About Jon
Born Juhan Veinberg, Jon was the son of Vilma and Dr. Ernst Veinberg. After his father died in October of 1946, his newly widowed mother escaped from Soviet-controlled Estonia.  She fled across Germany and went to Geislingen where there was a displaced persons camp comprised of over five thousand Estonians. It was there in Geislingen, Germany that Jon was born in 1947. Later, the family caught a boat  to America arriving at Ellis Island in 1950. Jon spent his early childhood in New York, Connecticut and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Because of a job opportunity for his mother Vilma, the family packed up and headed west.  The family relocated to Fresno, California in the early 1960’s. Jon graduated from Roosevelt High School in Fresno. He went on to attend Fresno State University. While there, Jon first studied poetry writing with teacher and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and went on to pursue his writing in graduate school. Jon received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Irvine. He was a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grant in poetry. In addition to his two NEA grants, Jon also received the Vern Rutsala Award from Hubbub magazine.  Along with Ernesto Trejo, he edited the important anthology, Piecework: 19 Fresno Poets in 1987.  In total, Jon published five books of poetry, and his poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. He passed away on January 8, 2017. Jon Veinberg had an uncanny ability to connect with people of all backgrounds, and his empathetic spirit, humor and insight entered his poetry, giving voice to ordinary people, as well as the lost and forgotten.


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