Monthly Archives: March 2014

Wisconsin Writer is One of 50 for 50

Christine DeSmet, whose First-Degree Fudge spent 10 weeks as a Barnes & Noble mystery best seller, is being featured this week at “50 States, 50 Authors.” Today’s post, titled Illinois’s Quad Cities: Belgian Influence = Fun, Fabulous Food and Christine DeSmet, begins:

“The first Belgian sleuth since Hercule Poirot—Ava Oosterling, is the main character in my new Fudge Shop Mystery Series.talking about my birthplace of Moline, Illinois, and its connections to chocolates and my Fudge Shop Mystery Series. Book 2, Hot Fudge Frame-Up, debuts June 3.”

Sounds to me like a delicious read.

Chris is one of more than 300 writers from Wisconsin and the Midwest who have signed up to attend the 25th anniversary Writers’ Institute Conference, April 4-6, at the Madison Concourse Hotel. Details are at

Also, please visit the Council for Wisconsin Writers website at




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Vote for Miranda in Poetry ‘March Madness” Tourney!


Wisconsin children’s author Miranda Paul says she has made it to the “Sweet Sixteen” in a competition known as the March Madness Tournament of poetry for children. A vote for her will help. Here’s what she says:

“Despite being a sixteen seed, (which means I’m assigned the hardest class of words to use), I have made it this far.

“If my poem garners enough votes in the next 24 hours, I’ll advance to the Elite 8. Competing against award-winning poets such as Jane Yolen!
“Here is the current matchup:
“Miranda Paul vs. JJ Close
I love the part about Miranda once “reading poetry while sitting in a pit of crocodiles.”
Also, please visit CWW at

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Edible Book Fest Scheduled

The Friends of the UW -Madison Libraries issued this announcement:

Here is some information about an interesting and fun event coming up in the next few weeks!
The 2014 Edible Book Festival takes place 11:00 am – 5:30 pm on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library and promises to combine literary and culinary talents from the Madison area.

The event is free and open to the public in a new location this year, Memorial Library Room 116. Members of the community are encouraged to attend, ogle the edible art, and vote throughout the day (up until 4:30 pm) for their favorite entries. A reception from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm will include a “real” cake, so that attendees won’t be tempted to taste the entries! All entries will automatically be entered into the festival’s friendly competition for “best in category” and prizes will be awarded by the official judges:

We especially encourage people to enter one of their own creations–you don’t have to be a food artist to enter! The deadline for entering the event is April 7, 2014. For more information, online entry form, and photos from past festivals, see the website:

Join us for this community engaging event and support the promotion of creativity and reading through libraries.

Liz Nevers, Administrator
Jenna Hillmer, Student Assistant

Friends of the UW -Madison Libraries
330H Memorial Library
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608-265-2505
Fax: 608-265-2754

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Literary Conference Planned for May in Oshkosh

Here’s news from the Oshkosh Public Library:

Lakefly Literary Conference 2014

Gain insight in the craft and business of writing at the Lakefly Literary Conference 2014, a two-day conference on May 9-10, for beginning and established writers of all genres at the Oshkosh Premier Waterfront Hotel and Convention Center in Oshkosh, WI.

Scheduled speakers include: best-selling author Hallie Ephron, novelist John DeDakis, journalist Bill Lueders, poet Bruce Dethlefsen, romance writers Ruthie Knox and Juliet Rosetti, local author D.B. Rouse, humorist Kelli Dunham, mystery writer Jon Loomis, fantasy writer Scott Lynch, Oshkosh novelists Daisy Jerico and Tom Cannon, young adult author Shelley Tougas, writer/psychic Sherri Lee Devereau, and author Barry Wightman.

The conference will bring keynote speakers Hallie Ephron and John DeDakis, as well as the opportunity to attend breakout sessions to enrich and expand upon your writing skills.

Registration for the conference is $60, and includes Saturday lunch, coffee, beverages, and snacks. If you sign up before April 1 you’ll save $15 off the registration fee.

For more information, or to register, visit our website at can also register by mailing a check, payable to “Lakefly Literary Conference,” to Ruth Percey at Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Avenue Oshkosh, WI 54901.

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WFOP News, Readings and Conferences

From Cathryn Cofell, PR Coordinator for Sarah Gilbert, Poetry Reading Series Coordinator (and WFOP Regional VP):

Monday, April 21, 6:30 p.m., Harmony Cafe, Appleton – Paul Scot August and Robert Vaughan

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) Fox Valley Poetry Series meets at Harmony Café, 233 E. College Ave, Appleton on the third Monday of every month except December (the first Monday). 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.

Poet Paul Scot August is originally from Chicago but has spent the 2nd half of his life now in Wisconsin. He has an MA in Creative Writing from UW-Milwaukee. He is a former poetry editor of The Cream City Review and has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. His poetry has appeared in Mead: the Magazine of Literature & Libations, Lindenwood Review, Louisville Review, South Dakota ReviewTygerburning, Connotation-Press, Midwestern Gothic, Los Angeles Review, Dunes Review, Naugatuck River Review, Passages North and elsewhere. He currently lives in the Milwaukee area with his two children.

Robert Vaughan leads writing roundtables at Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. His writing has appeared in over 400 print and online journals. He was former fiction editor at Thunderclap! and is senior flash fiction editor at JMWW, as well as poetry and fiction editor at  Lost in Thought magazine. Published books include Flash Fiction Fridays, a poetry chapbook called Microtones, and a book of short-form stories called Diptychs, Triptychs, Lipsticks and Dipshits.  Robert’s first full-length collection, Addicts & Basements, was just released by Civil Coping Mechanisms .



MAR 25 DAVID GRAHAM AT APPLEBLOSSOM BOOKS:  The reading takes place at 6:30 pm at Apple Blossom Books, 200 E City Center, Oshkosh.   David Graham has published six collections of poetry, including Stutter Monk (Flume Press) and Second Wind (Texas Tech University Press).  He also co-edited (with Kate Sontag) the essay anthology After Confession: Poetry as Confession from Graywolf Press.  He is Professor of English at Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin. An open mic will follow where participants may read one or two of their own poems or poems by others that they love.   Come early and enjoy a meal or grab a cup of coffee at Caramel Crisp and Café whose inner doors connect with the bookstore.

MAR 28 Making It Speak: Poets and Artists in Cahoots, EBCO ARTWORKS, 1201 Erie Avenue Sheboygan:  Members of the Mead Library Poetry Circle and the Sheboygan Visual Artists will present a unique, secretly collaborative exhibit which is free and open to the public, showcasing poems inspired by art and art inspired by poems.  Refreshments will be served during a reception from 6-10pm. Poems featured in the exhibit will be read beginning at 7:30pm. Most of the 17 participating artists and 16 poets have never met and have not yet seen one another’s response to their art form.  The exhibit may also be viewed March 29-30, April 5-6, and April 12-13 from 10am to 4pm.  Participating poets are Jean Biegun, Gerald Bertsch, Sylvia Cavanaugh, Karl Elder, Kathryn Gahl, Nancy Harrison Durdin, Dawn Hogue, Maryann Hurtt, Mary Kunert, Joanne Lensink, Jodie Liedke, Leighanne Metter-Jensen, Georgia Ressmeyer, Clarke Ross, Lisa Vihos, and Marilyn Zelke-Windau. For further information please contact Marilyn Windau at 920-467-6614 or Georgia Ressmeyer at 920-457-6172.

WED, APR 2, ARTHUR STRINGER AT RIPON COLLEGE: 7:30 PM, North Reading Room of Lane Library. An award-winning poet from West Virginia, Stringer will be presenting work from his most recent collection of poems, Late Breaking, published in 2013 by Salmon Poetry.  His visit is being sponsored by the Ripon College Visiting Writers Series, with assistance from the Schang Family Visiting Writer Fund.  For more information, contact David Graham, Department of English, at 748-8722.


This year offers 50 authors and 75 events lined up for your enjoyment, including a great day of Poetry &… (Poetry & Translation, Poetry & Music, Poetry & Art) on Sunday, April 13.  Printed programs available at most venues, including local libraries, UW-Fox Valley, Lawrence University and Atlas Coffee Mill. Follow this link for  an electronic copy of the program or visit .

TUES, APR 8 STUDENT INVITATIONAL, presented by the Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective:  7:00 p.m. at THELMA Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan Street in Fond du Lac.  Council for Wisconsin Writers 2012 prize-winning authors will read from recent work.  This annual event features area college and university students reading their fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  Open mic follows.  Refreshments and good company happening at THELMA.

WED, APR 9 ESTELLA LAUTER, featured at the DICKINSON POETRY SERIES: On the second Wednesday of every month the Dickinson Poetry Series features a reading by a local or regional poet followed by an open mic and reception. The public is welcome, and admission is free.  7:00 p.m. at the UUF, 10341 Highway 42 in Ephraim.  For more information visit or call 920.854.7559.



 WED, APR 2  CREATIVE WRITERS WORKSHOP at the Kress Family Branch Library in De Pere (333 N. Broadway). 6-8 p.m. Bring poems or short prose to read, along with copies for critique.  A group for networking and support.  Contact John with any questions:




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Wisconsinite’s Poem Reaches National Audience



Wisconsin poet Karla Huston’s poem “Sway” is featured on the website American Life in Poetry with introduction by 2004-2006 U. S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. The link to the poem is Pasted in below is Karla’s poem and Ted’s intro.


Considering that I’m a dog lover, I haven’t included nearly enough dog poems in this column. My own dog, Howard, now in his dotage, has never learned a trick of any kind, nor learned to behave, so I admire Karla Huston for having the patience to teach her dog something. Huston lives in Wisconsin.


The cruelest thing I did to my dog
wasn’t to ignore his barking for water
when his tongue hung like a deflated balloon
or to disregard his chronic need for a belly rub
but to teach him to shake hands,
a trick that took weeks of treats, his dark eyes
like Greek olives, moist with desire.
I made him sit, another injustice,
and allowed him to want the nuggets enough
to please me. Shake, I said. Shake?
touching the back of his right leg
until he lifted it, his saliva trickling
from soft jowls, my hand wet with his hunger.
Mistress of the biscuit, I ruffled his ears
and said good dog until he got it. Before long,
he raised his paw, shook me until he got
the treat, the rub, the water in a chilled silver bowl,
the wilderness in him gone, his eyes still lit with longing.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Karla Huston from her most recent book of poems, A Theory of Lipstick, Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Karla Huston and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.



















Read more about Karla at Read about the Council for Wisconsin Writers and other board members at

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Best-Selling, Oprah Book Club Author/Wisconsin Native Appearing at Mount Mary

Following is a news release from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee:Christina Schwarz

Writers, book clubs and reading fans can meet Wisconsin author up-close with salon-style presentation and author reception

MILWAUKEE (March 21, 2014) – As part of its ongoing Writers on Writing series, Mount Mary University’s Master of Arts in English program is bringing bestselling author and Wisconsin native Christina Schwarz to campus on Tuesday, April 15, 6:30 p.m., Helfaer Hall, 2900 N. Menomonee River Parkway, Milwaukee.

“We’re so pleased to give Milwaukee area writers and readers the chance to meet a nationally-recognized author in an engaging, personal setting,” stated Ann Angel, Chair of Mount Mary’s Graduate English Program. “We especially look forward to giving book clubs the opportunity to submit questions in advance and have their photograph taken with the author,” she added.

Schwarz will read from her latest book, The Edge of the Earth (Atria Books), discuss her life, approach to writing and how she generates ideas. She’ll also participate in a salon-style interview, answer audience questions and discuss her other works. Schwarz’s previous novels include Drowning Ruth, a New York Times bestseller and Oprah book club selection, and All Is Vanity, a black comedy about writing.

Publisher’s Weekly describes The Edge of the Earth as “impressive” and the New York Times praised the book’s “skillful storytelling.” The novel begins in the late 1890’s and follows a young woman as she makes unexpected decisions that lead her across the country to a remote lighthouse on the wild California coast where she uncovers a life-changing secret.

Schwarz grew up in Pewaukee, earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from Yale, and now lives in southern California.

A reception featuring desserts and a wine and beer cash bar, as well as a book-signing with the author, will take place before and after the presentation. Book clubs that submit author questions in advance will have an opportunity to have their photo taken with the author.

The event is free and open to the public but space is limited. To reserve a space, or submit your book club’s question, contact Karen Murray, or 414-258-4810, ext. 395.

 For More Information:

Susan Shimshak, 414-256-1221

Mount Mary University, founded in 1913 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, was Wisconsin’s first four-year, degree-granting Catholic institution for women. Located on an 80-acre campus in Milwaukee, the University offers more than 30 undergraduate majors for women and eight graduate programs for women and men. Mount Mary also emphasizes study abroad, service learning, and social justice initiatives. Its nearly 1500 students enjoy small class sizes (average 14) and over 90 percent of full-time students receive financial aid or scholarships. Through academic offerings, research opportunities, access to real life industry experience, and community service, Mount Mary develops individuals to be leaders in their professions and their communities, serving as role models to inspire achievement in others. Visit Mount Mary at


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