Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice focuses on contemporary issues, this text showcases a large collection of regional poets laureate writing on subjects critical to understanding social justice as it relates to the Great Lakes region. Undocumented includes writing by seventy-eight poets who truly represent the diversity of the Great Lakes region, including Rita Dove, Marvin Bell, Crystal Valentine, Kimberly Blaeser, Mary Weems, Karen Kovacik, Wendy Vardaman, Zora Howard, Carla Christopher, Meredith Holmes, Karla Huston, Joyce Sutphen, and Laren McClung, among others. City, state, and national poets laureate with ties to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin appear in these pages, organized around themes from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide,” calling on readers to act on behalf of victims of social injustice.
Oscar Mireles is a published poet and editor. Mireles’ poetry has been published in over 50 different publications. Oscar has been writing poetry for the past 35 years. Mireles is the editor of three anthologies titled ‘I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: 20 Hispanic Poets and ‘I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: 30 Hispanic Writers’ and I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: 3 Decades of Hispanic Writing. He also produced a chapbook titled ‘Second Generation’. Mr. Mireles was selected as the 6th Poet Laureate of the City of Madison for the years 2016-17.
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).
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.
Ron Riekki’s books include U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press), Posttraumatic: A Memoir (Small Press Distribution), and My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction: Saami-American Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Poetry (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press). Riekki edited Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press), And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (MSU Press), Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (MSU Press, Independent Pub