Art by Russell Gardner. Photo by Katrin Talbot. View & read more about Gardner's Picket Fence Edition of Echolocations(2013): Slow Art of Seven Madison Poets.
In case you didn’t know, this is Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman’s last issue of the magazine known as Verse Wisconsin in both print and online forms. No one is “taking over” this behemoth, though many would like to see it continue to swim or sprout wings or portage itself across land on its way to sea. Whatever. We say we’ve had a fun time but are happy to move on as well as back to writing. Poetry in Wisconsin remains in very good hands. For starters, take a look at our double online edition, “Midwest Remix,” where 10 fantastic in-state guest curator-editors introduce you to talented poets and performers from Wisconsin / the Midwest that you’ve probably never heard of. Poetry is huge, even close to home. We encourage you to check out a reading series, performance venue, political action, small press, or gallery that you’ve never gone to. Likely you will find something there to inspire you. Our guest editors, each of whom organize such things, will give you some new ideas about where to look for poems and poets. Read/ purchase their books and magazines. Go to their events. Mix it up and make something.
The website, versewisconsin.org, and its content will remain online indefinitely. Next fall, we’ll create a permanent archive of print & online issues so you can continue to read (for free) what you missed. We plan to bring out next fall a Cowfeather Press anthology of prose that the magazine published and compile an index of contributors over the five years we've produced VW, as well as a few statistics about the number of book reviews and poems published in the combined print and online issues. (B.J. Best's code poem in this issue brings the total to over 25 million poems.)
We have many thank you’s from five years in no particular order...
thank you to numerous proofreaders.
thank you to advisors listed in the masthead.
thank you to the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and other donors and supporters.
thank you to Wendy’s neighbor Dave, a non-profit tax accountant, who laughed when we said we wanted to become a 501c3 & so we didn’t.
thank you to poets & poetry. & also to art, graphic novels, theater, music, science, literature, cake decorating, sewing, coding, dancing & every other creative thing that people do to pass time.
thank you to reviewers.
thank you to our husbands and children for putting up with all of this for five years.
thank you to chocolate.
thank you to Barriques and to Crescendo (aka Gallup/Ancora) on Monroe St. thank you to Victor Allen’s where we started meeting (or maybe not, their wireless was always too slow).
thank you to purple.
thank you to Bodoni & Garamond (our print fonts).
thank you to Adobe CS4 & continuing ed. classes.
thank you to laptops.
thank you to Facebook.
thank you to our 14 runaway senators.
thank you to Wisconsin.
thank you to barn raising.
thank you to Linda Aschbrenner & all the other Wisconsin poetry editors/ publishers who have done similar work, some of whose names we learned doing VW & some we don’t know.
thank you to subscribers and poetry gift-givers.
thank you to Thysse, our printer.
thank you to the many people & organizations that made & provided “Wisconsin Poetry News” online, all of which inspired us.
thank you to all the people we’ve gotten to know and to work with the past five years.
And now to the chatter of cups and saucers...
We’re mostly in agreement. A few
you said yes to I was a “no” -- would reconsider if any of them are ones you really want me to take another look at. --But for now at least, nope.
Why do I feel sorry for him? I don’t know, just do. Sorry ... We have been so good to him.
haven’t read this one yet
nope that’s fine
okay you have this one...for print or for online? either way—
okay, let’s take it
I said no to this one fine
Did not come through for me. I said no.
I really like these. maybe they’re not Midwestern per se but they are American.... ok either way re-reading, I’m fine
I said no to these fine, though I do like I can add that one in
I said no to these fine
with photos Yes take this with photos
yes to first one. I prefer third to second. I think I invited the second-- Sorry didn’t realize Okay. Let’s take all three?
I didn’t say yes to this, but could reconsider. feel a little uneasy about saying no. print? Okay I went back and re-read. I’m good
I didn’t say yes but could reconsider. as... Okay that is fine with me, to add in.
do not have her submission. just sent hers over good with both of these.
yes shall we take all three? fine by me, though also good with two
I said no to this fine
all 3 yes
I was a maybe, not a firm yes on this. fine with saying no--very like what we just did
I said yes to this and the other one too...
okay. I liked the last one I like that one too--want that one instead or all three?
NICE, BUT NO
I said yes fine
I said yes to fine
I said yes to not sold on this one--
Let’s keep thinking--
Thanks to volunteer proofreading by intern Marina Oliver. Lingering errors are, of course, the responsibility of VW’s editors.