Monthly Archives: January 2015

Get CWW Contest Entries Mailed by Jan. 31

It’s not too late! But after Saturday, it will be. Jan. 31 is the deadline for the Council for Wisconsin Writers contests entries. Wisconsin writers are encouraged to submit book-length and short form work– categories and rules are at —  that was published in the 2014 calendar year to get them in the mail by midnight Saturday.


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“Objectionable” Verse Shunned by Powers-That-Be

Two stories in the news the past couple of days might be of interest to writers in Wisconsin, even though these events occurred in other states. One is about the South Carolina poet laureate. Here’s the headline:

 S.C. poet laureate will not be allowed to recite poem at Haley inauguration

The other is about a poem in Arizona. Here’s the headline on that one:

Arizona Education Officials Say It’s Illegal To Recite This Poem In School

Members of the Council for Wisconsin Writers thought these stories are important and worth posting on this blog as they relate to the role and risks of public art..

In honor of both poets whose work is in question, here are the first few lines of their poems with links to the stories which printed them in their entirety. First, S.C. Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth’s poem:

I know there’s something better down the road.

                                                                                                   – Elizabeth Alexander

                                                         Because our history is a knot

                                                        we try to unravel, while others

                                                        try to tighten it, we tire easily

                                                        and fray the cords that bind us.

And here are the first few lines of and link to the poem by Chicano playright Luis Valdes, which, according to the story, “aims to instill ideas of empathy and integrity:

In Lak’ech

Tú eres mi otro yo.

You are my other me.

Si te hago daño a ti,

If I do harm to you,

Me hago daño a mi mismo.

I do harm to myself.

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‘Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist’ Author on Radio this Thursday

Wisconsin children’s author and previous Council for Wisconsin Writers award winner Jacqueline Jaeger Houtman is doing a radio interview Thursday, Jan. 15, on The Kathleen Dunn Show about her new book, BAYARD RUSTIN: THE INVISIBLE ACTIVIST, which she co-authored with Walter Naegle and Michael G. Long. Jacqueline will be on Kathleen’s 2 p.m. broadcast,. The program will be available for listening online after it airs on Wisconsin Public Radio stations.
Go to CWW’s website  at to see the listing for Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award Jacqueline won in 2010 for her middle-grade novel The Reinvention of Edison Thomas.
The deadline for contests for work published in 2014 is the end of this month — Jan. 31. For entry rules and forms, go here:

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Wisconsin Has a New Poet Laureate!


Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts & Letters has announced that Kimberly Blaeser of Burlington has been named Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-2016. Here’s the WASAL news release:

January 7, 2015
Contact: William Stobb, chair, Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission
                Jason A. Smith, communications director, Wisconsin Academy

Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission
Names Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015–2016

MADISON—The Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission has selected Kimberly Blaeser of Burlington, Wisconsin, as the Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015–2016. The Commission praised Blaeser’s ability to reach a broad audience through her diverse and captivating works: poems exploring Native culture and family; poems of place and the environment; poems of witness; poems centered in the female experience, humor, and irony; even “picto-poems” that combine artwork with verse.
Speaking about her recent selection as Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Blaeser calls it “a wonderful honor and an opportunity [to] celebrate the state’s rich resources in poetry and put poetry to work in Wisconsin.”

Of Anishinaabe ancestry and a native of White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota, Blaeser lives with her family in rural Lyons Township, near Burlington, Wisconsin. Blaeser works as Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing. When she isn’t busy writing, teaching, transporting her daughter to sporting events, or tracking her son’s college career, Blaeser finds time for wilderness expeditions and wildlife and nature photography. Her current creative project features “picto-poems” that bring together her poetry and photography to explore intersecting ideas about nature, Native place, and spiritual sustenance.
Blaeser is the author of three acclaimed poetry collections—Apprenticed to Justice (2007), Absentee Indians and Other Poems (2002), andTrailing You (1994)—that have earned national as well as international recognition. Her poems have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Norwegian, Indonesian, and Anishinaabemowin. Blaeser has performed her poetry at over two hundred different venues in a dozen different countries, including performances at the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia and in a Fire Ceremony at the Borderlands Museum Grounds in arctic Norway.
Blaeser is active in service to literature, the arts, and social justice. Most recently, she initiated the Milwaukee Native American Literary Cooperative which helped to bring 75 Native American writers to Milwaukee for the 20th Anniversary Returning the Gift Festival of Native Writers and Storytellers in 2012. Blaeser currently serves on the editorial board for the American Indian Lives Series of the University of Nebraska Press, and for the Native American Series of Michigan State University Press. In the past, she has served on the advisory board for the Sequoyah Research Center and Native American Press Archives and on the Poetry Fellowship Panel for the National Endowment of the Arts, and has been a member of the Native American Alumni Board for the University of Notre Dame.
Blaeser will take over for Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland, who has served the state admirably since January 2013. Blaeser will receive funding, marketing and other support from the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission under the active stewardship of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. The Commission consists of eleven poets and lovers of poetry from across the state, including member organization representatives from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Wisconsin Arts Board, Wisconsin Center for the Book, Wisconsin Humanities Council, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and Wisconsin Academy. Each year as Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Blaeser will receive a $2,000 stipend and week-long residency at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, in addition to a commemorative broadside, project grant funding from the Wisconsin Arts Board, and other recognition opportunities.
Blaeser has plans for a monthly radio program where she will feature Wisconsin poets and poetry events already in the works, and she would like to draw upon her past experience in editing anthologies to bring the poetry of Wisconsin writers to press for Wisconsin readers. Blaser would also like to bring poetry into more public spaces and events—to unusual places like the Horicon Bird Festival, to baseball games, flower shows, and sushi bars. Indeed, Blaeser is brimming with ideas. She notes that at “some point in the history of this country, poetry got a bad rap. Those who love poetry, but especially those who read or pen poetry in private, need permission and encouragement to be the shining poetry nerds they may long to be!”
For more information on Kimberly Blaeser, the new Wisconsin Poet Laureate, or to learn more about program sponsors the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and Wisconsin Academy, please visit


Congratulations to Kimberly from the Council for Wisconsin Writers

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Seen on CWW Facebook Page

Posted by CWW board member Lisa Vihos:

CWW board member Jeff Winke has a lovely short essay on the topic of “the voyeur” in a very cool online publication called madswirl. As writers, we can all easily relate to this. Check it out friends:

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WFOP Coming Attractions

Here’s news of upcoming events for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets:

MON, JAN 12, the WFOP Poetry Series moves to its new home at Copper Rock Café, 210 W. College Ave, Appleton.  We invite you to arrive by 6:45 or earlier to get refreshments and sign up for the open reading, with the featured readers beginning promptly at 7, followed by an open reading.  First up:  Thomas J. Erickson and C. Kubasta.  

Thomas J. Erickson grew up in Kohler, Wisconsin.  He received a BA from Beloit College in English Composition and a law degree from Marquette University.  His poems have appeared in numerous publications including The Los Angeles Review, Quiddity International Literary Review, Mad Poet’s Review, The New Poet, and Slant. , His chapbook, “The Lawyer Who Died in the Courthouse Bathroom” (Parallel Press, 2013) was awarded second place in the 2014 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Contest.    He is an attorney in Milwaukee where he is a member of the Hartford Avenue Poets.

C. Kubasta attended Wells College and received an MFA in poetry from The University of Notre Dame.  Her work experiments with hybrid forms, excerpted text, and shifting voices. A Lovely Boxwas published by Finishing Line Press in 2013 and won the 2014 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Prize. Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals, including So To Speak, Stand, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Verse Wisconsin, and The Notre Dame Review. Check out her website: She currently teaches English and Gender Studies at Marian University, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She lives with her beloved John, cat Cliff, and dog Ursula.

For more information, contact Sarah Gilbert at


Feb 16: Andrew McSorley, Melissa Hope Range, Charles Austin Segrest

Mar 16: Richard Swanson and Timothy Walsh

Apr 20: Lawrence University Students



TUES, JAN 6 at ​ 7 p.m.:  ​The Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective in partnership with Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts  presents the FAVORITE POEM PROJECT:  local “celebs” and the audience are invited up to read a poem from a favorite poet (not one of their own).  Check out! THELMA, 51 Sheboygan Street, Fond du Lac, WI.  The event is free. Refreshments are available.

WED, JAN 14 at 7:00 P.M. DAVID CLOWERS, 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.

 THURS., JAN 27, DAVID CLOWERS at CARAMEL CRISP, 200 E City Center, Oshkosh at 6:15pm: We are now reading in the game room beyond the cafe portion of the building. Pick up your edibles, walk on back.  You’ll take a little jog to the left and keep on til you see us. It is not far. The section is cozy and much quieter so we may all hear better. So come early to treat yourself to coffee, dessert or other goodies to enjoy during the 6:15 reading. Tom ​is the ​author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013, read.  An open mic will follow where participants may read a poem of their own or one that they love.

​ So please come early and treat yourself to coffee, dessert or other goodies to enjoy during the reading which begins promptly at 6:15.  This will allow us time for a few minutes of visiting before Caramel Crisp closes at 7:30Looking forward to seeing you at the beginning of another wonderful year of POETRY in Oshkosh.

Last Thursdays, 6-8 pm:

​Featured Reader(s) + Open mic at ​The Readers Loft | 2069 Central Ct, Suite 44, Green Bay, WI 54311 | (920) 406-0200 |

JANUARY 29  Estella Lauter
FEBRUARY 26  Sarah Gilbert, Mark Falcone
MARCH 26  Bobbie Lovell, F.J. Bergman
APRIL 30 Phil Hansotia, Wendy Schmidt
MAY 28  Tim Walsh, Kathryn Gahl
JUNE 25  Abraham Smith
JULY 30  Ching-In Chen
AUGUST 27  Bruce Dethlefsen, Cathryn Cofell, Karla Huston
SEPTEMBER 24  Marilyn Windau, Georgia Ressmeyer

OCTOBER 29  Steve Tomasko, Jeanie Tomasko, CX Dillhunt



 WED, JAN 7 6-8 P.M. CREATIVE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP, Kress Family Branch Library, 333 N. Broadway, De Pere.  A monthly group gathering of adult writers seeking networking and support.  Bring poems or short prose to read along with copies for critique. 



VISIT THE WFOP WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MULTIPLE CONTESTS with differing deadlines, including the 2014 Chapbook Prize, and the 65th Anniversary Contest.

January 31 deadline for the Council for Wisconsin Writers Awards!  Visit for more information.

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Energizer Poet Keeps Publishing and Publishing

Former Wisconsin Poet Laureate and Council for Wisconsin Writers board member Marilyn Taylor has done it again — or rather, is still going strong! Here’s the link to two of her poems published in the Winter 2014-2015 issue of Life and Legends literary magazine. Here’s the link:

Congratulations, Marilyn.

More about Marilyn and CWW is at

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