Monthly Archives: April 2012

Bringing Poetry into the Public Arena

CCW member Susan Elbe sends news about The Woodrow Hall Jumpstart Initiative, which “is a program launched in 2004 by Shoshauna Shy in Madison, Wisconsin, with the mission of bringing poetry out of the libraries, bookstores and classrooms into the general public arena.”

Susan and four other Wisconsin poets have benefited from funding provided by this initiative. For information about it

Congratulations, Susan and all other funding recipients!

CWW’s website is at


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Wisconsin Children’s Book Creators Enjoy Successes

Janet Halfmann scores again!

This South Milwaukee children’s book author’s latest, Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be? is still smoking, it’s so hot off the press and here it is winning awards. The first of what I’m guess will be many is the Gold Best Book Award from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio. To read more about it, go here:

Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be? follows closely on the heels of Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish, which was the winning entry in the Council for Wisconsin Writers annual competition in the children’s category. Janet will receive that award at the CCW Annual Awards Luncheon, on May 12 at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee. For luncheon details, a list of the winners and luncheon reservations, go to

Other recent and relatively recent children’s book releases include:

  • Baby Bear Eats the Night illustrated by Bonnie Leick
  • Ten Luck Leprechauns written by Kathryn Heiling and Deborah Hembrook
  • Storytime Stickers: Whales illustrated by Carol Schwartz
  • My Extra Best Friend written by Julie Bowe
  • Getting Ready to Drive: A How-to Guide written by Eva Apelqvist
  • Jingo Fever written by Stephanie Golightly Lowden
  • Mercy Lily written by Lisa Albert
  • Bluefish written by Pat Schmatz

And, as mentioned in a previous post, Peep’s Spring Surprise an iTunes App written and illustrated by Jamie Stevens.


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Peep’s App

Here’s the promotional blurb for Peep’s Spring Surprise: “An interactive pre-school children’s book app written and illustrated by Jamie Stevens. Join Peep and his friends, Pieper and Penny on a Spring time adventure.”

But you won’t find Peep and his friends and their book in a bookstore or on That’s because children book author and illustrator Jamie Steven’s new creation is published by Interact books and as an iTunes App. Right now it can be accessed on iPhones and iPads and, eventually, Jamie says, it will be available on other smart phones.

Here’s the Interact Book blurb about Jamie and her book:

This is one, if not the, future of picture-book publishing.

Please visit the Council for Wisconsin Writer’s website at




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Whole Lot O’ Poetry Going On

The following is from Cathryn Cofell, PR Coordinator for Sarah Gilbert, Poetry Reading Series Coordinator (and WFOP Regional VP)

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) Fox Valley Poetry Series meets at Harmony Cafe in Appleton (233 E. College Ave) on the third Monday of most months.  Each evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with the featured reader(s), followed by an open mic open to anyone who wishes to read 1-2 poems.

Monday, May 21, 6:30 p.m. — Poets Lucy Rose Johns and Linda Voit

For decades, Lucy Rose Johns has donated dollars from her chapbook sales to the library in Nekoosa.  Johns is an accomplished poet with many writing credits to her name.  Her available chapbooks include: Stuff I’ve Written Since My Last Chapbook, Lucy’s Law of Time, Living Off My Y2K Supplies, and Somebody Change the Lightbulb.  Awards include being in the top 10 of the Pippistrelle Best of Small Press 2000 Awards; honorable mention from Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets; placing third in the Kay Saunders Memorial New Poet Award. She continues to study at the Rhinelander School of the Arts every summer.

Linda Voit’s poetry has appeared at/on/in NOTA, Alaska Public Radio’s “A Poem A Day Won’t Kill You,” Lyrical Iowa, Country and Strange Cage. Her poem “First Slow Dance” won 2nd place in Lyrical Iowa’s 2010 adult general category. She was one of the featured poets at Third Stanza’s 11 Days of Global Unity Poetry Reading in Ames, Iowa for the past four years, the 2011 Des Moines Arts Festival through the Des Moines Poetry Slam and the first “Poet’s Corner” as part of Perry, Iowa’s 2011 Art on the Prairie. She is excited to be moving back to her native Wisconsin after nine great years in Iowa.  Check out this sample poem from Linda:


Scissor-carved from one

piece of midnight paper

somewhere in Disney World

my paternal family chin

his paternal family lips


How content we are in relief

even our eyelashes adhered

to whiteness, side by side

looking ahead

in the same direction.

 – Published in Strange Cage, 2011



June 18         Judy Kolosso and Fran Nelson

July 16           Nancy Rafal and Wendy Schmidt 
August 20     Barb Germiat and Beth Spencer



TUESDAY, MAY 1, MARIAN UNIVERSITY READING: The Marian University English Department’s Writers Reading Series will celebrate National Poetry Month with a reading of Wisconsin poets, FEATURING WISCONSIN POET LAUREATE BRUCE DETHLEFSEN AT 7:00 P.M. in the Stayer Center Auditorium.  For this event, which is free and open to the public, Marian’s English department will be donating the honorarium it pays its readers directly to the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Fund.  Other readers include MARY WEHNER, DAVID GRAHAM, KATE SONTAG, KEITH FAIRCHILD, CHRISTINA KUBASTA AND LISA VIHOS 

TUESDAY, MAY 8, FOOT OF THE LAKE POETRY COLLECTIVE READING: in partnership with The Windhover Center for the Arts presents MILWAUKEE POET DERRICK HARRIELL who will read from his collection of poems, “Cotton,” published by Aquarius Press-Willow Books, as well as from his recent work. READING BEGINS AT 7 PM. The event is free, refreshments and a cash bar will be available. As always, an open mic will follow.  Check for more information.  DON’T MISS THIS ONE!!!

FRIDAY, MAY 4, OSHKOSH POETRY THEATER:  WHAT’S COOKING at 1:00 pm.  Let the readers of the Poetry Readers’ Theater tempt you with recipes (we mean poems) about food and life.   The words of poets from Shakespeare to Mother Goose as well as LOCAL POETS KAY SANDERS AND KARLA HUSTON may not turn you into foodies or gourmets but will definitely whet your appetite for more verse.  At the Oshkosh Senior Center (South Building) at 200 N Campbell Road (next door to the Fox Valley Technical College).  And if the poetry makes you really hungry, light refreshments will be served following the performance.

FRIDAY, MAY 18, VERSE & VISION IIGallery Q Artists CooperativePoets & Artists Collaborative Opening Reception, 4:00 p.m. 1108 Main Street, Stevens Point.  In a wonderful reversal of fortune, artists selected poems as inspiration for a new visual piece.  Make the short trip to Stevens Point for to see these creations and hear the work of many regional poets including KARLA HUSTON, CATHRYN COFELL, JUDY KOLOSSO, GEORGIA RESSMEYER, SHARON AUBERLE, KRIS RUED-CLARK, LISA VIHOS, MARYANN HURTT AND WI POET LAUREATE BRUCE DETHLEFSEN.  Books available for purchase.  Show will run from May 15 – June 23.

TUESDAY, MAY 22, APPLE BLOSSOM BOOKS, OSHKOSH:  This new venue at 200 E City Center now hosts a featured reader on the 4th Tuesday of most months.    JUDY KOLOSSO will be giving a poetry reading at 6:30 pm.  An open mic will follow where participants may read one or two of their own poems or poems by others that they love.

Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Green Bay on South Oneida holds open mic readings on the 2nd Thursday of each month. Registration begins at 6:45 p.m. and the reading begins at 7:00 p.m. There is no featured reader.



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WWA Spring Conference to be at Crooked Lake

The Wisconsin Writers Association is planning its spring conference May 4-5 at the Lodge at Crooked Lake in Siren.
Anthony Bukowski will speak and conduct break-out session on “The Art of the Short Story.” Recently retired from the University of Wisconsin -Superior, Bukowski has had a number of short story collections published including “Twelve Below Zero” and has won a number of awards for his work.
Bruce Dethlefsen, Wisconsin’s current Poet Laureate, will speak and conduct break-out sessions on “The Art of Poetry.” Currently a resident of Westfield, Wis, he has published two poetry chapbooks and numerous poems, several of which were featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac on public radio.
There will also be creative non-fiction presentations by Carolyn Wedin and Carrie Classon. Carolyn is a semi-retired teacher of literature and composition who grew up in rural Frederic, Wis., and has recently returned to her roots.
Please visi tthe CWW website at

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Kudos to Winning WP&I/WBF Poets

Congratulations to the Winners of theWisconsin People & Ideas/Wisconsin Book Festival 2012 Poetry Contest:

Ten honorable mention poems:
  • “The Pink Orange,” by Amelia Cook – Madison
  • “How to Start Your Poem,” Dion Kempthorne – Richland Center
  • “Belonging,” by Sharon Foley – Whitefish Bay
  • “Rifling,” Dion Kempthorne – Richland Center
  • “A Sonnet with Daily Haiku at the Convenience Store,” by CX Dillhunt – Madison
  •  “That Same Kid, Twelve Days Later,” by Geoff Collins – Marshall
  • “Dreaming of the Red 1964 Ford Mustang Convertible Dealer Promo Model Given to Me on My 16th Birthday by My Mother,” by CX Dillhunt – Madison
  • “Twilight: A Haiku Assay Sequence,” by CX Dillhunt – Madison
  • “MMXII, i,” by Barbara Lightner – Milwaukee
  • “Poem in Advance of Witty Repartee,” by Jeremy Behreandt – Madison
Congratulations to all our winners and honorable mention poets. Look for the honorable mention poems to appear in subsequent issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas (selected poems from the second- and third-place 2012 contest winners appear in the spring issue of the magazine).
This year the poetry contest lead judge was Milwaukee poet laureate Susan Firer. The 2012 contest was coordinated by John Lehman, literary editor, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and featured as preliminary poetry judges:
  • Marilyn Annucci – Madison
  • Andy Gricevich – Madison
  • Karla Huston – Appleton
All judging was done blindly and ranking was done solely on the merit of individual poems in the opinion of our volunteer judges. Thank you to our lead and preliminary judges for volunteering their time and efforts to the 2012 contest, and a special thanks to our contest sponsors:
Wisconsin People & Ideas  l  1922 University Avenue  l  Madison, WI  53726  l  608.263.1692
Questions and manuscript submissions to: 

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Winning Excerpts on CWW Website

For a preview of the literary delights awaiting those who attend the Council for Wisconsin Writers Annual Awards Luncheon on May 12, excerpts of some of the readings are posted on the CWW website. Here are a few of links:


And here’s the link for reserving a spot at the 11 a.m. reception and luncheon, at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee:
We hope to see you there!

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