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Wisconsin Poetry Festival
October 10, 2014
This Event: May be of interest to the LGBTQ community
The Friends of Lorine Niedecker are hosting the sixth Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival on Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11 at the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The goal of the Poetry Festival is to celebrate Wisconsin poetry. All events are free and open to the public.
This year the Festival will focus on the “short poem.” “This is an opportunity for everyone to entertain their inner poet,” Ann Engelman, Festival Coordinator said.
“A variety of events, presentations, an art exhibit and writing opportunities are included.
The ever popular Poetry Café, located in the Community Room at the library will provide the mash-up of poets, writers, publishers, and poetry appreciators. The Poetry Café Store will be full of books, broadsides, posters, chapbooks and special bookmarks printed for the Festival.
This year’s highlights include:
* Kori Oberle, Executive Director of the Hoard Historical Museum and Niedecker fan is creating a special tour opportunity that reflects the natural, historical and cultural influences that were a part of Lorine’s sense of place. Included will be an overview of Lorine’s museum archive, the Niedecker Room and regional history in anticipation of the Saturday evening presentation on Increase Lapham.
* The Poetry Path created with sidewalk chalk at the Farmer’s Market was so popular last year that another will be created this year. It will start at the Farmers Market on Milwaukee Avenue and continue in front of the library.
* CX Dillhunt, poet and publisher of “Hummingbird Magazine of the Short Poem” will be presenting his observations and examples about the creative process.
* Shoshauna Shy, poet and coordinator of the “Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf” initiative will present recent poetry projects that brought businesses, art institutions and poets together to present poetry to everyday citizens. “Our downtown poetry wall has become an icon for Fort Atkinson,” said Engelman. “This will look at other creative statewide successes.”
* Open Mics will be held on Friday evening at the Café Carpe, moderated by Marilyn Taylor, former Wisconsin Poet Laureate and Saturday afternoon, October 11 moderated by Jean Preston, Poet Laureate in Kenosha.
* There will be an opportunity to meet with poets in small groups for discussion about their work and the poetic process and this year, two Writers Workshops will be presented, one on Blackhawk Island and one along the River Walk in downtown Fort Atkinson. Lisa Fishman, poet and Associate Professor of English and Director of Poetry at Columbia College, Chicago, and Richard Meier, poet and writer in residence at Carthage College will lead the workshops.
* Karen Laudon, Visual Artist has been influenced by Lorine Niedecker. This special exhibit is touring Wisconsin and making a stop in the Jones Gallery upstairs at the library. The exhibit opens on Monday, October 6 and will run through Saturday, October 18. There will be a reception on Saturday evening October 11 at 6:30 before the Nature of Wisconsin Poetry session. She has teamed up with Emilie Lindemann, Assistant Professor of English at Silver Lake College, for the exhibit and Emilie’s presentation, “Lost and Found.” Paintings and sculptures will be for sale.
* The Festival will close with the Nature of Wisconsin Poetry. Authors Paul Hayes, and Martha Bergland will discuss their new book, “Studying Wisconsin: The Life of Increase Lapham.” Lorine was influenced by Lapham’s research. Paul was a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal and Martha taught English at Milwaukee Area Technical College. They collaborated on this book that has special significance to Fort Atkinson.
Included in the closing session will be short poems written during the afternoon Writers Workshops.
The Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Festival will be dedicated to Mary Gates, former Dwight Foster Public Librarian. There will be a tribute to her and her work and how she developed the current activities of the Friends of Lorine Niedecker before she died in January 2014.
“ Invited poets are coming from across Wisconsin to participate. The Festival offers opportunities for poets and those who appreciate poetry to gather, share, read and raise awareness of poetry in our culture,” said Amy Lutzke, librarian at Dwight Foster Public Library. “Wisconsin is rich with great literary history.”
Ann Engelman noted, “This festival is building a poetry tradition and Fort Atkinson, along the banks of the Rock River, is the perfect place to host this event. The annual Festival is becoming a fall destination for writers and poets. Fort Atkinson is home to poet Lorine Niedecker, a significant 20th -century poet. “What better place to gather inspiration than this quiet place where the river runs through.”
For a complete schedule, event descriptions and list of presenters and their biographies visit www.lorineniedecker.org or google Wisconsin Poetry Festival, or, contact Ann Engelman 920-563-0416 or Amy Lutzke 920-563-7790.
The Festival is sponsored by the Friends of Lorine Niedecker and includes partnerships with the Dwight Foster Public Library, Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop & Guest House, Café Carpe, GMA Printing, Whitewater, Paul’s Book Store, Madison, Woodland Pattern Book Store, Milwaukee, and the Fort Atkinson Farmers Market. This event is also funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“To have great poets there must be great audiences too.” ~Walt Whitman
”You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.” ~Joseph Joubert