Celebrating Wisconsin People
The 2019 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets calendar is unique because, for the first time, the poetry editor is African American. This year's calendar is the most inclusive book of poetry WFOP has ever published with poems from every ethnicity living in Wisconsin, including poems written in both Spanish and English. Additionally, every living Wisconsin Poet Laureate has a poem included in the 2019 publication. In collaboration with the Wisconsin Historical Society, there are photographs from the Society's archives that illustrate multiracial communities form Wisconsin’s past. This collection celebrates all Wisconsin people with a signification section of poems that also focuses on those of German, Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian and other European heritages. The reading will gather State and local poets laureate to celebrate the poetry and people of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of poets and poetic heritage in the state, mentoring and supporting local poets with regular readings, workshops, conferences and other events, and advocating for the study of poetry in our schools. Membership is open to residents and former residents of Wisconsin who are interested in the aims and endeavors of WFOP. WFOP publishes an annual poetry calendar of poets from Wisconsin.
Fabu Phillis Carter, is an artist professionally known as Poet Fabu in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a poet, columnist, storyteller, and teaching artist who writes to encourage, inspire and remind. Selected as the first African American to become a Madison Poet Laureate (2008-2012), she continues to share the Black experience living in the South, the Midwest and in Africa. She served as poetry editor for Umoja Magazine and Madison Magazine. In 2019, she was poetry
editor for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets annual edition. She currently serves as poetry editor for the Capitol City Hues and is a culture columnist for the Cap Times newspaper. Dr. Fabu Carter has a PhD from the University of Nairobi, the African Women’s Center. She was recently selected as a Commissioner for the Madison Arts Commission. Also in 2021, she is co- hosting Poetry for Life, a telephone poetry session every Thursday with Poet Gary Glazner. In
2022 that has become the in-person Poetry and Arts Café held on the first Tuesday of each month at the UW South Madison Partnership Office.
Fabu is the author of seven books of poetry, Poems, Dreams and Roses, In Our Own Tongue, Journey to Wisconsin: African American Life in Haiku, Love Poems. Journey to Wisconsin…won an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry award by the Wisconsin Library Association and the last three are on Mary Lou Williams, jazz genius. They are Remember Me: Mary Lou Williams in Poetry, Sacred Mary Lou and a Mary Lou Williams Coloring book. She is a Pushcart nominee in poetry with poems in Rosebud, PMS, Callaloo and the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters.
Kimberly Blaeser, writer, photographer, and scholar, served as Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-16. She is the author of five poetry collections including Copper Yearning, Apprenticed to Justice, and the 2020 bi-lingual Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance; and editor of Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. A Professor of English and Indigenous Studies at University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, Blaeser also serves on faculty for the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program in Santa Fe. Included in more than 80 anthologies with selections of her work translated into multiple languages including Spanish, French, Norwegian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Hungarian, Blaeser has performed at over 300 venues around the globe from arctic Norway to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Her photographs, picto-poems, and ekphrastic poetry have been featured in many venues including the exhibits “Ancient Light” and “Visualizing Sovereignty.” She lives in rural Lyons Township, Wisconsin; and, for portions of each year, in a water-access cabin near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. Blaeser is founder of the literary organization In-Na-Po—Indigenous Nations’ Poets.
Max Garland is the Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2013-2014. A first generation college student, Garland left a ten-year career as a mail carrier to pursue his love of poetry. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa in 1989 and has been teaching since 1990; currently he is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In his first poetry collection, The Postal Confessions, which earned the prestigious Juniper Prize for Poetry, Garland chronicles his years carrying the mail in a classic American voice. Garland’s second book, Hunger Wide as Heaven, earned another national prize, this time from the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, a leading force in the publishing and promotion of new American poetry.
Denise Sweet is faculty emerita, having taught Humanistic Studies, Creative Writing, and First Nations Studies for the UW-System. She has performed in theater and film productions (both a full-length feature and various documentaries), and has given over 100 readings in North and Central America, Canada and Europe. Her books of poetry include Know By Heart (Rhiannon Press), Songs For Discharming (Greenfield Press), Days Of Obsidian, Days Of Grace (Poetry Harbor), and Nitaawichige (Poetry Harbor; the latter a four-author collection). In 1998, Songs For Discharging won both the WI Posner Award for Poetry, and the Diane Decorah Award, given by the North American Indigenous Writers Circle of the Americas Her most recent book of new and selected poems, Palominos Near Tuba City (Holy Cow! Press) was released in April 2018.
Other distinctions: her poem, “Veteran’s Dance: After Oklahoma City” took second place in Sante Fe Indian Market’s 1st annual Poetry Competition. In 2006, the International Crane Foundation commissioned Sweet to author a poem for the organization, eventually titled, “All The Animals Came Singing.” Additionally, her poem, “Constellations” is part of a permanent etched installation at the Midwest Express Center in Milwaukee, WI. In 1998, Sweet was one of five North American tribal writers sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to attend the 1st Annual World Congress on Indigenous Literature of the Americas held in Guatemala City, GUATE. In 2004, Gov. James Doyle appointed Sweet as WI’s Poet Laureate (4-year term); the 2nd laureate named for the state of Wisconsin.
Her works of poetry and fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals such as Cream City Review, Calyx, Akwekon, Sinister Wisdom, Yellow Medicine Review, Yakhiko la’tuse? (“She Tells Us Stories”), Another Chicago Magazine, Recreating The Enemy’s Language (ed. Joy Harjo), Plainswoman, Returning The Gift (ed. Joseph Bruchac), Brave In The Face Of Danger (ed. Beth Brant), Traces In Blood, Bone And Stone: Ojibwa Poetry, Stories Migrating Home (ed. Kimberley Blaeser) and others. Palominos Near Tuba City is her 5th collection, released in April 2018. As Those With Faith Will Do: A Memoir is Sweet’s current works-in-progress.
Karla Huston, Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2017-2018) was born and raised in the La Crosse area, but she has made Appleton her home since 1987. She is the author of A Theory of Lipstick (Main Street Rag: 2013), winner of a Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Achievement Award. Huston has published 8 books of poetry including Grief Bone from Five-Oaks Press which also garnered a Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Achievement Award in 2018. Her poems, reviews and interviews have been published widely, including in the 2012 Pushcart Best of the Small Presses anthology. She teaches poetry writing at The Mill: A Place for Writers in Appleton, Wisconsin, and serves on the author’s committee for the Fox Cities Book Festival as well as the board of directors for The Mill: A Place for Writers. As part of her WPL term, she has been working with poetry and dementia and the Memory Café programs throughout the state. Author photo credit: Mike Roemer at roemerphoto.com.
Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee, is the author of six poetry collections, including Step on a Crack (Kelsay Books, 2016) and Going Wrong (Parallel Press, 2009). Her award-winning poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, The American Scholar, Measure, and the Random House anthology titled Villanelles. She also served for five years as a contributing editor for The Writer magazine, where her “Poet to Poet” column on craft appeared bimonthly. More recently Taylor was awarded the 2015 Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Prize, and was named a finalist for the 2016 X.J. Kennedy Parody Contest, the 2016 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the 2018 Lascaux Review Prize. She is currently an associate editor for Verse-Virtual and Third Wednesday poetry journals. Taylor continues to facilitate independent poetry workshops and presentations throughout Wisconsin and across the country, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Continuing Education program, the Poetry-by-the-Sea Writers Conference in Madison, Connecticut, and Lawrence University’s Björklunden Seminar Center in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin.