Public Poets Conversation
Madison Poets Laureate, Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman, gather together poets from all walks of life for a conversation on what it means to be a public poet. Sarah and Wendy will talk with Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Max Garland, Sofia Snow, Peggy Rogza, and Dasha Kelly.
Join Madison's Poets Laureate as they host a conversation around what it means to be a "public" poet. What counts as a “public” poem? What do "poets laureate" do? What could they do? What's a "Young Poet Laureate" and should Madison have one? And what does the idea of a laureate position look like when we place it in a broader cultural, civic and artistic context? What do poets laureate and political poets and hip hop and spoken word artists have in common? How can traditional poetry and spoken word come together in the public square and should they?
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.
Wendy Vardaman is an editor, writer, web manager, printmaker, and designer. She has published three collections of poems and co-edited several anthologies. Her most recent book of poems, Reliquary of Debt, is available from Lit Fest Press.
Sarah Busse (Sarah Sadie) is the author of Somewhere Piano and Do-It-Yourself Paper Airplanes, co-editor of Echolocations, Poets Map Madison and Local Ground(s)—Midwest Poetics, and founding co-editor of Cowfeather Press. She teaches at the Loft and the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, is currently enrolled in seminary, working toward a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) degree. One of Madison's two Poets Laureate (2012-2015), she is currently at work on a novel and a new collection of poems. She lives with her husband and two children.