Monthly Archives: November 2014

Meet Wisconsin Authors on Small Business Saturday

A few Wisconsin authors are helping local bookstores and businesses on Nov. 29 promote Business Saturday and their own books by talking to customers about their books and having books available to sign and sell. Here is a list of those we know about so far:
Bridget Birdsall  — Author of Double Exposure and Ordinary Angels         
Will be at A Room of Ones Own,
315 W Gorham St, Madison, WI 53703
Phone:(608) 257-7888
From  10:00 a.m.-noon
Jesse Klausmeier   —  Author of Open This Little Book
A Room of One’s Own  
From  Noon-2:00 p.m.
Emily Kokie  — Author of Personal Effects
A Room of Ones Own
From   2:00-4:00 p.m.
Sandy Brehl — Author of Odin’s Promise
Open House Imports
308 E Main St, Mt Horeb, WI 53572
Phone:(608) 437-5468
From  Noon-2:00 p.m.
Pat Schmatz  — Author of Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O., MousetrapsCircle of Truth and Bluefish
Addendum Bookstore
165 Western Ave. N, #14
St. Paul, MN 55102
From  2:00-4:00 p.m.


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WOW — Waters of Wisconsin

Here’s a blog some Wisconsin writers might find interesting — and possibly a source of inspiration:

It’s maintained by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters and focuses on all things waters of Wisconsin.

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WI People & Ideas Contests Deadline Looms

From Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters’ Jason A. Smith

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WFOP Swan Song at Harmony Cafe; Needs New Home

From Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Cathryn Cofell-Mutschler
It’s hard to believe that Monday, December 1 will be the final poetry reading at Harmony Cafe in Appleton.  We’ve been there since June 2005!  We’re grateful to Goodwill Industries for making it a special place to celebrate poetry and meet new friends.
Please join us on for that final reading on December 1 at 6:30 p.m., 233 E. College Ave:  
Featuring Steve and Jeanie Tomasko, exceptional poets and editors of the 2015 WFOP Poets’ Calendar,  spiral-bound 5½” x 8½” anthology with a page of poetry facing each calendar week.  The calendar features art by Ralph Murre and poems from over 200 poets.  Steve and Jeanie will discuss the selection process and read work from the calendar.  Poets featured in this calendar will be invited up to read.
Double feature:  please bring another poem you love as farewell to Harmony Cafe — one you’ve heard or shared or wrote while at Harmony, or wish you’d written!  
For more information contact Sarah Gilbert at

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Long-time CWW Supporter Dies

With the death this week of Dorothy Tofte, the Council for Wisconsin Writers lost a long-time advocate and supporter. Dorothy, 98, was the wife of prolific science fiction and fantasy writer Arthur R. Tofte. Although Dorothy’s impressive career in nursing spanned many decades, according to the Becker Ritter Funeral Home, which posted this notice, both she and Arthur, who died in 1980, were devoted members of CWW. The CWW Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award was named in honor of the Toftes and Dorothy’s friend, children’s author Betty Ren Wright.

Following are CWW member tributes to Dorothy:

CWW President Geoff Gilpin

  • I was deeply saddened to learn of Dorothy’s passing. She and her husband Arthur were pillars of our organization over the decades. In recent years, we’ve missed her quiet graciousness at our annual awards banquet. Her generosity lives on through the Tofte/Wright Award, presented annually for the best work of children’s literature by a Wisconsin writer. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. Wisconsin has lost a great supporter of the arts.

Geoff Gilpin

President, Council for Wisconsin Writer

Posted on Dorothy’s online memorial page

  • In the early ’90s, when I was first getting started with Redbird Studio, Dorothy Tofte and her friend, Betty Ren Wright (sp?) got excited about the classes for adults and kids and wanted to be part of it. Betty always cheered us on. Dorothy went another step. She climbed the four flights of stairs to the studio, attended workshops, helped encourage the writers, and contributed to the young writers scholarship fund. Whenever she saw me, she asked how things were going at the studio and she didn’t mean to get a general answer, she wanted details. What were people writing? How many more had been published? Was I still working with inner city schools? Did that lady finish writing about her son?
            She and Betty were not only friends, they were champions who worked behind the scenes to help “the young ones” along. I’m grateful to have seemed like one of “the young ones”
            to them.
           As I write this, I realize it’s my turn to “help the young ones.” I hope none of them are up four flights of stairs.
        Judy Bridges
        Author, Shut Up & Write! 

        Founder, Redbird Studio
           Board member, Council for Wisconsin Writers

The Becker Ritter Funeral Home notice includes the following information about services:

Visitation will be held at the Funeral Home on Monday, November 24, at 11:30 a.m., with lunch following. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award or a charity of your choice.


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Harmony Cafe to Close

Here’s not-so-happy news from Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Cathryn Cofell:

“We’ve recently been informed that Goodwill will be closing Harmony Cafe in Appleton (and Green Bay) by the end of this year.  More on the story below if interested:

We are working to find a new venue for our reading series but while looking, will use this as an opportunity to survey all of you about your preferences for the future.  Please watch for that survey and take the time to respond.  Thank you for your patience and support as we make this shift.

Meanwhile, two readings remain before the close of the cafe.  Please join us tomorrow to hear Jeffrey & Joan Johannes and read one or two of your own.  We’ve decided to expand the December reading to include a celebration of our many years at Harmony, so hope you can all come out to hear poems read from the WFOP Calendar and share a poem you’ve previously read at Harmony.

Dates & details below.

Cathryn Cofell & Sarah Gilbert

Monday, NOVEMBER 17, 6:30 p.m., Harmony Cafe, Appleton​, 233 E. College Ave, Appleton:

JOAN & JEFFREY JOHANNES — Joan Wiese Johannes’s fourth chapbook, He Thought the Periodic Table Was a Portrait of God, was published last fall by Finishing Line press and includes the 2011 regional winner of the Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest and award winners in contests sponsored by Peninsula Pulse and Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Her previously published chapbook, Sensible Shoes, was the 2009 winner of the John and Miriam Morris Chapbook contest sponsored by the AL Poetry Society. Joan agrees with the stage manager in Our Town  who said that only poets and saints truly appreciate life while living it.

In 2013 Jeffrey Johannes’s first chapbook, Ritual for Beginning Again, was published, he received a Pushcart nomination, and was an award winner in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Triad contest. He also won the 2012 Hal Grutzmacher Poetry Award sponsored by Peninsula Pulse, and his poetry has been published in various journals and anthologies. Jeffrey is also an artist and cartoonist, making what he calls “pometoons”, which are cartoon versions of his poems.

Featured reader(s) at 6:30 pm, brief open mic after.


​Monday, ​Dec 1​, 6:30 pm, 2015 WFOP Calendar reading with editors Steve and Jeannie Tomasko – bring a poem from the calendar, yours or one you love​ AND Farewell to Harmony Cafe Reading Series – ​bring a poem you’ve heard or shared and help us bid Harmony adieu.

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They’re Baaaack! (A Poem)

Here’s the link to Wisconsin poet and past Wisconsin poet laureate Marilyn Taylor’s poem on “Your Daily Poem”.

How true, how true, Marilyn! Here’s a link to more information about Marilyn, who is a member of the Council for Wisconsin Writers board of directors:


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