Contributors' Notes

Sharon Kilfoy's painting 'Querida' (Loved One) is based on a Mexican love ballad. Sharon runs the Williamson Street Art Center in Madison, WI. Her piece is inspired by the Mexican-Madison Mural Project she coordinated that resulted in school murals in Guadalajara and San Pancho, as well as in Madison.

About thirty years ago Olga Abella spent three summers working on an 80 acre farm that her friend owned in Sturgeon Bay. She picked corn and strawberries for market, shoveled manure, weaned calves, fed pigs and chickens, gave antibiotic injections to sick sheep, got attacked by roosters and geese, sat at the back of a planter and placed broccoli and cabbage seedlings into the dirt trough made by a hiller. But the most memorable days are the ones she spent hours with a hoe pulling out weeds down endless rows of cauliflower. The boredom forced her to shape images in her mind to keep from going insane.

Liz Abrams-Morley's third poetry collection, Necessary Turns, was published in 2010 and won an Eric Hoffer Award that same year. Her poems and her short stories have been published in a variety of nationally distributed anthologies, journals and ezines, and have been read on NPR. Co-founder and co-director of Around the Block Writers' Collaborative,  Liz is on the MFA in Writing faculty of Rosemont College and works with Philadelphia Public Schools in literacy through the arts programs.  Mother, wife, grandma, teacher, neighbor, sister, daughter of ghosts, Liz wades knee-deep in the flow of everyday life from which she draws inspiration and, occasionally, exasperation.

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

Sylvia Arthur often writes and publishes about her travels in Asia and her life in Wisconsin.

Nancy Austin
was born in Whitefish Bay, WI, but has lived on both coasts, and points in between. She currently resides in Minocqua, has a Masters in psychology, and writes both poetry and music. She has been published in Sheepshead Review, and will be in the 2014 Wisconsin Poets Calendar.

James Babbs
has published hundreds of poems over the last several years in print journals and online.  He lives in the same small town where he grew up.  He works for the government but doesn’t like to talk about it.  He’s the author of Dictionary of Chaos(2002), Another Beautiful Night(2010), Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013).

Anne Bales
writes with the Urban Echo Poets, creates haiku on bird walks in Olmsted parks, and enjoys writing about nature, family, and urban places.

Mary Jo Balistreri
has lived on Saylesville Pond in Genesee, WI for twenty-five years. It is here she began writing poetry within the spiritual setting of woods and water. Her poetry comes from and is sustained by her relationship to this land, her family, to the spirit that embraces us all.

Judy Barisonzi has been a Wisconsin resident since 1966, and she now lives among the lakes and woods of northwest Wisconsin. Semi-retired from teaching English at the University of Wisconsin Colleges, she gives workshops in creative writing and memoir writing, participates in several local writing groups, and publishes poems in local and national magazines.

As a writer/actor, Donna Barkman has had her solo play “Hand-Me-Downs” produced in NYC and Westchester.  In 2013, she wrote and performed two pieces in “Words that Paint” at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Her poetry has appeared in The Westchester Review, Common Ground, Adrienne Rich: a Tribute Anthology, Chautauqua, Boston Literary Review, String Poet, Per Contra, and others.  She’s enjoyed two writers’ residencies at Brush Creek and Jentel, both in Wyoming.  Born and raised in Oshkosh, she lived, worked and played in Madison with her three children in the wild and wooly 70s.

Andrew Bennett
has been a high-school English teacher for ten years.  He lives with his wife and daughter in Boston.  He once rode through Wisconsin on a cross-country road trip, but was recovering from Lyme Disease so he slept through most of the state.  When he awoke, though, he felt invigorated!

Margaret Benbow's poems have been published in many magazines, including Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Antioch Review and others. They've appeared in anthologies such as Western Wind and The Journey Home. Her first collection, Stalking Joy, won the Walt McDonald First Book Award. Benbow has now completed a second book, Queen of the Dwarves.

B.J. Best
is the author of three books, most recently But Our Princess Is in Another Castle.  A fourth, the novella-in-verse I got off the train at Ash Lake, is forthcoming from sunnyoutside in late 2013.  He live with his wife and son in the house in which he grew up on Big Cedar Lake outside of West Bend.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm, short-story and novel writer, copywriter, photographer and poet, now lives and works in Lima, Peru. Two novels and a poetry collection (TANGENTS) have been published in the UK. Her latest poems have appeared or are forthcoming in US poetry reviews. 

Like Ishmael, Steven Borzynski is tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. It is rumored that Iceland particularly suits him. Most recently, his work has been published at The Literary Bohemian and Guidebook: A Poetry Journal. He is proud to be from the fine state of Wisconsin. 

Lewis Bosworth lives in Madison. A UW-Madison grad [eons ago], he also has a degree in linguistics from the U. of Michigan. A writer and editor, he works hard at his poems, reworking things like a love affair with his cat and a bad poem about his childhood boyfriends. He hopes to be noticed by anybody before he turns 80. http:/ www.lewisbosworth

Kimberly Bruss grew up in Milwaukee and went to college at UW Madison before moving to Houston to attend the University of Houston for her MFA. She has poems forthcoming in Tin House, PANK, Juked Magazine, The Birmingham Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

Jeff Burt
works in manufacturing in Santa Cruz County, California, was raised from Lake Superior down to the lead mines of southwestern Wisconsin, and several points in-between.

Sarah Busse is a co-editor of Verse Wisconsin and Cowfeather Press and the author of Somewhere Piano (Mayapple 2012).

Alan Catlin
has been publishing for parts of five decades. He has over sixty chapbooks and full length book published during that time. He is currently serving as poetry editor for the online poetry magazine

Lisa Cheby
 is a Los Angeles poet who works as a high school librarian.  She received an MFA from Antioch University, works with the Board of Directors of the Valley Contemporary Poets, and is the editor of Annotation Nation Poetry.  Back in the mid-90s she drove through Wisconsin on a trip from Minneapolis to Chicago with friends she met while teaching in Hungary.  Her publications and readings may be found on her website:

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). They are a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow, part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and have been a participant in Sharon Bridgforth's Theatrical Jazz Institute.  

Lisa J. Cihlar's poems appear, or soon will in numerous journals including: The Pedestal Magazine, Green Mountains Review, Bluestem, elimae, and Pirene's Fountain.  In 2008 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  She lives in rural southern Wisconsin.

Cathryn Cofell serves on the Advisory Board of Verse Wisconsin. She writes, too, the author of Sister Satellite, a new collection from Cowfeather Press, six chapbooks and a CD that combines her work with the music of Obvious Dog.  She has lived in Wisconsin for all but three years when she tried to love and live in Colorado, both heinous mistakes now rectified.

Not Your Political Playground, by Nina Valeo-Cook of Madison. Her statement reads in part: "Current legislation is not based in science, logic, and compassion for people, for women; rather it is founded in power, self-righteousness, and arrogance. You do not get to legislate my body for your entertainment. Do not be mistaken, there is nothing playful about legislating women’s health and women’s bodies. MY body is NOT your political playground."
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 Lorene Niedecker and the Posner awards.

Ron Czerwien sells used and rare books on the internet as Avol's Books LLC. His poems have appeared in a number of on-line and print journals. He hosts the Speakeasy Open Mic Poetry Readings, on the first Thursdayof each month, at The Dragonfly Lounge in Madison.

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). 

R.A. Davis owns and operates Altered Words, offering freelance editing, proofreading, and typing services. In addition to her business ventures, Ramona has facilitated poetry writing workshops through the DC Public Library for youth in underprivileged communities, holds a Certificate in Advancing Youth Development, 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 and owns an organization (Chained With Love) that donates handmade, crocheted scarves to homeless women and their families in the Dane County area of Wisconsin. 

CX Dillhunt was awarded first place in the 2012 Wisconsin Academy / Wisconsin Book Festival Poetry Contest for poems from in his series titled "The Incomplete Glass Man's Glossary." He is the editor of Hummingbird: Magazine of the Short Poem founded by Phyllis Walsh in 1990. 

Colin Dodds
grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment – A Tragedy, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than sixty publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.

Karl Elder
is Poet in Residence at Lakeland College near Sheboygan, where he also facilitates Sheboygan County’s Mead Public Library Poetry Circle.  His series of essays in response to prompts from Creative Writing Now appear online at

Anna M. Evans
is the Editor of the Raintown Review and currently teaches poetry at West Windsor
Art Center. Her latest chapbook, The Stolen From, is available from Barefoot Muse Press and on Amazon. She has visited Michigan and Illinois, which she believes are near Wisconsin.

Fabu is Madison's third Poet Laureate.  She has two recent books: In Our Own Tongues, published by the University of Nairobi Press and African American Life in Haiku published by Parallel Press. Her forthcoming book (October 2013) is  Mary Lou Williams:  Remember Me. Her website is

Joseph Farley
edited Axe Factory from 1986 to 2010. His books and chapbooks include Suckers, For
the Birds, Longing for the Mother Tongue, Waltz of the Meatballs
, and Her Eyes. His work has appeared in Verse Wisconsin, Mad Poets, US 1 Worksheets, Concrete Meat Sheet, Mad Swirl, Word Riot, and many other places.

Richard Fein
was a finalist in The 2004 New York Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition A Chapbook of his poems was published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been published in many web and print journals.

Yvette Viets Flaten’s
great-grandfather homesteaded in Barron County, Wisconsin in the years immediately following the Civil War, and those roots have proven fascinatingly strong as she researches the location of his 160 acres.

William Ford
has two books, The Graveyard Picnic (Mid-America Press, 2002), and Past Present Imperfect (Turning Point, 2006). Two chapbooks, Allen & Ellen, and  Descending with Miles were published by Pudding House in 2010. His good friend, Paul Zimmer (poet and editor), lives in Crawford County. They roam around the Kickapoo River and hit the high spots of Soldiers Grove.

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

Alison Gates and Helen Klebesadel are the founders and curators of The Exquisite Uterus Project: The Art of Resistance. Gates teaches Visual Design/Women's and Gender Studies at UW-Green Bay.

Trina Gaynon’s
poems have appeared in the anthologies Bombshells and Knocking at the Door, as well as numerous journals including Natural Bridge, Reed and the final issue of Runes. Her chapbook An Alphabet of Romance is available from Finishing Line Press. Forthcoming publications in anthologies include: A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, Saint Peter’s B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints, Obsession: Sestinas for the 21st Century, and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium. 

Anne Waitzman of Fennimore, WI created this fabulous history lesson for us in 'My Politicized Uterus.' Take a close look at the progression away from and back toward the hanger.

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).

Andreé Graveley
is a poet, a peace activist, and a student of Jungian dreamwork. She lives on an island in northern Wisconsin where she writes and keeps a rustic cabin resort built by her grandparents. Her work is published or forthcoming in North Coast Review, Red Cedar Review, and Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar.

David Gross lives in the foothills of the Illinois Ozarks. His work has been included in numerous literary and small-press journals and in four anthologies. He is the author of four chapbooks of poetry. The most recent, Pilgrimage, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2009.

Kenneth P. Gurney
lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne.  He emcees the Adobe Walls open mic at Page One Books.  His latest collection of poems is Curvature of a Fluid Spine.  To learn more visit his website.

Sarah Kain Gutowski’s
poems have been published recently in The Gettysburg Review and The Southern Review. She teaches writing and literature at Suffolk County Community College, and she lives in Center Moriches, New York with her husband and their circus of children and dogs. She keeps a record of her writing life, experience in academia, and humbling attempts at motherhood at Her one and only—yet marvelous nonetheless—connection to Madison, WI is her friendship with the poet Cynthia Marie Hoffman, who was a Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing some years ago and has lived there ever since. 

Glenn Halak
started writing poetry and painting very early, inspired by his great-grandmother's poetry and painting. He loves images that carry him up into the dark, to paraphrase Tomas Tranströmer. He had a book of poems published by a defunct online publisher, writerswebpress, back in 1998 and has had poems published over the years, three children's books, some plays produced. Lately two one-acts and some short fiction as well were published.

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.

Emily Hamm
recently graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, and she is a native of the Near East side of Madison (a block from the Willy St. Co-op!). She writes about her own internal and lived experiences related to mental illness; some poems also echo her interactions with mental health care systems in Wisconsin.

Morgan Harlow is the author of Midwest Ritual Burning (Eyewear Publishing, 2012). Her fiction, poems and other writing have appeared in Blackbox Manifold, Tusculum Review, Washington Square, The Moth, and elsewhere.

Dawnell Harrison
has been published in over 65 magazines and journals including The Endicott
Review, Fowl Feathered Review, Mobius
, and many others. She has three books of poetry: Voyager, The maverick posse, and The fire behind my eyes. Links to Wisconsin? Well, her Mother was born there!

Susan Hering is a mother and an economist and a teacher, a painter and a poet and a playwright. She has a deep and abiding interest in the Middle East and does a lot of reading in the literature of the region, including as much poetry as she can find in reasonable translation, believing that regional literature, including drama and poetry as well as novels, is the best way to get to know the people of parts of the world she may never get to visit.

Artist Amy Bethel lives in Madison, WI. Her uterus overlays an internationally recognized warning sign which is, itself, overlaid with texts which includes phrases such as "Unauthorized reproduction may be illegal. Does not cause mental retardation or mental illness. Not intended as a penis substitute. Do not avoid contact with legislators. Act now, this opportunity may be withdrawn at any time. Comes complete with clitoris (not pictured). This unit is self-cleaning."

Ronnie Hess’ poetry has appeared in several publications, including Alimentum, Arbor Vitae, and
Wisconsin People & Ideas
. She is the author of a chapbook, Whole Cloth:  A Poem Cycle (Little Eagle Press, 2009), and a culinary travel guide, Eat Smart in France (Ginkgo Press, 2010).

Katherine Hoerth
is the author of three poetry books: a collection titled The Garden Uprooted and two chapbooks titled Among the Mariposas and The Garden of Dresses. She teaches writing at the University of Texas Pan American and has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. While Katherine genuinely loves and writes about southern Texas, her true home is Wisconsin, where she was born and raised in the small town of Kiel. 

Juleigh Howard-Hobson has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in such venues as The Lyric, 14 by 14, The Raintown ReviewTrinacriaThe Best of the Barefoot Muse (Barefoot Pub), and Caduceus (Yale University). Her best friend comes from Sheboygan.

Trevor Huskey currently works as an Outpatient Psychotherapist in Wauwatosa and has a Masters Degree in Social Work and a BFA in painting and drawing.  He continues to make artwork, including artist’s books.  Two of his poems were just published in the most recent edition of The Windy Hill Review at UW-Waukesha. 

Esteban Ismael is a San Diego native that wandered into the Midwest to complete his MFA at the University of Michigan. His poems are forthcoming in Kweli Journal, and have also appeared in the Acentos Review and Caesura. He’s recently relocated back to southern California, where he’s living off fellowship money and the foolish hope for a job that involves both poetry and a coastal climate. On a flight back to Detroit this past winter, a nice Wisconsin lady not only taught him how to make baked oatmeal, but even got him to (finally) understand what a casserole is.

Joe Johaneman is a Communications Major at Keystone College in La Plume, PA and the Director of Technology for Gamers Against Bigotry.  He currently lives with his partner in Northeast PA. He has a tendency to name his pets after literary characters and his latest Kitten, Circe, has Wisconsin ancestry, as her father was from Blair.

Joan Wiese Johannes was born in Beaver Dam, attended grade school in Waupun, high school in Plymouth, and college in Stevens Point; then taught in Wisconsin Rapids for 34 years while transitioning into a poet. She lives in Port Edwards with her poet husband Jeffrey. Her fourth chapbook is available from Finishing Line Press.

Sara Judy is a Canadian living in New England. She spent a day showing Wisconsin's poet laureate Bruce Dethlefsen around New Hampshire; driving through Fraconia Notch during a rainstorm and smoking cigarettes behind Robert Frost's cabin.  

Meg Kearney’s most recent collection of poems, Home By Now (Four Way Books 2009), was winner of the 2010 PEN New England LL Winship Award; it was also a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. The title poem of Home By Now is included in Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems: American Places anthology (Viking Penguin 2011). Meg’s first collection of poetry,An Unkindness of Ravens, was published by BOA Editions Ltd. in 2001, and is still in print. The Secret of Me, her novel in verse for teens, was released in hardcover by Persea Books in 2005; the paperback edition, along with a teacher’s guide, came out in 2007. Its sequel, The Girl in the Mirror, is just out from Persea Books (spring 2012). Her story “Chalk” appears in Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short Short Stories, published by Persea Books in fall 2011. Meg’s first picture book, Trouper (the three-legged dog), is forthcoming from Scholastic in 2013 and will be illustrated by E.B. Lewis.

As a child, Lora Keller pounded out poems on her toy typewriter in Kaukauna.  After college at UWM, she was a scriptwriter and public relations exec in Milwaukee, New York and Kansas City.  For the last 15 years, she has owned and run three small Milwaukee-based businesses and turned again to poetry. 
Once a linebacker on Wisconsin's 1963 Rose Bowl team,

Dion Kempthorne taught English in the UW Colleges and served as CEO/Dean at UW-Richland. Now retired in the woods of Richland County, he spends his days as a tree farmer and writer. His poems have appeared in Wisconsin Academy Review, Wisconsin People & Ideas, Verse Wisconsin, Mature Years, Verbatim, and other places.

Molly Sutton Kiefer’s chapbook The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake won the 2010 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Award.  Her second chapbook, City of Bears, will be published in 2013 by dancing girl press.  Her work has appeared in Harpur Palate, Women’s Studies Quarterly, WomenArts Quarterly, Berkeley Poetry Review, you are here, Gulf Stream, Cold Mountain Review, Southampton Review, and Permafrost, among others.  She is a member of the Caldera Poetry Collective, earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota, was selected for the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series, serves as poetry editor to Midway Journal, and runs Balancing the Tide:  Motherhood and the Arts | An Interview Project.  She currently lives in Red Wing with her husband, daughter, and newborn son.  She is at work on a manuscript on (in)fertility.  More can be found at

Mark Kliewer is a radiology professor at UW-Madison with a particular interest in fetal ultrasound.   He is Mennonite by heritage and choice, but one of the more modern kind (no chin-beard; enthusiastic user of buttons, cars, and electricity).  His poetry has appeared in Kenyon Review On-line, JAMA, Tar River Poetry, and others. 

Abbie Kurtz has lived most of her poetry writing life in Madison, having begun writing in earnest nearly sixteen years ago (sweet sixteen!), when she moved here. She wrote her first poem (rhyming, with illustrations!) while in grade school. Her poetry is observational, philosophical and exploratory on the subjects of human nature, art, science, nature and climate change (serious subjects, but at times treated with whimsy!).

Jackie Langetieg has three books, White Shoulders (Cross+Roads Press), Just What in Hell is a Stage of Grief 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.

Sandra Sidman Larson has traveled coast-to-coast and across the seven continents with poetry as her constant companion.  One of her favorite spots to write and unwind is a good friend’s home on Madeleine Island.  She is the author of two chapbooks published by Pudding House Press.  Her poems appear in many Midwestern venues.  Her favorite Wisconsin poet and a mentor of hers is Thomas R. Smith.

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.”  

Allison Gates, Appleton, WI, "My own Bayeux Tapestry inspired Uterus. It says, in pidgin Latin: "Do not allow the bastards to grind you down." A nod to both Margaret Atwood's A Handmaiden's Tale but also, a speculation on the Holy Grail and ... Well, Monty Python too!

Although there is no denying that James Lenfestey is a resident of Minnesota and raised 4 Vikings fans here (his father rolling in his DePere grave), he was born and raised in DePere.  He has published 4 collections of poetry, including SAYING GRACE: Wisconsin Poems by Marsh River Editions.

Judy Lent lives and works in the Northwest. She has been a child, a parent, and a parent of parents. She observes that life's toughest moments can make the best stories, however they're told.

Carol Levin is the author of a full volume, “Stunned By the Velocity” 2012, Pecan Grove Press and chapbooks, “Red Rooms and Others,” Pecan Grove Press 2009, and “Sea Lions Sing Scat,” Finishing Line Press, 2007. She won third place in the 2013 String Poet annual contest. Besides her visits to the North shore of Wisconsin it has been her pleasure to have her poems previously published in Verse Wisconsin.

Kristi Ley was born and raised in Wisconsin, thus she prefers her Old Fashioneds with brandy and her cheese curds battered and fried.

Barbara Lightner is a prize-winning poet who grew up in rural Tennessee among sharecroppers and cotton magnates, hardscrabble farmers, and one aristocrat. She began writing poetry in law school to escape the intolerable burden of injustice by law.

Bobbie Lovell is a native and current Wisconsinite who works as a corporate print production coordinator. New to publishing but not to writing, her poems appear in Fox Cry Review and the 2014 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar. Her website is

Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award); Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize); Weeknights at the Cathedral (WordTech Editions); When the Wood Clacks Out Your Name: Baseball Poems (Redgreene Press); six chapbooks, and over 400 poems, stories, and essays in journals and anthologies. Her newest book is Local News from Someplace Else (Wipf & Stock, 2013).She is the co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (PSU Press 2005) and author of two children’s books from Boyds Mills Press: A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry (2008) and Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems (2009).  Her short story collection, What She Was Saying, was one of three finalists for the Katherine Anne Porter Book Award, and a semifinalist for Leapfrog Press’s book competition, Eastern Washington University’s Spokane Fiction Book Award, Black Lawrence Press, and Louisiana University Press’s Yellow Shoe Book Award. The recipient of Pushcart Prize nominations in both poetry and fiction and numerous awards, Marjorie lives with her husband and two children in Williamsport, PA. For more info and reviews, please visit her website.

Al Maginnes has published four chapbooks and four full length collections of poetry, including Ghost Alphabet, which won the 2007 White Pine Poetry Prize. In 2010, two chapbooks appeared, Between States (Main Street Rag Press, 2010) and Greatest Hits 1987-2010 (Pudding House). Recent and forthcoming poems appear in Lake Effect, Salamander, Solo, Cloudbank, Center and others.  He teaches at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Lucia May visited the Wisconsin Dells as a child in 1970. After driving through miles of Dells-related attractions, her family remains convinced that the "Dells" are a marketing ploy designed to attract tourists to waterparks. Lucia later learned to love the stars at a Wisconsin summer camp at which she was a violinist in a resident string quartet, just a few years before Suzukifying her  kids at Stevens Point for several summers. Her work has been most recently published in The Mom Egg, Awakenings Review, Burnt Bridge, Widows' Handbook, Tall Grass, Talking Stick.

Jeri McCormick, a Madison poet and long-time teacher in area senior centers and the Elderhostel program, is a recipient of the Wisconsin Fellowship of  Poets' Muse Prize and a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship. Her most recent book, Marrowbone of Memory, was published by Salmon Poetry in Ireland.

Petrovnia McIntosh moved to Madison from Queens, NY in 1995. Wisconsin is where she’s decided to make roots for her family. Even after trying to move to Minnesota, Wisconsin (specifically, Madison) with its wonderful mix of city and nature, has always pulled her back.

Kenneth McNickle is a student at Loyola University in Maryland.

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. His volume, The Imaginary Baritone, appeared from Fireweed Press in 2012.

Michele Merens is a Milwaukee-based playwright and writer whose credits include: short story and monologue publication in Third Wednesday, Lilith, PlumHamptons, Inkwell, Thema, and Crawdad magazines and four anthologies. She is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild. Inquiries regarding the entire script of “Tumbling Through” or permission to perform the excerpts published here should be directed to or the website,

Wilda Morris, the Workshop Chair for Poets & Patrons of Chicago, and a past president and current secretary of the Illinois State Poetry Society, has studied with a number of Wisconsin poets and written much of her poetry in Door and Green Lake Counties. She has lead poetry workshops at the Green Lake Conference Center and in public libraries in Illinois. Her blog, Wilda Morris’s Poetry Challenge, at, provides a monthly contest for other poets.

Annabelle Moseley is founder and editor of String Poet, the journal of poetry and music.  She appears regularly in such journals as Mezzo Cammin, The Lyric, and The Seventh Quarry.  She is the author of A Field Guide to the Muses (Finishing Line Press, 2009) and The Clock of the Long Now.  

CJ Muchhala's poetry and fiction have appeared in anthologies, art exhibits, print and on-line journals, on CD-Rom and audio CD, in the chapbookTraveling Without a Map, and have been nominated for the Best of Net award and twice for the Pushcart Prize. Most recently her work can be found in Nimrod International Journal, Spring/Summer 2013, and in the new art/poetry collaboration Threaded Metaphors: Text & Textiles on display at the UW-Waukesha library for the 2013 Southeast Wisconsin Book Festival. She lives in Shorewood, WI.

Andrea Musher  served as Madison's second Poet Laureate from January, 2001 through December, 2007; she taught English and Women's Studies at UW-Whitewater for twenty-six years.  Retired now, she sings with the Raging Grannies, paints and talks to her plants.  Currently she is writing a musical dialogue entitled, FRIEDA AND CAROLINE.

Kris Nestingen-Palm began writing poetry in April 2011, eleven months after her 27-year-old daughter died. Her poetry reflects her struggle to accept her death. She lives with her husband in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Gillian Nevers grew up in Milwaukee but has lived in Madison so long that she considers herself to be a native. She spends a fair amount of time in Italy visiting the boy who loved gelato so much he ended up moving there.

James B. Nicola has had over 300 poems published in periodicals including Verse Wisconsin, Atlanta Review, Tar River, Texas Review, Lyric, and Nimrod. A Yale grad and stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a Choice Award. As a poet, he also won the Dana Literary Award and a People's Choice award (from Storyteller); was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award; and was featured poet at New Formalist. His children’s musical Chimes: A Christmas Vaudeville premiered in Fairbanks, Alaska—with Santa Claus in attendance opening night.

Kevin Oberlin was born and raised in Michigan, writes in Ohio, and peregrinates through Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula every summer to reconnect with Lakes Michigan and Superior. His chapbook, Spotlit Girl, won a Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize and was published by Kent State UP.

Marina Oliver is a student at UW-Madison and an intern for Verse Wisconsin.

John Olski is a Library Service Associate for Brown County and a former adjunct instructor of college composition.

Andrea O’Rourke’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Missouri Review, Barrelhouse, Raleigh Review, Poet Lore, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and elsewhere. A native of Croatia, she lives in Atlanta now, where she paints—oils on cotton paper and acrylics on canvas—and attends the MFA program at Georgia State University.

Coverage, is a deceptively powerful and timely piece by Stephanie Harfmann of Milwaukee, WI.. Some of the text on here piece includes these words. "Covered charges for covered medical serices incured in wholel or in part because of, or any complications related to the underlying causes of abnormal cervical cyt. Cytology tissue are subject to a separate deductable in the amount of $7,000 each calendar year..."

Carl Palmer

Darrell Petska has worked as a psychiatric caseworker, nursing home evaluator, and UW-Madison engineering editor. His poetry has appeared in Bolts of Silk, Scissors and Spackle, Red Fez, San Pedro River Review and elsewhere. This is his second appearance in Verse Wisconsin.

David S. Pointer grew up in the Midwest. He has become acquainted with a fair number of the Wisconsin poets over the years. Recent poems in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume V:  Georgia and forthcoming in Volume VI: Tennessee.

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. 

Kay Prosser writes: “Having raised seven children and taught thousands, I agree with Gibran's  "housing bodies but not souls." I am now more accepting, but not always happy about young people's choices.  Nice to live where I overlook the Devil's Lake bluffs so I can ponder such ideas.

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. 

Christine Reilly works at Tin House, lives in New York, New York, and just finished her first novel. She's been published in over fifty journals. She teaches the craft of writing at the University Settlement. She received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College and BA at Bucknell University. She loves hummus, lesbian bars and animal crackers.

Charles P. Ries’s narrative poems, short stories, interviews, and reviews have appeared in over two hundred print and electronic publications. He has received four Pushcart Prize nominations.  He is a founding member of the Lake Shore Surf Club, the oldest fresh water surfing club on the Great Lakes. Most recently he was interviewed by Jane Crown for Blog Radio ( —click on archived shows at the bottom of the page).

Read Ron Riekki's previous work in Verse Wisconsin. Riekki also edited The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State University Press),  Follow him on twitter at @RonRiekki.

Mary Riley grew up in Wisconsin and attended school there, but now lives in Illinois.

Mariann Ritzer (Hartland, WI) has taught creative writing courses at WCTC for twenty-
two years. She has published two chapbooks of poetry and a chapbook of short fiction as
well as two broadsides published by CrossRoads Press.

Jeannie E. Roberts is the author of Nature of It All, a collection of poems (Finishing Line Press, 2013).  She is also the author and illustrator ofLet's Make Faces!, a children's book.  Her work has appeared in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets' Calendar, Misty Mountain Review, Zingara Poetand elsewhere.   

Erin Rodoni’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Antiphon, Serving House Journal, Kindred, Mah Mag World Literature, and multiple issues of San Diego Poetry Annual.  She is a winner of AWP’s Intro Journals Project 2013. 

Rebecca Givens Rolland’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Witness, Cincinnati Review, Gettysburg Review, Georgia Review, Many Mountains Moving, Versal, American Letters & Commentary, and Meridian. Her first book, The Wreck of Birds, won the 2011 May Sarton New Hampshire First Book Prize and was published by Bauhan Publishing. Currently she lives in Boston, a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Charlie Rossiter, NEA Fellowship recipient, hosts the audio website  He is the author of four books of poetry and numerous chapbooks. His poetry has been featured on NPR, Wisc. Public Radio, the Dodge Poetry Festival in NJ, and the Chicago Blues Festival.  He also edited the anthology In The Spirit of T'ao Ch'ien.  His forthcoming Cold Mountain 2000: Han Shan in the City, will be published later this year by FootHills Publishing. He lived in Milwaukee in the 1970s and continues to stay connected with friends there while living in Oak Park, IL. For more info:

Jaina Roth lives and works in Madison, WI. Some of her work has appeared in Obsessed With Pipework, a quarterly magazine of new highwire poetry "to surprise and delight" based out of Somerset, England, as well as various chapbooks and newspaper rags that may or may not have been strewn about our electric countryside.

'Like a Flower,' by Clarice Zucker, Milwaukee, WI. "My obstetrician said, a post meopausal unterus was like an old sock! I said, "How about a flower"…and showed a Georgia O'Keeffe painting to him."

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.

Marybeth Rua-Larsen lives in Massachusetts and teaches part-time at Bristol Community College. Her poems, essays and reviews have been published in The Raintown Review, Crannog, and The Poetry Bus, among others. She won in the Poetry category for the 2011 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition in Galway, and her chapbook Nothing In Between will be published by Barefoot Muse Press in 2014.

Nichole Rued is a creative writing student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Sheepshead Review, Underground Voices, and Verse Wisconsin.

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 Review; Pebble Lake Review;War, Literature & the ArtsThe Ledge; Southern Poetry Review; Verse Wisconsin; and other journals.

Terry Savoie has been published in more than a hundred and fifty literary journals, anthologies and small press publications, including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review and The North American Review. 

Jim Schneider, of Madison, Wisconsin, has published poems in Red River ReviewPoetry Quarterly, and Mobius: the Journal for Social Change. He has also published tanka in several publications. 

Troy Schoultz’s poems, stories and reviews have appeared in Seattle Review, Rattle, Slipstream, Chiron Review, Word Riot, Fish Drum, The Great American Poetry Show, and many others (most sadly out of print) since 1997. He is the author of two chapbooks: A Field of Bonfires Sings (Wolf Angel Press, 1999) and Good Friday (Tamafyr Mountain Poetry, 2005).  Influences include rock and roll, vinyl LPs, found objects, the paranormal, abandoned places, folklore, old cemeteries and the number five.

Paula Schulz is a member of The Poetry People.  She is spending time with grandchildren and substitute teaching.

Judith Sepsey began writing when she retired about ten years ago. She has been published The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Echoes, Free Verse, and elsewhere. 

A lifelong resident of Wisconsin, Kathleen Serley enjoys all of our seasons: spring gardening, summer beach combing, fall hiking and winter snow shoeing. She teaches English.

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.

John H. Sime/Readstown, WI/ in business in Western Wisconsin since 1980/ Graduate of UW- Madison '74 '76/ Peace Corps in Mali 76-78/ previously published in American Funeral Director, Howling Mantra, Hummingbird, Kickapoo Free Press, Verse Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Poets Calendar.

Kate Sontag’s most recent work appears in Poetry Daily, Villanelles (Everyman's Library Poet Pocket Series), Court Green, and Truck. Her work has been featured in Valparaiso Poetry Review and appeared in anthologies such as Boomer Girls, Are You Experienced?, and Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa). She is co-editor with David Graham of After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography (Graywolf) and teaches at Ripon College.

Susan Spear is an Instructor at Colorado Christian University. She earned an MFA in the Verse forms of Poetry from Western State Colorado University. Her poems have appeared in Academic Questions The Lyric, Mezzo Cammin, Relief, Don't Just Sit There and Raintown Review (forthcoming). She also loves music and serves as a choir accompanist and church organist. She lives on the eastern plains of Colorado with her husband. They have three grown children.

Christine Stroik Stocke was born on Ludington Street in Wauwatosa. Her family uprooted for where the Milwaukee river Bends West. After stints in Boston and St. Louis, she received her master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Christine now resides in another land of beer and cheese: The Netherlands.

Richard Swanson is the author of two collections Men in the Nude in Socks and Not Quite Eden and a chapbook Paparazzi Moments, from Fireweed Press. A frequent reviewer for Verse Wisconsin, he is also the Secretary of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

Professor Emeritus at UWEC,  Bruce Taylor's latest collection is The Longest You’ve Lived Anywhere: New & Selected Poems 2013. He is Poet Laureate of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Visit his website.

Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin (2009 and 2010) and the city of Milwaukee (2004 and 2005), is the author of six collections of poetry. Her award-winning poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, The American Scholar, Able Muse, Measure, Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column, and the recent Random House anthology titled Villanelles. Marilyn serves on the Board of Directors for the Council for Wisconsin Writers and the Advisory Board for the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Western State College, Gunnison, CO. She has recently moved from Milwaukee to Madison.

Paul Terranova lives with his wife and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin where he works as a community center director.  Paul has worked as a youth organizer with immigrant youth, a tenant organizer in low income housing, a refugee job developer, a public action organizer with the United Farm Workers of America, a volunteer with children living on the streets of Cape Town South Africa, as well as most every job one could hold behind a counter.  

Guy Thorvaldsen is a journeyman carpenter, a dad, and a writing teacher at Madison College. His poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction has appeared in Madison Magazine, Wisconsin Academy Review, Flyway, Wisconsin Poet's Calender (2014), The Barefoot Review, and on Minds Eye Radio.

Jeanie Tomasko is the author of Sharp as Want (Little Eagle Press) a poetry / artworks collaboration with Sharon Auberle, andTricks of Light (Parallel Press). She lives in Middleton where she and her husband, Steve, grow garlic, eat garlic, give away lots of garlic and are in an exquisitely pungent poetry group called Garlic. Her chapbook, The Collect of the Day, is forthcoming from Centennial Press. (Parallel Press, 2011).

By his own unofficial count, Steve Tomasko has written approximately 5,236.5 bios of himself, which is pretty good considering he’s only been published twice. However, he’s fast running out of unique things to say and who reads these bios anyway? If you’re really curious about Steve, buy him a root beer sometime and ask him what kind of tree he pictures himself as.

'What's In Your Uterus?' was created by Kaylee Werner of Madison, WI. The text on the piece includes 'What will your fetus be? An Addict, PETA Member, Divorced, Homeless, A Stripper, A Career Criminal, Policeman, Rapist, Sexist, Bigot, Feminist, A Jesus Freak, Dominatrix, Cat Woman, Jewish, a Neo Nazi, Bipolar, Suicidal, A Pizza Cook, a High School Drop Out, A Teacher, A Child Molester, A Christian, Socialist, A Capitalist, Football Star, Rockstar, Heroin Junkie, Stoner'... and more.

Tonya McKenna Trabant is a willingly displaced Alaskan currently living in rural Wisconsin with her partner, their two near-perfect offspring, some small fish, and eleven chickens.  She is recipient of the Editor’s Choice award in the Icebox literary magazine.   

Charles Trimberger is a creative writer who lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has studied poetry at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, and has been 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.

Isi Unikowski is an Australian poet who lives in Canberra and works for the Australian Government. He has been published in a number of online and print journals in Australia and overseas. His poetry has recently been circulating on Canberra's buses as part of the Canberra Government's 'poetry on the buses' program.

Wendy 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.

Lisa Vihos has two chapbooks, A Brief History of Mail (Pebblebrook Press, 2011) and The Accidental Present (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She is an associate editor of Stoneboat and an occasional guest blogger for The Best American Poetry digital.

Moisés Villavicencio Barras. 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). His second book of poetry Light of All Times ( bilingual edition) which was published in 2013 by Cowfeather Press.

Born in Wausau, Laura Wendorff earned bachelor's degrees in English and history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan. She’s currently a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Her poetry has appeared in The Minetta Review, Foliate Oak, Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine, and Verse Wisconsin Online (“Poems about the Wisconsin Protests”).

Kaylee Werner was born and raised on the east side of Madison. She spent two years doing an internship for The Rainbird foundation, which focuses on ending child abuse. She grew up with art in her life. She considers herself a painter who is currently dabbling in costume making. You can see her art and contact her at or

Lesley Wheeler’s poetry collections are The Receptionist and Other Tales, a Tiptree Award Honor Book (2012); Heterotopia, winner of the 2010 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; and Heathen (2009). Her poems and essays appear in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Slate, and elsewhereShe teaches at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, but a pair of fuchsia tights purchased in Madison sleeps in her sock drawer, awaiting future adventures to the west.

Steven Wiig lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys night drives & a.m./talk radio. He was born in the U.P. and is an active member of the Screen Actors Guild. Follow him on twitter at @StevenWiig.

Valerie Wohlfeld’s poetry book Woman with Wing Removed was published October 2010 by Truman State University Press. Her first book Thinking the World Visible was chosen by James Dickey for the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize. She has been widely published and anthologized.

Joey Wojtusik is a staunch member of the Trainwreck Writers, north of HWY 8, a situation which is itself a poem. Literary adventures include attempting to teach young people how to write at the secondary level, serving as Poet in Residence for Three Lakes Schools and, among others,  publishing an anthology of prose and poetry in 2002.

Julie Woulfe is a Ph.D student in Counseling Psychology at Boston College by night and a poet and memoirist by day and night. She hails from Evansville, Wisconsin and now lives in Jamaica Plain, MA in the tiniest apartment she has ever seen. Her work has previously been published in Crack the Spine.

Conrad Zeitbrucke is a teacher and a graduate student in psychology who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he divides his time between research in artificial intelligence, writing, and the ongoing quest to wedge a pawn fork in the gambit opening of German existentialism.    

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.

Since 2004 Mark Zimmermann has lived with his wife in Milwaukee where he teaches writing and humanities courses at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Before that they spent a year in northern Poland, nearly three years in Budapest, and eight years in Japan.