel very close to it,” Romaneck said.

One of the poems in the book titled, “Dunham Grove,” was written about a local resident and his planting of a walnut grove.

“[He] asked if I minded if he sat out there and wrote a poem, I said ‘no’,” said DeKalb resident Jerry Dunham.

Dunham planted the grove in 1977, originally for the walnuts it produced but now lets them fall to the ground to feed the squirrels, Dunham said.

“If you know him, many of his articles are about where he’s been and where he’s going,” Dunham said.

Romaneck has lived in DeKalb since 1975, has three children, and five graduate degrees from NIU. He spent 17 years working for DeKalb School District 428 in special education and now works in Batavia in special education.