Winter Writers Reading Series

Since 2011 Shake Rag Alley has partnered with the Council for Wisconsin Writers (CWW), Wisconsin People & Ideas, and the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission through the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters to offer week-long residencies to their annual writing contest winners.

In the tradition established by Edenfred, the Terry Family Foundation’s artist residence in Madison, writers and poets are provided with a week of uninterrupted time to focus on a project of their choice.

Between the months of December through March, writers stay in Shake Rag Alley’s inspiring lodging facilities surrounded by the nurturing environment of historic Mineral Point’s artistic community. Visiting writers participate in workshops, readings, and/or community outreach activities, including Wednesday evening Winter Writers Reading Series author talks and discussions.

Unless otherwise noted, readings take place in the Lind Pavilion at 411 Commerce St.

About the Council for Wisconsin Writers

CWW is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting local, state, and national awareness of Wisconsin’s great literary heritage and to encouraging excellence among Wisconsin writers today. Founded in 1964, the CWW is operated entirely by volunteer writers, editor, publishers, book sellers, and other supporters who serve on its board of directors. Learn more at wiswriters.org.

About Wisconsin People & Ideas

Wisconsin People & Ideas is the quarterly magazine of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. The leading magazine of Wisconsin thought and culture, Wisconsin People & Ideas features articles by and about scientists, scholars, artists, writers, policymakers and others who serve as thought leaders in Wisconsin. The magazine also publishes works from contemporary and classic Wisconsin artists, writers, and poets. More information can be found at wisconsinacademy.org.

2020-21 Winter Writers Reading Series Under Development - Watch for Updates

December 9

Matt Blessing

Council for Wisconsin Writers
Kay W. Levin Award
for Short Nonfiction

Matt Blessing recently retired from the Wisconsin Historical Society but remains actively engaged in studying the history of the conservation and environmental movements in Wisconsin. He is the author of “‘The inventions, though of little importance, opened all doors for me’: John Muir’s years as an inventor” in the Wisconsin Magazine of History. He gives a variety of talks about John Muir’s youth in Wisconsin, including the early inventions that dazzled visitors at the Wisconsin State Fair. Matt is also available to speak about Aldo Leopold’s study of history and on the Matanuska Valley Colony, the New Deal resettlement program that provided new homes for Wisconsin residents in Alaska!

“Alaska Ho!  Arville Schaleben and the Matanuska Valley Colony,” appeared in the winter 2019 issue of The Wisconsin Magazine of History. Printed copies of the magazine are available in every public library across Wisconsin.
 
Here is a link to the digitized version of the article:
 

December 16

David southward

Council for Wisconsin Writers
Lorine Niedecker
Poetry Award

David Southward grew up in southwest Florida and earned degrees in English from Northwestern and Yale Universities. In 1998 he joined the Honors College at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he is currently Senior Lecturer. Through introductory courses in graphic novels and film, as well as advanced courses in poetry and aesthetics, David shares his passion for the arts in all their variety. His first chapbook, Apocrypha, was published by Wipf & Stock in 2018, and his collection Bachelor’s Buttons appeared from Kelsay Books in 2020. Otherpoems have appeared recently in THINK, Gyroscope Review, Measure, Light, Bramble, Millwork,and Verse-Virtual. David is a two-time winner of the Lorine Niedecker Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers (2016, 2019) and the Muse Prize from the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (2017; selected by Mark Doty). In 2019 his poem “Mary’s Visit” was chosen from 978 entries for the $1,000 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry. David resides in Milwaukee with his husband, Geoff.

Award given for five poems published during 2019 in various journals and his most recent poetry collection, Bachelor’s Buttons, published by Kelsay Books,

January 6

Krista Eastman

Council for Wisconsin Writers
Norbert Blei/August Derleth
Nonfiction Book Award

Krista Eastman is the author of The Painted Forest, which was named one of the best literary nonfiction debuts of 2019 by Poets & Writers. The Painted Forest also won the Council for Wisconsin Writers’ Nonfiction Book Award and an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her essays have appeared in journals such as Conjunctions, The Georgia Review, and Kenyon Review and been named Notable in Best American Essays.

She was born and raised in the Driftless hills of Wisconsin. After living in Senegal, France, Antarctica, and the eastern U.S., she returned to Wisconsin where she lives with her partner and young son. She’s working on a new book called Pionier.

The Painted Forest, West Virginia University Press

In this often-surprising book of essays, Krista Eastman explores the myths we make about who we are and where we’re from. The Painted Forestuncovers strange and little-known “home places”—not only the picturesque hills and valleys of the author’s childhood in rural Wisconsin, but also tourist towns, the “under-imagined and overly caricatured” Midwest, and a far-flung station in Antarctica where the filmmaker Werner Herzog makes an unexpected appearance.

The Painted Forest upends easy narratives of place, embracing tentativeness and erasing boundaries. But it is Eastman’s willingness to play—to follow her curiosity down every odd path, to exude a skeptical wonder—that gives this book depth and distinction. An unlikely array of people, places, and texts meet for close conversation, and tension is diffused with art, imagination, and a strong sense of there being some other way forward. Eastman offers a smart and contemporary take on how we wander and how we belong.

February 10 & 17

Kimberly Blaeser

Council for Wisconsin Writers
Zona Gale Short Fiction Award

Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

Kimberly Blaeser, writer, photographer, and scholar, served as Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-16. She is the author of four poetry collections—most recently Copper Yearning and Apprenticed to Justice; and editor of Traces in BloodBone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. A bi-lingual collection of her poetry, Résister en dansee/Dancing Resistance will be published in France in 2020. An Anishinaabe activist and environmentalist from White Earth Reservation, Blaeser is a Professor at UW—Milwaukee and MFA faculty member for the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She lives in the woods and wetlands of Lyons Township, Wisconsin.

Vision Confidence Score published in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts

Copper Yearning, published by Holy Cow! Press, invests itself in a compassionate dual vision—bearing witness to the lush beauty of our intricately woven environments and to the historical and contemporary perils that threaten them.  Kimberly Blaeser’s fourth collection of poetry deftly reflects her Indigenous perspective and a global awareness. Through vividly rendered images, the poems dwell among watery geographies, alive to each natural nuance, alive also to the uncanny. Set in fishing boats, in dreams, in prisons, in memory, or in far flung countries like Bahrain, the pieces sing of mythic truths and of the poignant everyday injustices. But, whether resisting threats to effigy mounds or inhabiting the otherness of river otter, ultimately they voice a universal longing for a place of balance, a way of being in the world—for the ineffable. Individually, the poems in this collection provide moments of search and epiphany, glimpses of destination; taken together they begin to form a map for traveling there.

February 24

Jacquelyn thomas

Wisconsin People & Ideas
1st Place Fiction Award

Jacquelyn Thomas is the first-place winner of the 2020 Wisconsin People & Ideas Fiction Contest. She recently returned to the Driftless Area, after living more than thirty years in a Madison housing project where she served as director of an on-site community learning center. Her nonfiction work has been published by Proximity Magazine and is forthcoming in the spring issue of Fourth Genre as runner-up in the Michael Steinberg Memorial Essay Contest. 

“Junk Shed” is an anti-pastoral that questions the lessons one might take (or make up in one’s own head) from living in rural solitude when no one is talking, or really listening, except the printed word.

Jacquelyn is currently at work on a memoir in essays juxtaposing rural and urban mythos to probe questions of race, class, and gender.

She considers it a rare good fortune to have lived in two disparate places — on a small Wisconsin farm and in an urban housing complex — long enough to observe multiple generations. She and her Kansan husband now live in the middle of everywhere, equidistant from each of her home communities.

“In this vivid and tender story, gender roles, sex, and power are masterfully rendered through the daily interactions and violence of the natural world—in stylish and visceral prose.”

Chloe Benjamin

March 3

Susan Martell Huebner

Wisconsin People & Ideas
1st Place Poetry Award

Susan Martell Huebner is the first-place winner of the 2020 Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest. She lives and writes in Mukwonago, WI. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies in both print and online, including Soundings (Caravaggio Press) and Leaves of Peace (WFOP). Her poetry awards include winning the Jade Ring as well as honorable mentions for poetry from the Wisconsin Writers Association. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her chapbook, Reality Changes with the Willy Nilly Wind, received honorable mention in chapbook competition for the WFOP and can be purchased through Finishing Line Press. 

Non-fiction publications include an essay, “Attitude Adjustment,” which won second place in a national competition sponsored by Townsend Press and published by Swedenborg Foundation Press. “Battle in the Burbs” is currently published in Re-Creating Our Common Chord and is available through Wising Up Press. 

Susan’s literary fiction novel, She Thought the Door was Locked, is available through Cawing Crow Press and Amazon.

Find more of her work at www.susanmhuebner.com

Susan writes in multiple genres with poetry being her first love, literary fiction a close second, and memoir and essay ranking about even. Cawing Crow Press recently published her first novel She Thought the Door was Locked and she is thrilled to announce acceptance of a chapbook to be published by Finishing Line Press. Read more of Susan’s work here and here.

“This poem captures the feelings and sentiment of the late 1960s, as well as highlights the emotions behind what’s happening right now in our country. It also captures the free spirit of being 19 again—old enough to begin to understand life but not having enough puzzle pieces to figure it all out.”

Oscar Mireles

March 10

William Stobb

Council for Wisconsin Writers
Zona Gale
Short Fiction Award

William Stobb is a poet and fiction writer, professor, editor, and audio art enthusiast. He holds a Ph. D. in Rhetoric, and works as Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. He is also part of the editorial team at Conduit magazine and its book publishing arm, Conduit Books & Ephemera.

William Stobb was awarded the 2018 Zona Gale Award for Short Fiction for his short story, “All the Bodies,” published in North Dakota Quarterly. His 2020 writer residency at Shake Rag Alley was rescheduled due to coronavirus concerns and he has graciously agreed to participate in the 2020 Winter Writers Reading Series.

March 17

Thomas Davis

Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Ferber
Fiction Book Award

In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams (All Things That Matter Press), Thomas Davis’s fourth published novel, won the 2019 Edna Ferber Fiction Award sponsored by the Wisconsin Council for Writers. In addition to his four novels Davis has had two epic poems, The Weirding Storm, A Dragon Epic (Bennison Books) and An American Spirit, An American Epic (Four Windows Press), published along with one non-fiction book about the Menominee Tribe’s sustainable forestry, Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit (State University of New York Press).

Two new books are currently in the production process:  Meditations on the Ceremonies of Beginning, poetry written during the early years of the founding of two significant movements in education, the tribal college and universities movement in the United States and the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium, which will be published by Tribal College Press and Apples for the Wild Stallion, a young adult novel with an severely autistic hero who cannot talk, which All Things That Matter Press is bringing out.

During his distinguished career as an educator, Davis worked for six tribal colleges across the United States in leadership positions and was a leader in STEM education both in Wisconsin and nationally. He has written grants for tribal colleges and Wisconsin tribes, helped found College of the Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, and served as President or Chief Academic Officer of Lac Courtes Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward, Wisconsin, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota, and Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, Nebraska.

Before retirement, he served as Provost for Navajo Technical University, which has campuses in the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona.  At Bay Mills Community College in Northern, Michigan, he worked with Indian Head Start to develop one of the first degree-granting virtual colleges in the United States.  He has helped found a number of national and international projects and organizations that have affected the lives of American Indians and indigenous peoples from around the world. 

A 12 series podcast about his work with tribal colleges and universities is currently available at https://tribalcollegejournal.org/our-history-memories-of-the-tribal-college-movement-podcast-1/tom-davis-podcast.

In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams, published by All Things That Matter Press.

Before the Civil War a community of black families settled at West Harbor on Washington Island.  One of the greatest mysteries in Door County revolves around where the black pioneers came from and what happened to them.  The community disappeared a long time ago.

Thomas Davis’s new historical novel, In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams, tells a fictional story about how the seven black families got to Washington Island via the Underground Railroad. 

Then it tells the story of how the largest black community outside of Milwaukee at the time created a fisherman community under the leadership of the charismatic black preacher Tom Bennett, a veteran of the War of 1812.

The hero of the story, Joshua Simpson, is a fourteen year old who has been severely whipped by the Overseer of the Bulrush Plantation in the boot heel of Missouri when the story starts.  His mother, Mary Simpson, insists that he go with her to a church meeting held beneath a giant cypress tree in the Mingo Swamp even though Joshua can barely move because of cuts and bruises on his back.

Joshua’s world is turned upside down when he follows his mother where his father, Jason Billings, whom he had never met and was not sure existed, appears out of the darkness.  Then he discovers that Preacher Bennett, a man with a Biblical prophet’s powerful presence, has gathered his swamp congregation together so that they can attempt to escape through the swamp to a place he describes as New Jerusalem.

The drama that follows is unrelenting as events, drawn partially from the literature on the Underground Railroad and slave narratives, complicate Joshua’s and the escaped slaves’ desperate attempts to reach Washington Island.

The novel’s narrative about the slaves’ effort to settle at West Harbor on the island presents a number of historical figures that settled Washington Island, including Jesse Miner, the son of Henry Miner who helped establish the island as a Township of Door County.  The younger Miner wrote a rough biography that provides most of the historical knowledge we have about West Harbor’s black settlement. 

Even the role of Green Bay’s Union Congregational Church and Wisconsin’s Stockbridge Native American Tribe in the Underground Railroad is explored as part of the larger story of racism in the United States.

In her review of the novel, the historical novelist Diane Denton wrote, “This important and moving story of a black fishing community of West Harbor, Washington Island, Wisconsin, insists that the savagery of slavery can be—must be—obstructed. Mr. Davis speaks to the need for all human beings to live freely, individually, uniquely while forming families, friendships, and community; to be at liberty to compete and cooperate, to feel love returned and even unrequited, to know how life is naturally given and taken, to enjoy the refuge of home, to have work and leisure and an education, to make plans and pursue hopes and dreams.”

“Thomas Davis’s novel, IN THE UNSETTLED HOMELAND OF DREAMS, offers a riveting reading experience of great depth and span. This novel intimately involves the reader in the story of escaped slaves surviving against impossible odds, learning day by day how to live truly free, how to truly liberate each other, how to form a community that is a shining lamp of inspiration to the people of Wisconsin and to our nation even today. Davis’s storytelling rings authentic in its informed presentation of the era (the historical terrors following the Fugitive Slave Act) and in its sensitive, revealing, always surprising presentation of small and large character developments. Readers will inhabit our nation’s troubled conscience in these pages — and will travel new paths into compassion.”
 

March 24

Dean Robbins

Council for Wisconsin Writers
Tofte/Wright
Children's Literary Award

Dean Robbins, a children’s author living in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife and son is the author of numerous picture books which include :Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass (Scholastic); Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote (Knopf); Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing (Knopf); and The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon (Scholastic). Thank You, Dr. Salk! (Farrar Straus Giroux) is coming June 22, 2021; The Fastest Girl on Earth! (Knopf) August 10, 2021; and ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! (Candlewick) in fall 2021.

Author photo by David Giroux.

The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean, published by Scholastic.

As a boy, Alan wanted to fly planes. As a young navy pilot, Alan wished he could paint the view from the cockpit. So he took an art class to learn patterns and forms. But no class could prepare him for the beauty of the lunar surface some 240,000 miles from Earth. In 1969, Alan became the fourth man and first artist on the moon. He took dozens of pictures, but none compared to what he saw through his artistic eyes. When he returned to Earth, he began to paint what he saw. Alan’s paintings allowed humanity to experience what it truly felt like to walk on the moon. Journalist and storyteller Dean Robbins’s tale of this extraordinary astronaut is masterful, and artist Sean Rubin’s illustrations are whimsical and unexpected. With back matter that includes photos of the NASA mission, images of Alan’s paintings, and a timeline of lunar space travel, this is one adventure readers won’t want to miss!

past writers in residence

2019-2020

Marilyn Annucci

Council for Wisconsin Writers Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

Marilyn Annucci’s writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Prairie Schooner, Rattle, North American Review, and Indiana Review. Her collection of poems, The Arrows That Choose Us, won the 2018 Press 53 Poetry Award and the Council of Wisconsin Writers’ Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award. She is also the author of Luck, a chapbook of poems from Parallel Press, and Waiting Room, winner of the 2012 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize. Originally from Massachusetts, she worked for ten years as a writer and editor before earning an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a professor in the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Laura jean baker

Council for Wisconsin Writers Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

Raised by therapists, married to a defense attorney, Laura Jean Baker writes where mental health, crime, and family intersect. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she was a Colby Fellow.

Her essays have appeared at The Washington Post, Salon, Longreads, and Scary Mommy. Her poetry and memoir writing have appeared in literary journals such as The Gettysburg Review; Confrontation; The Connecticut Review; Third Coast; The Cream City Review; Alaska Quarterly Review; So To Speak: A Feminist Journal of Literature and Art; War, Literature, and the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities; and Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature.

Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her essay “Year of the Tiger” was a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2013. Her memoir, The Motherhood Affidavits, was released by The Experiment in April 2018. It has been reviewed or mentioned in The New York Times, The Toronto Star, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Shondaland, Electric Literature, and Medium.nShe is currently at work on her second book.

liam callanan

Council for Wisconsin Writers Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

Liam was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Los Angeles, but now calls Wisconsin home, and roots for every last one of its teams, especially the Brewers.

He is the author of two previous novels — The Cloud Atlas, an Edgar Award finalist set in WWII Alaska, and All Saints, set in a beachfront high school in California, as well as a short story collection, Listen and Other Stories. He teaches in the English department of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and also writes shorter things, including essays and public radio commentaries. He doesn’t write poetry, but envies those who do, and is generally a big fan, which is how he came to create and co-executive produce the Poetry Everywhere animated film series, which you can view on iTunes and Youtube, and founded the Eat Local::Read Local program, which distributes local poets’ poems to diners at local restaurants during National Poetry Month.

christina clancy

Council for Wisconsin Writers Kay W. Levin Award for Short Nonfiction

Christina Clancy lives with her very tall husband John in Madison, Wisconsin, in a 104-yr old Prairie-style home, which means no repair is simple or cheap. As her brother-in-law says, the house makes him tired. She and her husband have a guesthouse, or “granny cottage,” they run as an Airbnb, so she is no stranger to second homes.

Her debut novel, The Second Home, will be published June, 2020, St. Martin’s Press. The novel reflects her obsession with old houses, family, Cape Cod and summer vacation. 

Although Christina loves old houses, instead of fixing them she’d rather spend time with her children, Olivia and Tim, or write, run, cycle, SUP, practice yoga and follow politics. She is a certified spin instructor, and serves on the board of Wisconsin Conservation Voters.

In 2011, Christina received a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a specialty in eco-criticism and suburban literature, and taught creative writing at Beloit College. She goes by Dr. Clancy when vying for a hotel room upgrade; but prefers to be called Christina or Christi. 

steve fox

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters People & Ideas Fiction Contest Winner

Steve Fox’s work has appeared in or has been recognized by Narrative Magazine, The Masters Review, The Iowa Review, Midwestern Gothic, and The Midwest Review. Steve’s work was selected winner of the Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring Competition, the Great Midwest Writing Contest, the Midwestern Gothic Summer Flash Fiction Contest, and Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, & Letters Fiction Competition. Steve lives with his wife, three boys and one dog in Hudson, Wisconsin and studies creative writing at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. He gets up on Monday morning and goes to bed later that day on Saturday night.

kathryn gahl

Council for Wisconsin Writers Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

Kathryn Gahl is a writer, dancer, and registered nurse. Born to an Irish nurse and German farmer, she grew up with seven siblings in a farmhouse located at the end of a half-mile gravel drive. She earned a B.S. in English at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a B.S. in Nursing at Syracuse University (NY). After 25 years in nursing and nursing management, she became a full-time writer, studying at Bread Loaf, Stonecoast, Sewanee, Iowa Writers’ Workshop Fiction Intensive, Iowa Summer Festival, Vermont College, and Taos.

Her poems and stories are widely published in small journals, including Eclipse, Hawaii Pacific Review, Permafrost, Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine, and Willow Review. Twice a Glimmer Train finalist, she received honorable mention from The Council of Wisconsin Writers and Wisconsin People & Ideas. Margie named her a finalist for the Marjorie J. Wilson Award. Other finalist awards include poetry at Lumina and Chautauqua , the Arthur Edelstein Prize for Short Fiction, the William Richey Short Story Winner, and the Flash Fiction finalist at Talking Writing.

Mother of two young adults and Oma to one, she loves red lipstick, the tango, and home cooking. Her readings have been described as “lively and pulsating. Even if you don’t like poetry, you will get goosebumps when you hear Kathryn.” She participates in Reading Buddies, a Wisconsin program supplying readers and picture books to preschoolers.

Gahl recently finished her first novel (hooray)! Inspiration flows from her father, who would have been a writer if it weren’t for frozen barn pipes, sows farrowing at midnight, rust in the wheat field, cows breaking into the raspberry patch, and eight children wanting lunch money. That, and his devotion to his wife and Saturday night dance partner, Kathryn’s mother.

margaret rozga

Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Life-long Wisconsin resident Margaret Rozga, Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2019–2020, lives in Milwaukee. She earned her BA at Alverno College and an MA and PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. An emeritus professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Waukesha, she continues to teach a poetry workshop for Continuing Education at what is now the UWM–Waukesha campus.

Rozga’s poems draw on her experiences and interests as an educator, avid reader and researcher, parent, and advocate for social and racial justice. Her first book, 200 Nights and One Day (Benu Press 2009), was awarded a bronze medal in poetry in the 2009 Independent Publishers Book Awards and named an outstanding achievement in poetry for 2009 by the Wisconsin Library Association.

Rozga has published three additional collections of poems: Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad (Benu Press 2012), named an outstanding achievement in poetry for 2012 by the Wisconsin Library Association; Justice Freedom Herbs (Word Tech Press 2015); and Pestiferous Questions: A Life in Poems (Lit Fest Press 2017). Research for Pestiferous Questions was supported by a creative writer’s fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society. 

Rozga has also been a resident at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology and at the Ragdale Foundation. Her work was nominated for inclusion in the 2005 Best New Poets anthology and for a Pushcart Prize.

Rozga served as an editor for three poetry chapbook anthology projects, most recently Where I Want to Live: Poems for Fair and Affordable Housing (Little Bird Press 2018), a project of the 50th anniversary commemoration of Milwaukee’s fair housing marches. Her poetry craft essays have appeared in the Whale Road Review, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Museletter and other venues. Her poems have been included in eight collaborative exhibits with visual artists and other poets.

Rozga reviews poetry books and has served as a judge for poetry and writing contests for in Wisconsin and nationally. She serves on the program committee for the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books. She especially enjoys offering poetry workshops for middle and high school students.

robert russell

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters People & Ideas Poetry Contest Winner

Robert Russell is a recovering economist currently living in Madison. For over ten years he was co-producer of the “Radio Literature” program on WORT-FM, and was coordinator for the CheapAtAnyPrice poetry series. Russell led the Madison National Poetry Slam teams from 1992 to 1994, and has taught poetry in high schools and colleges here and abroad. His short fiction and poetry have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies, and his chapbook, Witness, is available on Amazon.

2018-2019

Matt Cashion
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

Ronnie Hess
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

Matthew Guenette
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

Michael Hopkins
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Fiction Contest Winner

Jenna Rindo
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Poetry Contest Winner

Ed Werstein
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Lorine Niedecker Award

2017-2018

Paula Dáil
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

Nicholas Gulig
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Poetry Contest Winner

Karla Huston
Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Catherine Jagoe
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

Rachel Davidson Leigh
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award

Patricia Skalka
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

David Southward
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

Bob Wake
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Fiction Contest Winner

Carolyn Kott Washburne
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award

Liz Wyckoff
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Zona Gale Short Fiction Award

2016-2017

John Gurda
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

Ronnie Hess
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award

Karen Loeb
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Poetry Contest Winner

Judith Claire Mitchell
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

Gayle Rosengren
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award

Allison Slavick
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Fiction Contest Winner

Ron Wallace
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

John Walser
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

2015-2016

Margaret Benbow
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Zona Gale Short Fiction Award

Chloe Krug Benjamin
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

Bridget Birdsall
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award

Sean Bishop
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

Kimberly Blaeser
Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Cathryn Cofell
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

John Hildebrand
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

Catherine Jagoe
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award

Nikki Kallio
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Fiction Contest Winner

Lisa Vihos
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Poetry Contest Winner

2014-2015

A.M. Bostwick
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award

Max Garland
Wisconsin Poet Laureate

B.J. Hollars
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

Amaud Jamal Johnson
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

Dion Kempthorne
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Poetry Contest Winner

Jesse Lee Kercheval
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

Jeanie Tomasko
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

Craig Reinbold
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award

2013-2014

Shauna Singh Baldwin
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Fiction Contest Winner

Sarah Busse
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

Richard E. Carter
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Ellis/Henderson Outdoor Writing Award

Lydia Conklin
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Zona Gale Short Fiction Award

Paula Daíl
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Kingery/Derleth Book-length Nonfiction Award

Bruce Dethlefsen
Wisconsin Poet Laureate

C X Dillihunt
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Poetry Contest Winner

Kathleen Ernst
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

Adam Fell
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

Mary Ellen Gabriel
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award

Janet Halfmann
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award

David McGlynn
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

Jill Stukenberg
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Fiction Contest Winner

2012-2013

Bruce Dethlefsen
Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Krista Eastman
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Book Award

Jacqueline Houtman
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award

Amy Lou Jenkins
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Ellis/Henderson Outdoor Writing Award

David Krump
Council for Wisconsin Writers
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

Allison Slavick
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
People & Ideas Short Story Contest Winner