Contributors' Notes

Photo by Martha Kaplan

Helen Ambuel has had a lifelong interest in poetry.  About 4 years ago she decided to pursue her interest more seriously and joined an evening noncredit poetry class at UW-Waukesha under the tutelage of Phil Zweifel, and now Margaret Rozga. She has a Masters in Biology and is a former high school/community college science teacher.

Antler, former poet laureate of Milwaukee, is the author of Selected Poems, Ever-Expanding Wilderness, Deathrattles vs. Comecries, and Exclamation Points ad Infinitum! His work appears in the recent anthologies Poets Against the War; Poetic Voices Without Borders 2; Best Gay Poetry 2008; Comeback Wolves: Welcoming the Wolf Home and Wilderness Blessings

Judith Arcana writes poems, stories, essays and books, publishing online and on paper. Her newest books (2012) are a fiction folio (Keesha and Joanie and Jane – Eberhardt Press) and a poetry chapbook (The Parachute Jump Effect – Uttered Chaos Press). Visit her website to read excerpts from them and other good stuff:

Janine Arseneau lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Linda Aschbrenner lives in Marshfield and is presently lost in the 1950s as she works on a book of family memories with her two sisters, Elda Lepak and Mavis Flegle.

Maureen Ash and her husband live in western Wisconsin.

Peter Austin’s poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the USA, Canada, the UK and several other countries.  His first collection, A Many-Splendored Thing, was published in July 2010, and his second, I Am Janus, in May, 2012. A  third collection, of longer poems, On Occasion, has been accepted by White Violet Press and will appear towards the end of the year. His summer plans included driving through part of Wisconsin and a night spent in Milwaukee. 

Peggy Aylsworth’s poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, The MacGuffin, Ars Interpes (Sweden), Chiron Review, and Rattle, is forthcoming in Poetry Salzburg Review and in numerous other literary journals throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Recently, one of her poems was nominated by The Medulla Review for a Pushcart Prize.

Gerald Bahr, Vietnam veteran and  U.S. Marine, earned his Masters of Arts degree from UW-LaCrosse in 1974. He taught English for a year at Naha Koza, Shogakuin, Japan, another three years at Condobolin High School in New South Wales, Australia, and twenty years at Boyceville High School in Boyceville, Wisconsin. He passed away in 2009 of esophageal cancer, but left these poems for his wife, Jane, who has kindly shared them with Verse Wisconsin.

Jane-Marie Bahr lives on the edge of a marsh in northwestern Wisconsin. When not reading books or writing poems, she tends to her late husband’s perennial gardens. She has an MST degree from UW-Whitewater and taught high school English at Whitewater HS.

Jonathan Balcerak lives in suburban Milwaukee where he teaches English and coaches Forensics.

Damian Balassone’s writing has appeared in a variety of Australian and international publications, including Overland, Arena Magazine, Eureka Street, Australian Rationalist, The Mozzie, New Formalist, Lucid Rhythms, Time of Singing, Tongues of the Ocean, and Green Left Weekly.  His second full-length volume of poetry is forthcoming from Ginninderra Press in early 2013.

Jan Ball teaches ESL at DePaul University in Chicago. She was a nun for seven years in Milwaukee. Since then, she has married, raised a family, written a doctoral dissertation, and published her poems in multiple journals and magazines. A member of the Poetry Club of Chicago, her chapbook Accompanying Spouse is available from Finishing Line Press.

Phyllis Beckman has self- published one book. She wrote a poem, then another and so forth, collected them in ring-bound notebooks, gifted them, sold them and so forth. Circulation: seventeen. So far.

Gerard Beirne was born in Ireland and now lives in Canada.  He is a past recipient of The Sunday Tribune/Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year award. His collection of poetry, Digging My Own Grave, was published by Dedalus Press, Dublin.  His collection, Games of Chance: A Gambler’s Manual, is forthcoming form Oberon. He has published two novels, and his short story "Sightings of Bono" was adapted for film featuring Bono.

Michael Belongie, a past president of the WFOP and coeditor of the 2007 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar has five published collections of poems; his most recent collection, Now Is All We Have, was co-exhibited  with selected oils and water colors of notable nature and wild-life artist, Jonathan Wilde in 2010.

Chloe Benjamin is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she teaches in the English department at Edgewood College. She is at work on a novel.

Linda Benninghoff was most recently published in Canary, a journal of the environmental crisis and Poets and Artists. She has an MA in English with an emphasis on creative writing from Stony Brook.  Her book, Whose Cries Are Not Music, was reviewed in Verse Wisconsin.

Mike Berger is an MFA, PhD. He is retired and writes poetry and short stories full time. He has been writing poetry for less than two years. His work appears in seventy-one journals. He has published two books of short stories and seven poetry chapbooks and is a member of The Academy of  American Poets.

B.J. Best is the author of State Sonnets (sunnyoutside) and Birds of Wisconsin (New Rivers Press).  Two books are forthcoming in 2013:  I got off the train at Ash Lake (sunnyoutside), from which the King of Milwaukee sections are drawn, and But Our Princess Is in Another Castle (Rose Metal Press).  He owns, plays, and torments others with a ukelin.

Michael Biehl’s poetry has appeared in Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion,  Callaloo, The  Comstock Review, Snail Mail Review, and a number of other magazines.  Currently he is an instructor of English as a Second Language to foreign university students and business executives.  

David Blackey has lived in the La Crosse area since 1977. He is a retired attorney whose professional career entailed civil rights. He recently sat on the board of ACLU-Wi. His children have left for the sunnier climes of CA but return frequently with his three grandchildren.

Kimberly Blaeser, a Professor in the English Department at UW-Milwaukee, teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing. Among her publications are three books of poetry: Trailing YouAbsentee Indians and Other Poems, and Apprenticed to Justice, as well as the edited volume Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry.

Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born UK national who lives in Lima, Peru. All the native people in Peru would have come across the Behring Street at one moment during the Wisconsin Glaciation. And she married one of them. Her first poetry collection, Tangents, was published in 2011.

Peter Branson lives in Rode Heath, a village in South Cheshire, England. A former teacher and lecturer, he now organizes writing workshops. Over the last four years he has had work published, or accepted for publication, by many mainstream poetry journals in Britain. He has also had poems published in USA, Canada, EIRE, Australia and New Zealand. 

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Sara Burr grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California. Seeking four seasons, she relocated from southern California to Wisconsin in 1974 and lives in Middleton, Wisconsin. She is a retired educator and civil servant whose poetry reflects both her love of the natural world and fascination with politics. 

Jeff Burt was born and raised in Wisconsin in small towns, spent several years in Adams County, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

With a bachelor’s degree in English from UW-Stevens-Point, Thomas Cannon has been writing for many years while working as a special education teacher and living in Oshkosh.  He has had poems published in Literary Mary, Leaf Garden, The Poetry Explosion Newsletter, and Wisconsin Poets' Calendar. His short stories have been widely published as well.

Brenda Cárdenas is the author of Boomerang (Bilingual Press, 2009) and From the Tongues of Brick and Stone (Momotombo Press, Institute for Latino/a Studies, 2005). She co-edited Between the Heart and the Land: Latina Poets in the Midwest (MARCH/Abrazo Press, 2001). Cardenas’ work has appeared widely, including The Wind Shifts: The New Latino Poetry, RATTLE, Prairie Schooner, Pilgrimage, Brute Neighbors: Urban Nature Poetry, Prose and Photography, Cream City Review, and Verse Wisconsin. She is Milwaukee’s most recent Poet Laureate. 

Cris Carusi is an amateur chocolatier and poet. Professionally, she works with organic and sustainable farmers across Wisconsin.

E. Gail Chandler retired from Kentucky Corrections.  She's written two books: Sunflowers on Market Street (nonfiction) and Where the Red Road Meets the Sky (poetry).  When the Marine Corps turned her loose in 1967, she drove through Wisconsin in a gray Volkswagen.

Sherry Chandler is the author of Weaving a New Eden, a collection of persona and formal poems in the voices of women who featured in the history of her home state, Kentucky. Look for her work in Kestrel, The Cortland Review, and the South Carolina Review. Chandler lived in Chicago for six years during the 70s during which time she is sorry to say she never once traveled over into Wisconsin. She is, however, a Facebook friend of former WI poet laureate Marilyn Taylor. 

JoAnn Chang is the door for Poet's Monday at Linneman's and Tuesday Night Open Mike at Miramar. She is open to the whispers of wild imagination and she’s fond of nonsense and fantasy.

Robin Chapman is author of seven books of poetry, most recently the eelgrass meadow (Tebot Bach). She is recipient of the 2010 Helen Howe Poetry Prize from Appalachia. Her poems have appeared recently in Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, and Wilderness.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). She is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow, part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and has been a participant in Sharon Bridgforth's Theatrical Jazz Institute.  

Dr. Lucia Cherciu is a Professor of English at SUNY / Dutchess in Poughkeepsie, NY, and she received her Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2000. Her poetry appeared in Paterson Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Cortland Review, Memoir (and), Legacies, Spillway, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, Off the Coast, and many other literary magazines, both in English and in Romanian. Her book of poetry Lepădarea de Limbă (The Abandonment of Language) was published in 2009 by Editura Vinea in Bucharest. Her second book, Altoiul Râsului (Grafted Laughter) was published by Editura Brumar in 2010.

Kelly Cherry's newest collection, The Life and Death of Poetry, will be published by L.S.U. Press in spring 2013. She is formerly Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia and a member of the Electorate of Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Michael Cirelli is the Executive Director of Urban Word NYC and also the director of the Annual Spoken Word & Hip-Hop Teacher & Community Leader Training Institute at the University of Wisconsin (Hip Hop in the Heartland), and the annual Preemptive Education conference at NYU. He is the author of the award-winning teaching guide, Hip-Hop Poetry & the Classics (Milk Mug, 2004), and most recently, The Poetry Jam (Recorded Books, 2010). His debut poetry collection, Lobster with Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Hanging Loose, 2008) was a NY Times Book Review independent press best seller, and his second collection, Vacations on the Black Star Line (Hanging Loose, 2010) was a Paterson Poetry Prize finalist.

DeWitt Clinton has just finished a long career of teaching and mentoring students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  His essay on travelling in Poland has just appeared in Cultural Studies<=>Critical Methodologies.  His newest poetry collection is an adaptation of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese.

Naomi Cochran lives in northern Wisconsin near Hayward.

Barbara Crooker’s books are Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book competition and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize;  Line Dance,(Word Press 2008), which won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; and More (C & R Press, 2010).  She lives and writes in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, but has a fondness for Wisconsin writing, based on the excellence she found when she judged the Lorine Niedecker and the Posner awards.

T. A. (Tom) Cullen lives in Madison Wisconsin. He is a poet who has been published in the WFOP News Letter the Wisconsin Poets' Calendar 2011 and in Mused Bella Online Literary Review in the Fall of 2010. Tom has a BA degree from Cardinal Stritch University and A MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Tom has been a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets for more than a year.

Mary Cunningham lives in Madison with her husband, one daughter and that daughter’s two dogs.  Previously a computer programmer and analyst with a busy volunteer life, she now reads a lot, paints occasionally, keeps up friendships and writes poetry.

Philip Dacey is the author of eleven full-length books of poems, the latest Mosquito Operas: New and Selected Short Poems (Rain Mountain Press, 2010). His awards include three Pushcart Prizes, a Discovery Award from the New York YM-YWHA's Poetry Center, and various fellowships. The author of whole collections of poems about Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Eakins, and New York City, Dacey recently returned to Minnesota (Minneapolis) after an eight-year post-retirement adventure in Manhattan.  

Ramona Davis owns and operates Altered Words, offering publishing and proofreading services. In addition to her business ventures, Ramona holds a Diploma in Creative Writing, has facilitated poetry writing workshops through the DC Public Library for youth in underprivileged communities, holds a Certificate in Advancing Youth Development, and owned an after school program to benefit youth in at risk areas of Baltimore, MD. She has also done volunteer editing for a variety of authors.

Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Oxford American, The Midwest Quarterly, and Slipstream. Her book publications include Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar-All-in-One for Dummies, and Music Theory for Dummies, which has recently been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese.

After living in rural Brussels for 15 years, Sue De Kelver firmly believes it's her perfect place for gardening, writing and just being.

Darren C. Demaree is living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. He is the recipient of two Pushcart Prize nominations, and his first full collection, As We Refer to Our Bodies, will be released this winter by 8th House Publishing House.

Bruce Dethlefsen plays bass and sings in the musical (he hopes) duo Obvious Dog, the name taken from Wiscosnin Poet Laureate Marilyn Taylor's description of a poem "beyond resuscitation." His most recent collection is Unexpected Shiny Things (Cowfeather Press, 2011). 

CX Dillhunt is the editor of Hummingbird: Magazine of the Short Poem and the author of Things I've Never Told Anyone (Parallel Press, 2007) and Girl Saints(Fireweed Press, 2003); he's a tutor for elementary school writers workshops in Verona, and an American Red Cross volunteer at the Veterans Hospital. He was named a Commended Poet by the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission in 2010.

Drew Dillhunt is author of the chapbook 3,068,518 (Mudlark, No. 39, 2010). His writing has appeared in Eclectica, Jacket2, Tarpaulin Sky, and VOLT. His manuscript, Materials Science, was selected as a finalist for the National Poetry Series. He’s released two albums of songs, including one with the band Fighting Shy, and is a member of the Seattle art-music collaborative The Blank Department.

Richard Dinges, Jr. has an MA in literary studies from University of Iowa, and he manages business systems at an insurance company. Slant, Concho River Review, California Quarterly, Sunstone, and Miller’s Pond have most recently accepted his poems for their publications. 

Rebecca Dunham’s most recent book of poems, The Flight Cage, was published by Tupelo Press in 2010 as an open reading selection. Her first book of poems, The Miniature Room, won the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize and was published by Truman State University Press. She was the 2005-2006 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Fellow in Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing, won the 2005 Indiana Review Poetry Prize, and has received an NEA Fellowship in poetry. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including FIELD, The Antioch Review, AGNI, The Journal, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, and Crazyhorse. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

P. R. Dyjak is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she teaches creative writing, poetry, and composition.  Her chapbook Symphony for the Cutters is due out in late summer 2012 from Kattywompus Press.

R. Virgil (Ron) Ellis lives near Cambridge, Wisconsin, where he restores fifty acres of wetland and savanna. He is an Emeritus Professor who taught writing, literature and media at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. For an exploration of his work see

Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His books/chapbooks include Suckers, For the Birds, Longing for the Mother Tongue, and Waltz of the Meatballs.

Beatriz F. Fernandez was the grand prize winner of the Second Annual Writer's Digest Poetry Award; she has been published in Verse WisconsinMystic SignalsThe Lorelei Signal and Writer’s Digest. Beatriz is a Reference Librarian at Florida International University in Miami. Her connection to Wisconsin is maintained courtesy of her cousin-in-law, Jane Banning, also a writer. Beatriz blogs at:

Mavis J. Flegle enjoys gardening, Antique Club, writing, and jaunts around the Midwest with longtime friends.  Her first chapbook, Just Another Day, came out in 2010.

W. Frank is a produced playwright and published poet from Milwaukee.

Christa Gahlman
was born and raised in rural Wisconsin with a great appreciation for the intimacy of the woods, wide landscapes, and textured fields.  She is the mother of two incredible daughters and one amazing son.  She now resides in the city of Madison, and writes...and writes.

Daniel Gallik has had poetry and short stories published by Hawaii Review, Nimrod, Limestone (U of Kentucky), The Hiram Poetry Review, Aura (U of Alabama), and Whiskey Island (Cleveland State U), and various online journals.  A novel, A Story of Dumb Fate, is available at

Abby Gambrel’s poems have appeared in Cream City Review, Orion Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Georgetown Review and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received an MFA from University of California, Irvine 2008.

Rob Ganson is a 55 years young poet from the Northwoods of Wisconsin. He has published three volumes of poetry and appeared in various journals and anthologies. He tends to write on themes of nature, philosophy/politics, and the human condition.

Sue Garner was born and raised in a small town in north Georgia, and moved to NYC after completing art school.  She remembers as a kid barely being able to see out the car window, and having the feeling that she wanted to be somewhere else. She still has that feeling, and realizes it isn't about a place. It's a state of mind...a constant state of searching. Visit Sue Garner.

Hanne Gault has been published in the Wisconsin Calendar, the Pulse, and Free Verse. She won third prize in the Joanne Hirshfield  poetry contest.

Antía González Ben is a graduate student of Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Antía was born and raised in Lugo (Spain), where she learned to play the violin. She got a B.A. in Music Education ('09) and a B.A. in Social Pedagogy ('11) at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). In 2011, she received a scholarship from the Barrié Foundation to study a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison. She specialized in issues of multicultural music education. More recently, she received a scholarship from the “la Caixa” Foundation to continue a doctorate in this same field.

David Graham has taught writing and literature at Ripon College in Ripon, WI, since 1987. He is the author of six collections of poems, most recently Stutter Monk (Flume Press), and an essay anthology co-edited with Kate Sontag: After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography (Graywolf Press).

Taylor Graham's ties to Wisconsin include a cousin in Wonnewoc, helping instruct at a search-and-rescue dog school in Osceola, and appearances in Verse Wisconsin. Otherwise, she lives in the California Sierra with a husband, a dog trained for SAR, an untrainable cat, and four sheep.

Barbara Gregorich’s most recent titles are Sound Proof, an adult mystery set at a Midwest music festival, and Jack and Larry, the free-verse nonfiction story of Jack Graney and his bull terrier, Larry. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and resides in Wisconsin part of every month.

For his first book of poems, Poor Manners (Ahadada Books, 2009), Adam Halbur was chosen the 2010 resident poet of The Frost Place, the Robert Frost homestead in Franconia, New Hampshire.  His work has also appeared in the anthology Never Before: Poems about First Experiences (Four Way Books, 2005), as well as in various journals.

Diane Hardy teaches Spanish in Milwaukee.

Karen Haley has lived in Wisconsin most of her adult life, and raised five children here.

Maryanne Hannan has published poems in a variety of print and online journals including Adanna Journal, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Magma, The Mom Egg, Pebble Lake Review, Poet Lore, Stand, Umbrella and upstreet.Her website is

William Wright Harris’s poetry has appeared in six countries in such literary journals as The Cannon’s Mouth, Ascent Aspirations, and Write On!!! He’s a student at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, where he’s been lucky enough to study poetry in workshop settings with such poets as Jesse Janeshek, Marilyn Kallet, Arthur Smith, and Marcel Brouwers.

Michelle Hartman has been published recently in The Pedestal MagazineRaleigh ReviewSan Pedro River Review, and other journals and various anthologies, including overseas credits. She was a juried poet in the 2009 Houston Poetry Festival. She holds a BS in Political Science-Pre Law from Texas Wesleyan University and a Certificate in Paralegal Post Grad studies. She is the editor for the online journal, Red River Review. Her collection of poems, Disenchanted and Disgruntled, is forthcoming from Lamar University Press, 2012.

George Held, a six-time Pushcart nominee, publishes widely online and in print, and Garrison Keillor has featured his work on NPR. Held’s most recent books, both 2011, are After Shakespeare: Selected Sonnets ( and a children’s book, Neighbors (, illustrated by Joung Un Kim.

Ronnie Inda lives in Madison, WI, and works in the public schools.

As founding editor of Many Voices Press, Lowell Jaeger compiled Poems Across the Big Sky, an anthology of Montana poets, and New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from 11 Western states.  His most recent poetry collections are Suddenly Out of a Long Sleep (Arctos Press, 2009) and WE, (Main Street Rag Press, 2010).  He is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Montana Arts Council and winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize. Most recently Jaeger was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting thoughtful civic discourse.

Peter Joel is a Wisconsin native, which immediately gives him one thing in common with “Fighting Bob” La Follette, Bon Iver, and the legend of the Waukesha Kangaroo.   It also leaves not much else in common with the afore-mentioned trio.  He currently lives outside the US.

Poet Gary Jones lives with his wife of many years on Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula where he enjoys reading, gardening, and silent sports. His verse has appeared most recently in RosebudPearlVerse WisconsinKnockPeninsula Pulse, and Clutching at Straws. Jones, who is an award-winning poet, teaches poetry writing workshops for both high school students and adults.

Martha Kaplan lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where sometimes cranes fly over her house. She has published with Branch Redd ReviewBlue UnicornHummingbirdVerse WisconsinMöbius, The Poetry Magazine, and Hospital Drive, as well as the WFOP calendar. She received the 2011 Dr. Zylpha Mapp Robinson International Poetry Award. 

Dana Kaleta is the Director of Quest Project, a UW-System precollege program based at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She relishes in the tongue-in-cheek old skool methodology, but as a vehicle for dispelling assumptions and prejudices and to draw attention to the need for progressive and innovative means to cross-culturally educate our youth. Her writing is inspired by travel, time spent communing with nature, and living as a part-time ex-pat in Costa Rica.

Khristian E. Kay is a storyteller: a teacher/poet. While his work appears political and often satirical he utilizes the words as metaphorical rubber bullets: painful and bruising and only lethal at close range. He is a long time resident of "Lake Country" Wisconsin and prefers cruising Wisconsin's Rustic Roads for poetic inspiration. Visit his website ( for more info.

Molly Sutton Kiefer’s chapbook The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake won the 2010 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Award.  Her work has appeared in Harpur Palate, Berkeley Poetry Review, you are here, Gulf Stream, Cold Mountain Review, Wicked Alice, and Permafrost, among others.  She received her MFA from the University of Minnesota, serves as poetry editor to Midway Journal, and curates Balancing the Tide:  Motherhood and the Arts | An Interview Project.  She currently lives in Red Wing with her husband and daughter, where she is at work on a manuscript on (in)fertility.  More can be found at

Bob Kimberly was born in Neenah and spent his first 35 years in Wisconsin.  His job took him west in 1965, and he stayed in the Seattle area.  When he retired he joined a senior's creative writing class and has been writing poetry for class, his family, and friends.  He’s had poems published in Hummingbird, WFOP's Museletter, and the 2013 WFOP Calendar.

Glenn Kletke’s poems appear in the recent edition of ARC (Poet vs. Poet) and In Fine Form, a guide to structured poetry. He has won several poetry and prose contests. Glenn is a member of the Field Stone poets, and a sampling of his work can be found in their recent collection, Whistle for a Jellyfish, published by Bookland Press.

Mark Kraushaar is an RN in Madison. His work has appeared in the Hudson Review, Ploughshares, Alaska Review, Gettysburg Review, as well as Best American Poetry, and the website Poetry Daily. He is a recipient of Poetry Northwest’s Richard Hugo Award. His two collections are The Uncertainty Principle (2012, Waywiser Press) and Falling Brick Kills Local Man (Felix Pollak Prize, UW-Press, 2009).

Richard Kresal worked in Hotel/Casino revenue audit and lives in the Town of Green Lake, WI.

Michael Kriesel's poems have appeared in North American ReviewThe Progressive, and Rattle. He's written reviews for Small Press Review and Library Journal, and has won the WFOP Muse Prize, the Lorine Niedecker Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, and the Wisconsin People and Ideas John Lehman Poetry Prize. Books include Chasing Saturday Night (Marsh River Editions); Feeding My Heart To The Wind and Moths Mail The House (sunnyoutside press).

Brandi Kruse lives and teaches in Portland, OR.

Len Kuntz lives on a lake in rural Washington State with rural sea creatures.  His favorite movie is Love, Actually, and his favorite part is when the Brit says “I’m going to a fabulous place in America called Wisconsin.” His work appears in widely on the web and in print, and also at

Stuart Kurtz is a free-lance writer of arts reviews, interviews, opinion, and travel articles. He is also a playwright of short drama and a budding poet. He is available for hire at writerstuartk@gmail.comand has a blog at

Mike Lane has lived in Delafield Wisconsin for almost 40 years, with his wife Kathy. Mike’s poems have appeared previously at Soundzine, Third Wednesday, Echoes and Poetry Super Highway. His first chapbook of poetry, They Can Keep The Cinder Block, was launched by Exot Books in March 2012.

Jackie Langetieg has three books, White Shoulders (Cross+Roads Press), Just What in Hell is a Stage of Grie,f and Confetti in a Silent City (Ghost Horse Press). A fourth book, A Terrible Tenderness awaits publication. She lives in Verona, WI, with two black cats and her son, Eric.

Estella Lauter is Professor Emerita at UW-Oshkosh and lives in the Door Peninsula. Her first chapbook, Pressing a Life Together By Hand (2007), appeared in the New Women’s Voices series from Finishing Line Press, and was nominated for two Pushcart prizes. The Essential Rudder: North Channel Poems was released by FLP in 2008. Her poem "Gaza, January 2009" tied for first prize in the 2009 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Contest; it appears on

Tom Lavelle, a native of Pittsburgh, lived in Milwaukee between 1981 and 83. Since then he's visited sporadically. He lives today in Stockholm, where he teaches and writes as he has done since 1992. It's not colder than Wisconsin, but darker.

Janet Leahy gleans some of her poems from her experience as a teacher in Milwaukee. She is on the board of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.  Her poems appear in various journals and on the web site Your Daily Poem.  

Norman Leer is Professor Emeritus of English at Roosevelt University, Chicago. He has published a critical study of Ford Madox Ford, a chapbook, and two books of his own poems (I Dream My Father in a Song, and Second Lining, Mellen Poetry Press, 1992 and 1997), as well as poems and articles in several journals. In 1990, he received the Illinois Significant Poet's Award from State Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks. He and his wife Grethe live in Madison.

John Lehman is the founder of Rosebud magazine and the poetry editor of Wisconsin People & Ideas.

Sarabeth Leitch lives and teaches high school in Portland, OR.

Jef Leisgang’s poems have previously appeared in Verse Wisconsin, Free Lunch, Plainsongs, Flint Hills Review, Steam Ticket, Wisconsin Review, and elsewhere. In addition to the poem featured here, he hopes to publish a children’s book he wrote about the unique geology of Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island in Door County, one of his family’s favorite destinations for many years now.

A visit to a cousin in Madison, though pleasant, wasn't enough to connect Judy Lent, a Seattle editor and writer, to the land. The Wisconsin Uprising, however, a hopeful sign of a receding tide of complacency, has permanently imbedded Wisconsin's people in her heart.

David Lenz is an artist living in Milwaukee.

MaryEllen Letarte’s father was born in Pepin, WI. He matriculated at the University of Wisconsin until WWII.  Her sister Christine graduated from Marquette University and lived most of her adult life in Wisconsin. MaryEllen lives and writes in Lunenburg, MA where she’s developed, and now directs, the Louise Bogan Chapter of the Massachusetts State Poetry Society. 

Steven Levi lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska.

Carol Levin is the author of a full volume, Stunned By the Velocity (Pecan Grove, 2012) and chapbooks, Red Rooms and Others, (Pecan Grove, 2009), and Sea Lions Sing Scat, (Finishing Line, 2007). Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, print and online. Among others, Raven Chronicles, Verse Wisconsin, The Louisville Review, Two Sylvia's Press: Fire On Her Tongue. Levin is an Editorial Assistant at Crab Creek Review and teaches The Breathing Lab / Alexander Technique, in Seattle

J. Patrick Lewis’s first book of poems—Gulls Hold Up the Sky—was published in October 2010 by Laughing Fire Press. He has published 85 children's picture and poetry books with Knopf, Athenenum, Creative Editions, National Geographic, and others.His poems have appeared in  Gettysburg  Review, New England Review, New Letters, and many others. He was recently named the 2011-2013 U.S. Children's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation.

Pam Lewis is a psychologist, recently retired from UW-Madison, where she worked for 13 years. She lives in Madison, and likes to compare and contrast things like crossword puzzles and poetry.

Kristi Ley currently lives and teaches along the border of Thailand and Myanmar.  She was born and raised in Wisconsin, thus she prefers her Old Fashioneds with brandy and her cheese curds battered and fried.

Recently Sandra J. Lindow fell down a woodchuck hole (only one foot thanks to yoga) while trying to murder box elder bugs with insecticidal soap. She lives in Menomonie, Wisconsin, where she writes, edits, and teaches part-time at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Lynley Shimat Lys’s mother grew up in Oshkosh and went to college in Wisconsin, and most of her side of the family lives there. Lynley was in Madison a few years ago when her play, "Prelude to Gaza," was produced by the Kathie Rasmussen Women's Theatre as part of an evening of short plays. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals, most recently in Flashquake. She currently lives in Jerusalem where she is writing a master's thesis on Palestinian poet Jabra Ibrahim Jabra. Visit her website.

Trena Machado is the publisher of RAW ArT PRESS. Her main interest is in writing that experiments with language to develop content in new ways. 

Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 8 poetry collections and over 400 poems, stories, and essays in journals and anthologies. Co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania and author of two children’s books from Boyds Mills Press, she is the recipient of numerous awards. Her short story collection was a Katherine Anne Porter Award finalist. For more info and reviews, please see

Charlotte Mandel is winner of the 2012 New Jersey Poets Prize. She has published seven books of poetry, the most recent, Rock Vein Sky from Midmarch Arts Press. Other titles include two poem-novellas of feminist biblical re-vision—The Life of Mary and The Marriages of Jacob. An independent scholar, she has published essays on the role of cinema in the life and work of poet H.D. She recently retired from teaching poetry writing at Barnard College Center for Research on Women.  Previous publications in Verse Wisconsin include her verse play, “The Gardener’s Wife.”  Please visit her website at

K.R. (Joe) Massingham was born in the UK but has lived the second half of his life in Australia. Major employment has been as a Navy officer, university student from first degree to PhD, tutor, lecturer and Master of Wright College, University of New England, NSW. He retired early because of cancer and heart problems and now spends time waiting to see medical practitioners, writing poetry and prose and smelling the roses. He has had work published in Australia, Eire, India, Nepal, NZ, UK, and USA.

Antonia Matthew is originally from England and grew up there during WW II.   She has lived in  Bloomington, Indiana, since 1968.  One of her sons served two deployments in Iraq and her father died in Burma in WW II so she feels very strongly about the pain and sorrow of war and about its affect on the "home front." She has written a play based on the letters between her and her father during the war and hopes to get it produced one day.

Retired now, Bill McConnell joined his children in Colorado, (since they refuse to return to Wisconsin) where his time is largely taken up in caring for a son with disabilities.  Still, he relishes "the carelessness of mundane days" (Michael Perry, Truck) as they come. The Rockies beckon, invigorate and mystify.  And the deer and the antelope really do play.

Timothy McLafferty lives in NYC and is a professional drummer. His poems have appeared in Pearl, Forge, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Portland Review, Talking River, Soundings East, RiverSedge, and Short, Fast, and Deadly. His book reviews have appeared in Verse Wisconsin. He provides cover art and illustrated letters for Forge.

After the Presbyterian Writer's Guild gave BNB McMurry their national award as "best new writer" for her book of essays and reflections (The Artist's Wife), she used the money to attend the University of Iowa to study prose--but there she heard a poet read, and found herself!

Richard Merelman writes poems because language is the only medium through which he can hope to achieve beautiful expression. Poems of his have appeared in Main Street Rag and Measure. Recent poems have appear in Bumble Jacket Miscellany and Verse Wisconsin. He taught political science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison until 2001.

Marilyn Meyer’s personal essays, poems, and radio commentary have appeared in numerous publications over the past 35 years. Retired from a career as a High School English teacher and Learning Specialist, she spends her days volunteering as an ESL teacher, literacy tutor, cook, and dog de-shedder. The mother of three grown children, Marilyn lives with her dog Gilah in West Seattle.

Chloe Yelena Miller is a writer and teacher living in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their many books. Her poetry chapbook, Unrest, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Chloe teaches writing online at Fairleigh Dickinson University, George Mason University and privately, and leads writing workshops at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. Contact her and read some of her work at

P. C. Moorehead moved to Wisconsin from California’s Silicon Valley. She appreciates the beauty and quiet of the woods and the inspirational environment which they provide for her writing and reflection.

Jamal 'Eklipse' Msebele is a 19 year-old award winning poet and Emcee and son of poet and educator Sifundo. His first poetry collection Kaleidoscope has garnered many accolades and is available on Amazon. Jamal is currently at university majoring in English and American Literature with a minor in Creative Writing, alongside performing and mentoring young writers. His most fond memories include opening for Saul Williams and a private audience with De La Soul. Visit

Gillian Nevers has never lived anywhere but in Wisconsin. It's not that she lacks an adventuresome spirit, she just can't imagine living anywhere else. Well, she might move out of the state, if she could live on an ocean. Her poems have appeared in online and print publications including Millers Pond, Silk RoadPirene's Fountain and Verse Wisconsin. In 2008, she won second prize in the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters Statewide Poetry Contest.  

James B. Nicola has had over two hundred poems appear in publications including Verse Wisconsin,Tar River, the Texas Review, The Lyric, and Nimrod. A stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a CHOICE Award. He also won the Dana Literary Award for poetry, was nominated for a Rhysling Award, and was a featured poet at the New Formalist in 2010.

Bruce W. Niedt is a "beneficent bureaucrat" from southern NJ whose poetry has appeared in Writer's Digest, Writers' Journal, The Lyric, Mad Poets Review, and many others. His awards include the ByLine Short Fiction and Poetry Award, first prize for poetry at the Philadelphia Writers Conference, and a Pushcart Prize nomination.  His latest chapbook is Breathing Out from Finishing Line Press.

ayaz daryl nielsen is a 1966 graduate of Blair (WI) High School, and earned a BA in English (in only nine years) from UW - Eau Claire.  He is a poet/father/husband/veteran/x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, and he is editor/custodian of the print publication bear creek haiku.

Robert Nordstrom is a poet, free-lance writer and school bus driver living in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. His most recent and worthy accomplishment is teaching a second grader that it's probably best she not lick the seat in front of her.

Uche Ogbuji is an immigrant from Nigeria who studied at Milwaukee School of Engineering, married a girl, Lori, from Twin Lakes, and settled with her in Boulder, Colorado where they now raise four children. Uche is a computer engineer and entrepreneur whose abiding passion is poetry. His poems have appeared in sundry journals, and he is editor at Kin Poetry Journal and The Nervous Breakdown.

Joe "Pepe" Oulahan has lived in Milwaukee for 38 years.

Ann M. Penton, Green Valley AZ (& recently WI) is connecting with the AZ writing community including the renowned U of A Poetry Center. She was invited to submit and read a poem at Saguaro National Park for the BioBlitz, a species-counting event sponsored at one park annually by National Geographic and the National Park Service.

After 35 years in Waukesha, Katy Phillips now lives in Milwaukee. Katy writes poetry and a children's chapter book from a 7th floor apartment overlooking the city. Her poems have been published in Free Verse, WFOP Poet's Calendar, Siftings from the Clearing, Hummingbird and Echoes. They can also be found in the anthologies,Empty Shoes, Cradle Songs, Love Over Sixty, and Voice and Vision from Gallery Q.

Nancy Petulla lives in a 150 year old farm house. She began writing poetry at age 65. She works to envision with words life, aging and death. She is a retired minister to the elderly, ill and dying.  Her poems have been published in Free Verse, Verse Wisconsin, and in the 2013 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar.

Kenneth Pobo won the 2011 qarrtsiluni poetry chapbook contest for his manuscript called Ice and Gaywings, published in fall 2011.

Tara Pohlkotte grew up in, and is now raising a family in Appleton Wisconsin. Early on, Tara learned the power of the spoken and written word from her daddy the preacher, and brother the musician, Cory Chisel.  Now, through her young children, she is learning the magic that exsists within the ordinary, that moments make up a life.  You can find more of Tara's writings at her personal blog,

Jeff Poniewaz taught “Literature of Ecological Vision” via UW-Milwaukee between 1989 and 2009. His 1986 book Dolphin Leaping in the Milky Way won a 1987 PEN Discovery Award. In early November he and Antler will be featured poets at the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets' fall conference.

Charles Portolano started writing poetry 16 years ago to celebrate the birth of his daring, darling, daughter Valerie and preserve the memories. Valerie was born with many obstacles to overcome giving him much to write about. Valerie is doing great now; she is quite the young writer. He has a new collection of poetry out, The little, lingering, white, lies we allow ourselves to live with.

Transplanted from Cincinnati over 30 years ago, Jean Preston lives with her husband, Tom, and her Scottish Terrier, Maggie. She holds an MFA from the Stonecoast Writing Program. By day, she directs the Writing Center at Carthage College and teaches as an adjunct professor. By night, she writes and performs with a duo called Women of an UN-Certain Age.  She has been published in Centrique, Pleiades, and The Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering.

Jim Price retired to Osceola Township in Wisconsin over a year ago, after a 30 year career in human services. Most of that career was spent in Minnesota. He’s written a lot of poetry over the years, and feels maybe it's time to share with a wider circle than friends and family. Verse Wisconsin #102 included his first published poem. 

Ester Hauser Laurence Prudlo is a UW alumna who has lived away from the state for some 28 years, but who returned in 2008 for summers in the Madison area. She is the author of three children’s books and now, poems. She taught creative writing courses for UWX in the 70’s. A retired counselor to soldiers and inmates, she is mother of 4, grandmother of 4. She lives with her husband, Tony, in Montgomery, AL, in the winter, and Fitchburg,WI, in summer. 

Summer Qabazard is a poet who grew up in Kuwait and now lives in Normal, Illinois, where she is a Ph.D student at Illinois State University. Her poem "All Hands Bury the Dead" appears in The University of Missouri - St. Louis's literary magazine, LitMag. She likes Wisconsin cheese.

Monica Raymond is a playwright and poet, and her work has been recognized by the Massachusetts Cultural Council in both fields. Her play The Owl Girl, a parable about Israel/Palestine, won the Peacewriting Award, the Castillo Theater prize in political playwriting, and a Clauder Competition Gold Medal. A to Z won the 2011 Ruby Lloyd Apsey Award for plays about race. She has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow and a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center, and has taught writing and interdisciplinary arts at Harvard, CUNY, and the Boston Museum School. She works with CASA (Creative Action and Subversive Arts) at Occupy Boston, and is in her twelfth year of trying to live a carbon neutral life in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Following in her family's footsteps, Megan Reetz attended college at UW-Stevens Point and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2010 with a major in English and a minor in Creative Writing. Within 6 months of graduating she took a News Editor position for a county newspaper. She was born and raised in Berlin, WI, and currently resides there.

Dustin Renwick recently graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism with his master's degree. He has written for several magazines and newspapers. His poetry has been published in the Missouri Creative Writer's Collection and in The Daily Palette, an extension of The Iowa Review.

Harlan Richards came late to his penchant for waxing poetic, beginning on his 56th birthday in 2010. Since then, he has had poems accepted or published in Samsara, Italian-Americana, Love’s Choice, Alimentum, and other venues. You can read more of his poems, along with political essays, at\blogs\637. 

Read Ron Riekki's previous work in Verse Wisconsin 104, 106, and 108.

Jenna Rindo’s work has recently appeared in Crab Orchard Review and is forthcoming in Calyx, Crab Creek Review, and Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine. She lives in rural Wisconsin with her family, and small flocks of Shetland sheep and Rhode Island Red hens. She teaches English to Hmong, Kurdish, Vietnamese and Spanish students.   

Tony Rivera is a Youth Advocate and Educator from New York City.  As a Mentor to the children of 1199/SEIU employees, his heart has delivered poetry in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin's battle against Governor Walker. His work has been featured in Yellow Medicine Review and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

Jeannie E. Roberts won first place in the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra's Music Alive statewide poetry contest. Her work has appeared in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets' Museletter, Wisconsin Poets' Calendar, Verse Wisconsin and elsewhere.  A lifelong visual artist, she is also the author and illustrator of Let's Make Faces!, a children's book (    

Nydia Rojas lives and writes poetry in Wisconsin, where she also enjoys spring, summer and fall and frowns on winter. Her work has been published in the Wisconsin Academy Review, International Poetry Review, and Revista/ Review Interamericana, in the anthology Between the Heart and the Land: Latina Poets in the Midwest and many other literary magazines. She is the author of the chapbook Stealing Daylight.

Tess Romeis is a Wisconsin native who tends to hover over, and ferret about, the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a proud member of the Stone Kettle Poets.

Howard Rosenberg writes and teaches in New Jersey. His poetry has appeared in Christian Science MonitorPoetica, and Boston Literary Magazine. In addition, Rattle has published his poetry book reviews. He’s “connected” to Wisconsin through the play of the Green Bay Packers.

Mary C. Rowin  writes stories and poems in Middleton where she lives with her husband and an orange cat named Rio, (rhymes with chee-o).  She is a docent at the Chazen Museum of Art and she gardens, mostly to feed the rabbits.  Mary blogs at

Margaret (Peggy) Rozga has published two books of poetry, the award-winning volume about Milwaukee’s fair housing marches, Two Hundred Nights and One Day and a collection responding to her Army Reservist son’s deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad. Inspired by her small garden, she is currently completing work on a new manuscript, Justice Freedom Herbs.

Chuck Rybak lives in Wisconsin and is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is the author of two chapbooks, Nickel and Diming My Way Through and Liketown. His full-length collection, Tongue and Groove, was released in 2007 by Main Street Rag. Poems of his have appeared in The Cincinnati ReviewPebble Lake Review; War, Literature & the ArtsThe LedgeSouthern Poetry Review; Verse Wisconsin; and other journals.

SaneleVox is a contemporary race womyn hailing from Chicago. She has published two books of poetry Talk Over The Sound (2009) & This Side of Mourning (2010), produced her own gallery exhibition AKIMBO, & recently founded a non-for-profit womyn of color theatre company, The For Colored Girls Project. SaneleVox is currently an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison & First Wave Scholar, majoring in English Secondary Education with a certificate in Gender & Women's Studies. She is pursuing a career in literary and performance arts in education. 

G. A. Scheinoha thought about becoming a private detective, later, a bounty hunter. He never imagined he’d follow in his father’s tracks; a series of blue collar jobs. Where their lives differed was instead of marriage and family, he wrote a million words over thirty years, some of which have recently appeared in Avocet, Bellowing Ark, Bracelet Charm, Echoes, Floyd County Moonshine, and Verse Wisconsin.

E. M. Schorb’s work  has appeared in The American ScholarThe Sewanee Review, Southwest Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Yale Review, The Chicago Review, The Iowa Review, Carolina Quarterly, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Antioch ReviewStand and Agenda (England), The Notre Dame Review, and theNew York Quarterly, among others. 

Robert Schuler has been been writing for over fifty years. His fifteenth collection of poems, The Book of Jeweled Visions, has recently been published by Tom Montag’s MWPH Books, PO Box 8, Fairwater, WI 53931. Price: $12.50 plus $1.50 postage.

Nancy Scott is an artist and author of five books of poetry, as well as the managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets' Cooperative in New Jersey. Raised in Illinois, Nancy has had ties to Wisconsin from summer camp to college to lakefront property, which her family owned until recently and which has been the focus of numerous poems.

Anne Shaw’s collections of poetry include Undertow, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize, and Shatter & Thrust, forthcoming from Persea Books in 2013. Work of hers has also appeared or is forthcoming in Harvard Review, New American Writing, Black Warrior Review, Indiana Review, and Hotel Amerika. Her website is

Peggy Shumaker is Alaska State Writer Laureate for 2010-2012. These poems are from Toucan Nest(Red Hen Press, 2013).  Her lyrical memoir is Just Breathe Normally (U. of Nebraska Press). Shumaker is Professor Emerita at University of Alaska Fairbanks and teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop at PLU. She edits Boreal Books, publishing literature and fine art from Alaska, and the Alaska Literary Series at University of Alaska Press. Please visit her website at

Shoshauna Shy is a member of the Prairie Fire Poetry Quartet. In May 2004, she founded Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf.  Her poems have been published in numerous journals and magazines including The Seattle Review, Cimarron Review, The Briar Cliff Review, Rattle, Rosebud, and Poetry Northwest. Her collection titled What the Postcard Didn’t Say won an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association in 2008.

Neil Silberblatt has been writing (and reading) poetry since his college days at Cornell a few decades ago, inspired by a wonderful former English teacher (Frank McCourt at Stuyvesant High School), who shared his love of words well arranged.  He has been writing considerable prose since then.  Rediscovering a lost love, Neil returned to writing poetry several years ago; has read his work at various library readings in Connecticut; and is organizing From Our Hands to Your Ears, the first "open reading" by local poets and writers at Danbury Public Library (scheduled for October 21, 2012).

Sifundo is a life-long student and educator, her name in the language of Ndebele means a beautiful lesson and she believes her naming was a pre-emption, on her parents part, of her place in the world. She has worked in schools, with theatre companies and adult learning spaces in the UK and the US, is a youth SLAM poetry producer and the founder of Word Champions a spoken word and performance initiative for teenagers based in East London.

John H. Sime lives in the Kickapoo Valley of Western Wisconsin where he operates a funeral home. He has written poetry since service in the U.S. Peace Corps as an English teacher in Bamako, Mali. He has contributed to Kickapoo Free PressHummingbird, the Epitaph-News, and the American Funeral Director.

Hal Sirowitz's closest connection to Wisconsin was getting accepted into the University of Wisconsin at Madison Doctoral Program in Literature. But he went to a local university to become a public school teacher. He's the author of 4 poetry books.

J.D. Smith's third collection of poetry, Labor Day at Venice Beach, was published in August 2012. He was awarded an NEA Fellowship in Poetry in 2007. “First Memory, Wisconsin Dells,” is autobiographical.

Thomas R. Smith lives in River Falls, Wisconsin, and is a Master Track instructor in poetry at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. His most recent collections are Kinnickinnic (Parallel Press), and  The Foot of the Rainbow,  available from Red Dragonfly Press. He posts blogs and poems on his web site at

Angela Sorby is the author of three books: Bird Skin Coat (Wisconsin, 2009); Schoolroom Poets (UPNE, 2005); and Distance Learning (New Issues, 1998). Among her recent honors are a Fulbright fellowship to China, the Brittingham prize, and the Lorine Niedecker prize.  She lives in Milwaukee and teaches at Marquette University.

Steven D. Stark is the author of four books and has written frequently for a variety of publications including the NY Times and Atlantic Monthly. He recently won the Clapboard House short story contest.

N. A’Yara Stein was a finalist in the 2011 National Poetry Series for her manuscript, Saudade. She is a grant recipient of the Michigan Art Council and the Arkansas Arts Council, among other honors. She’s recently published in The Mayo Review, Ping Pong: The Journal of the Henry Miller Library, The Delinquent (UK), among others. She lives near Chicago with her sons.

David Steingass is the author of six books including Fishing for Dynamite,  and GreatPlains  (RedDragonfly Press,Redwing MN) which won the 2002 Posner Award from the Council of Wisconsin Writers. He is interested especially in technical and stylistic possibilities among lineated poems, prose poems, and flash fiction. Besides reading and writing at his Madison home, Steingass presents writing workshops and residencies in schools.

Matthew Stolte began practicing concrete & visual poetry July 1998 in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit his website.

Carole Stone, Professor of English Emerita, Montclair State University, has published seven chapbooks and three books of poetry, Lime and Salt, Carriage House Press, Traveling with the Dead, Backwaters Press and American Rhapsody, CavanKerry Press. Her work in journals includes, Chelsea, Nimrod, The Beloit Poetry Review and Southern Poetry Review. She is a recipient of fellowships from The NJ State Council on the Arts and residencies at Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Scotland and Chateau de Lavigny in Switzerland. 

Judy Swann lives in gorgeous Ithaca, NY in a small house painted in Frida Kahlo colors. Her poetry has appeared in Lilliput Review, Verse Wisconsin, Soundzine and other places both in print and online. She is an Iowan who often visited Wisconsin in her youth.

Margaret Swedish hails from Wisconsin and is currently working on a multi-generational memoir about our immigrant roots and the unsustainable American Dream. She lived and worked in the Washington DC area for24 years as director of the Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico, a national office in the days of the solidarity movement (1981-2005). She returned to Milwaukee in 2007, creating a project called 'Spirituality and Ecological Hope,' which addresses the challenges of our ecological crises to the U.S. culture and our way of life. She is co-author with Marie Dennis of Like Grains of Wheat: A Spirituality of Solidarity (2004), chronicling the story of U.S. Americans who encountered the reality of Central America during the time of civil war, and author of, Living Beyond the 'End of the World:' A Spirituality of Hope (2008), which challenges the values and belief systems that have helped bring about the crisis, while offering a spirituality that can help us live through and beyond it. Both are published by Orbis Books, Maryknoll NY.

After Len Tews’ retirement as a biology professor at UW-O, he took up the writing of poetry.  He lived in Seattle for fifteen years but has now returned to Oshkosh where he is participating in the poetry scene in his home state. He has several chapbooks.

Don Thackrey likes Wisconsin so much that he has asked his wife to launch his cremation ashes into the West Wind, which will carry him to, and sprinkle him over, that great state.

Elizabeth Tornes’ chapbook Snowbound won First Prize in the WFOP 2012 Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in The New Republic, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She lives in Lac du Flambeau, WI.and has also published a book of Ojibwe oral histories, Memories of Lac du Flambeau Elders (UW Press, 2004).

Charles Trimberger is a creative writer who livesand works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He takes advanced poetry courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is an assistant editor for the Cream City Review, the UWM literary magazine. The frequent use of metaphors and imagery in his therapy practice enriches his poetry.

Peggy Trojan, retired to the north Wisconsin woods with her husband. Published her first poem at seventy-seven. Member of WFOP. Published in Dust and Fire, Wilda Morris Challenge, WFOP calendars, Talking Stick, Echoes, Finnish American Reporter, and most recently, in Migrations, Poetry and Prose for Life’s Transitions.

Angel Troyer is the owner of AC Troyer Gallery in Oconomowoc as well as one of the artists and the primary instructor. 

Wendy VardamanWendy Vardaman ( is the author of Obstructed View (Fireweed Press), co-editor/webmaster of Verse Wisconsin (, and co-founder/co-editor of Cowfeather Press ( She is one of Madison, Wisconsin's two Poets Laureate (2012-2015).

Carolyn Vargo is a Regional Vice President for WFOP, a substitute teacher in West Allis – West Milwaukee, a retired teacher from Milwaukee Public Schools, an organizer of readings at People’s Book Cooperative, teacher of the Urban Echo Poets at the Urban Ecology Center, a bird watcher and a grandmother.  

Philip Venzke grew up on a dairy farm near Colby, Wisconsin (where Colby Cheese was invented).  A fervent zymurgist, his fermentations take many forms. His most recent poems are in Clockwise Cat, Verse Wisconsin, Illumen, and The Wisconsin Poets Calendar.

The poems of Lisa Vihos have appeared in numerous small journals and she has one Pushcart Prize nomination. She has two chapbooks, A Brief History of Mail (Pebblebrook Press, 2011) and The Accidental Present, just out from Finishing Line Press. She is an associate editor of Stoneboat literary journal and an occasional guest blogger for The Best American Poetry. She lives in Sheboygan.

Moisés Villavicencio Barras is a Mexican poet, fiction writer and co-founder of Cantera Verde, a magazine which has been one of the most significant literary publications in Mexico for the last twenty years. His first book of poetry May among Voices was published 2001. His poetry work has been selected for several Mexican anthologies, magazines and CDs. His children’s book Urarumo (2005) was published and distributed for the Department of Education in Oaxaca México. He was the recipient of two Writing fellowships through the National Commission for the Arts in Mexico (1993-1994 and 1996-1997).

Frank X Walker is the author of six poetry collections, including Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers (University of Georgia, forthcoming May 2013); When Winter Come: the Ascension of York (University Press of Kentucky, 2008); Black Box (Old Cove Press, 2005); Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York (University Press of Kentucky, 2003), which won the Lillian Smith Book Award in 2004; and Affrilachia (Old Cove Press, 2000). A 2005 recipient of the Lannan Literary Fellowship in Poetry, Walker is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Kentucky and Director of African American & Africana Studies, and the editor of PLUCK!, the new Journal of Affrilachian Art & Culture.

Ron Wallace's 12 books of poetry, fiction, and criticism include Long for This World: New & Selected Poems, and For a Limited Time Only (both from the University of Pittsburgh Press).  He edits the University of Wisconsin Press Poetry Series (Brittingham and Pollak Prizes) and co-directs the University of Wisconsin-Madison Creative Writing Program. He divides his time between Madison and a 40-acre farm in Bear Valley, Wisconsin.

Social issues often provide inspiration for the work of Milwaukee poet Phyllis Wax.  Her work has appeared in many publications, both online and print, among them Out of Line, New Verse News, Verse Wisconsin, Ars Medica, Naugatuck River Review, Express Milwaukee, Your Daily Poem.  She co-edited the 2002 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar and has collaborated in several presentations with visual artists. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Bedazzled, her poem about the Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum won the Ideas Take Flight Contest at the time of its opening in 2001.

Mary Wehner is the author of …or the opposite, a letterpress chapbook by Red Hydra Press, which also published her broadsides “The Chinese Painting” and “Broken Shells at Dusk.” Her work has appeared in Red River ReviewThe Writer MagazineVerse WisconsinSouthern Indiana Review, Wisconsin Trails, qarrtsiluni and other publications. She is a founding member of Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective and is a board member of the Council for Wisconsin Writers.

Greg Weiss is the founding editor of Intentional Walk, the only literary journal devoted to sports poetry ( His work has recently appeared in Boston Review and Southeast Review.

Ed Werstein spent 22 years in manufacturing and union activity before his muse awoke and dragged herself out of bed. His sympathies lie with poor and working people. He advocates for peace and against corporate power. His poetry has appeared in Verse Wisconsin, Blue Collar Review, Mobius Magazine and a few other publications.

Marie Sheppard Williams’s mentor for poetry is Thomas R. Smith, a WI poet and essayist.  She has had poems published in The Sun, Poetry East, Ted Kooser's newspaper column, and another issue of Verse Wisconsin.  She has published seven story collections, and has won the Pushcart Prize twice.

Born in Illinois, Marilyn Zelke-Windau lives in Sheboygan Falls, WI. She was nurtured by Chicago neighborhoods, Big Bend farms, raspberry patches in Fremont, blue gills from Green Lake, and books in Madison. She recently retired from teaching art to elementary school children in Oostburg, WI. Her poems have appeared in several literary journals including EchoesFox Cry Review, Red Cedar Review, Seems, Stoneboat, Verse Wisconsin, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Calendar and online at Verse Wisconsin Online and Your Daily Poem.