Original Voice 2016/2017

The Original Voice includes feature artists, poetry and prose readings, music, etc., and open mike, and is open to the public and the event is now held at The Coloma Hotel in Coloma, WI after the Coffee Cabin closed in Wautoma. The event is held the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 7 – 9pm. (Note: Previously, the event was held on the first Thursday of each month, but due to conflicting schedules with other popular events we changed our meeting time to see if it would encourage greater attendance.) We hope you can come! Bring a friend! Contact Julie (920-572-0429 or the Coloma Hotel at 414-870-7329 or 715-228-2401.) The Coloma Hotel

Upcoming Features 2018

The Original Voice is taking a break until Valentine’s Day, 2018, when we will reconvene with a theme: Love Poems. Bring your favorite love poems to share.

Feb. 14 Julie Eger
Mar 14 Troy Schoultz
April 11 Jane Osypowski
May 9 Richard Merelman
June 13 Tom Boswell


 Readings – 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m.
Julie TwitterJulie C. Eger – Creator of The Original Voice
Julie’s work as a massage therapist has fed her belly and warmed her home. Her passion for writing feeds her soul. She lives in a state of wild divine in the heart of Wisconsin along with her husband, a brown dog and a black dog, all who insist on hogging the bed.

Six years ago, Julie sat down to write a short essay on the after effects of alcoholism on families, and finally stopped writing when she reached page 396. This essay turned into her first novel titled The Secrets of Arbishaw County. It is, as yet, unpublished, but it triggered a love for writing which includes poetry. In 2007 the first three chapters of the rough-draft of her fictional novel came out in a tradeback edition of a one-of-a-kind eclectic collection of works-in-progress titled Other Voices edited by Norbert Blei. Julie’s introductory chapters are surrounded by the wonderful work of 21 other authors. In 2016, Julie self-published this novel under the new title EENY MEENY CRIMINY CROW. You can find the link by clicking here.

In 2008, Julie took first place in the WRWA Jade Ring contest with an essay titled “The Lesson Of the Deep Song” and second with a memoir titled “Puberty 101.” In 2007, Julie’s poem, “Broken Promise” (a cinquain) won first place in the WRWA Jade Ring poetry category. In 2006 Julie took second place in the WRWA Jade Ring Essay contest with a piece titled “La Que Sabe’s Bag of Tricks,” and honorable mention in the Al P. Nelson Feature Article Contest with an article about her son titled “Carving Out a Dream”. In 2005 she won first place in the article category with a piece about her mother titled “Maxine,” third place in the essay category with a humorous piece about odd-shaped silverware titled “Between a Fork and a Hard Place,” and second place in the 2004 nostalgia category with a reminiscent piece titled “The Broken Bowl.” Her work has appeared in Country Today, Peninsula Pulse, Irish Stew, Free Verse, Siftings, Hummingbird, Slow Trains, Green Prints Magazine, Other Voices (edited by Norbert Blei), The Original Voice, Poetry Dispatch, Bar Code (anthology edited by Ralph Murre), Arbor Vitae, Write Away! (anthology of poems edited by Barb Cranford), ARGIA and WOW! Women On Writing.

Julie enjoys spending time with her family, grandchildren, friends, and singing Patsy Cline songs when no one is looking. She is responsible for having raised two sons, her spirit, and the spirit of others as well.

         Words and pictures and music and more!

Scroll down to see all of the feature artists…

applause Ken


Guy Kaplan (musician) February 2015 Feature ArtistGuy Kaplan

Guy is a retired teacher who lives in Coloma and is often seen on stage in the  Coloma Players’ productions or Improv evenings. Guy loves playing guitar and sharing some of his favorite songs as he has been doing since he was sixteen years old. Guy especially likes performing songs that his audience can sing along with; he has been a member of the Blackhawk Folk Society for over twenty years.  He retired from teaching five years ago, after having taught at the Coloma Elementary School for 34 years. An avid camper, hiker, and canoeist, Guy is active in the Ice Age Trail organization.

images[3]Karl Garson (poet) March 2015 Feature Artist

Karl Garson has two poetry collections and three Pushcart Prize nominations. His poetry has appeared in Apalachee Review, Cimarron Review, Cottonwood, Cream City Review, The Kansas Quarterly, North American Review and South Dakota Review, among others. A gardener, carpenter, cabinetmaker and builder of drystone walls, Karl a farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin. When not writing poetry he works on a novel about his experience tor in Vietnam.

sarah gilbert ISarah Gilbert (poet) April 2015 Feature Artist

Sarah Gilbert returned to writing poetry in the midst of two decades of Lynch Syndrome cancers. She serves as a regional VP for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and hosts a reading series at Copper Rock Café in Appleton. In February 2015 Finishing Line Press released a chapbook of some of her cancer poems, Tendril: Living With Lynch Syndrome. Her work has appeared in Fox Cry Review, Wisconsin Poets Calendar, The Healing Muse, Your Daily Poem, and Sharing Widely Living Deeply. A retired La Leche League Leader and home schooling mom, Sarah enjoys helping out in her community and church, spending time with family and in nature, weaving, and gardening. She lives in Appleton with her husband and two daughters, three cats and an old dog.

20150513_191812James P. Roberts (poet) May 2015 Feature Artist

James P. Roberts is the author of 14 books ranging from science fiction and fantasy to poetry and literary biography. His best known book is FAMOUS WISCONSIN AUTHORS, published by Badger Books in 2002. He has also published four poetry collections, the most recent being A DEMON IN MY VIEW, published in 2014 by Pickle Barrel Press, located in Janesville, Wisconsin. It is also the first of his books to be available as an e-book, downloadable on any mobile device. Currently, the South-Central Region Vice-President for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, James has for the last four years organized and hosted the annual Winter Festival of Poetry, an eight-week long series of poetry readings held every Sunday afternoon from mid-January to mid-March in Madison. He is also a board member f the Sterling North Society and has been involved in the Edgerton Sterling North Book & Film Festival for the past three years. James is an avid reader (he is at work on a book detailing all the Little Free Libraries in the Madison area), hiker and aficionado of the Mad Rollin’ Dolls women’s flat track roller derby league in Madison.

Thomas J. Erickson and Christina Kubasta (poets) June 2015  Feature Artists

Erickson_Tom_250x300[1]Thomas J. Erickson grew up in Kohler, Wisconsin.  He received a BA from Beloit College in English Composition and a law degree from Marquette University.  His poems have appeared in numerous publications including The Los Angeles Review, Quiddity International Literary Review, Mad Poet’s Review, The New Poet, and Slant. His chapbook The Lawyer Who Died in the Courthouse Bathroom (Parallel Press, 2013) was awarded second place in the 2014 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Contest.  He is an attorney in Milwaukee where he is a member of the Hartford Avenue Poets.

cc5acf_e3c7714572e143acb09302b7d8bb9c57.jpg_srz_p_324_495_75_22_0.50_1.20_0[1]Kubasta attended Wells College and received an MFA in poetry from The University of Notre Dame.  Her work experiments with hybrid forms, excerpted text, and shifting voices. A Lovely Box was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013 and won the 2014 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Prize. Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals, including So To Speak, Stand, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Verse Wisconsin, and The Notre Dame Review. Check out her web site: http://ckkubasta60.wix.com/ckubasta She currently teaches English and Gender Studies at Marian University, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She lives with her beloved John, cat Cliff, and dog Ursula.

IMG_0543[1]Robert Nordstrom (poet) July 2015 Feature Artist

Robert Nordstrom was raised in Toledo, Ohio, where as a child he climbed trees in suburbia to gain a view of the way out. After a stint in Viet Nam, a couple of years in Florida sweating in front of kitchen broilers, a year in Paris with his wife Linda, he finally found his way to Wisconsin—home at last. After obtaining an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he worked as an editor/writer for various publications for the next 30 years. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, he stays busy with a free-lance writing gig, hauling kids over the back roads of Southeastern Wisconsin in a big yellow bus and poetry, poetry, poetry. His work has appeared in numerous publications and his poem “Old Lovers” won the 2014 Hal Prize and a residency stay at WriteOn in Door County. His poetry collection The Sacred Monotony of Breath was published by Prolific Press in 2015. As a school bus driver his goals are modest but worthy: to teach high-schoolers how to respond when an adult says good morning and kindergarteners that it’s probably best they not lick the seat in front of them. Visit his website at www.RobertNordstrom.com.

Lou TOVLou Roach (poet) August 2015 Feature Artist

Lou Roach, a poet from Poynette, believes “…writing poetry is a meandering path to personal joy––a gift I am allowed to offer to all who may be interested, a way for me to reflect on the elements that form a foundation for living and to remember life must be lived without expectations, but with gumption and gusto every step of the way.” Poems by the retired social worker and psychotherapist have appeared in many small press publications around the country. Two books of Lou’s poetry have been published: A Different Muse  and For Now and a third collection is in the works. She finds poetry in daily living,  in life lessons, the easy ones and the hard, in the process of inner discovery, aging and in the people in her life who bring meaning and growth to her days.  She describes herself as a “mosaic of years.”  Lou has been a wife, a mother, a reporter, a teacher and  a social worker. She went back to school at age 50 to become a psychotherapist.

mary-wehner1-115x150Mary Wehner (poet) September 2015 Feature Artist

Mary Wehner is the author of  “…or the opposite,” a letterpress chapbook by Red Hydra Press, which also published her broadside “The Chinese Painting” and “Broken Shells at Dusk,” a lithograph in collaboration with Cuban artist Pollyanna Fernández Fernández.  Her work has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies; she has a Pushcart nomination and teaches poetry workshops at various venues around Wisconsin. Mary has recently been included in three Madison projects, Local Ground(s), Hybrid Project, and Up to the Cottage, a project of Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf. She is currently working on another letterpress book “Aloft” with artist Alejandro Sainz and printer Steve Miller.

A past board member of the Council for Wisconsin Writers and founding member of Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective, Wehner is active in the THELMA Center for the Arts programming in Fond du Lac and has served on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission.  Mary is also a working visual artist; her paintings have been exhibited in several Wisconsin galleries. Her blog on poetry and art is…marywehner.blogspot.com

Greg Galbraith and James Botsford (poets) October 2015 Feature Artists

Greg G IIGreg Galbraith was a Biology student at the University of Illinois in 1978 when he discovered the University’s  Agriculture program. A line from his poem The Edges, describes him jumping out of the window of the Genetics Lab and running all the way to the black soil of the Urbana South Farm. After receiving his degree in Dairy Science in 1981 Greg found his way back to his roots. He purchased a farm in Aniwa in 1989 where his grandfather had farmed all of his life and his mother grew up. Today, with his wife Wendy and son David, Greg operates a 110-cow rotationally grazed dairy farm. He has exhibited photography and paintings widely throughout Wisconsin, and began writing poems in 2013.  He has been published  in MUSH, Nerve Cowboy, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets newsletter and its calendar. Greg’s poems are often a reflection of his rural surroundings and life as a far20151014_190650 (2)mer, with an occasional fantasy, and memories of his youth.

James Botsford is currently being sued by the largest oil pipeline corporation in the world. Before that he was an Indian Rights attorney for 30 years. Before that he was a teenager writing poetry in his parents’ basement in North Dakota when he discovered the Beats and their sources of inspiration. Botsford has published three books. One is an out-of-print 900 page history of the Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association. Another is a collection of life stories from Sandyhouse Press titled You Should Write that Down,. The third, Them Apples, is a book of James’s poetry.  Now he is working on a book of rants.

William Lawlor (poet) November 2015 Feature Artist

williamLawlorFor ten years William Lawlor led poetry readings at the Mission Coffee House in Stevens Point. In 2004, the City Council named Lawlor City of Stevens Point Poet Laureate. He is also a recipient of a Literary Arts Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board and is the author of Let’s Go Down to the Beach, a collection of poems and translations. At the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point Bill is a long-time Professor of English.

20150704_122033_1_resized[1]Paul Wiegel (poet) February 2016 Feature Artist

Paul Wiegel is originally from Green Bay, WI but now lives and writes from his home near the Fox River in Berlin. He has been writing and performing on-demand poems as a ‘street poet’ on his vintage 1957 Smith Corona manual typewriter for passersby at art galleries, farmer’s markets, and festivals for the past five years. This street poetry has led to varied and interesting creative poetry requests including doughnuts, micro brewed beer, dreams about shepherding, and women’s flat track roller derby. Another more serious path has led to a collaborative venture with artist Lauren Paradise (etsy.com) involving paintings and poetry which will be shown at the Riverwalk Gallery in Fon du Lac in March. He is the winner of the 2014 and 2015 John Gahagan Poetry Prize. You can visit Paul’s website at www.foxriverpoetry.com

Bruce in Franconia hand up 10-11Bruce Dethlefsen (poet) March 2016 Feature Artist

Bruce Dethlefsen, who was Wisconsin’s fourth Poet Laureate (2011-12), is our featured reader tonight. Bruce, who lives in Westfield, has three full-length books of poetry, Breather (Fireweed Press, 2009), Unexpected Shiny Things (Cowfeather Press, 2011), and Small Talk (Little Eagle Press, 2014).  Until he retired a few years ago  he was librarian at the Montello Library, where the monthly poetry readings he initiated featured many local poets. He has served as secretary of the Wisconsin Fellowship of  Poets and is a member of the Big Talkers blues band. Bruce has led many poetry workshops including some at the School of the Arts in Rhinelander. He is available for future poetry workshops and readings. Contact: poetdethlefsen@gmail.com. Jim Pollock, a regional vice president of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, will present  some of his poems at the Coloma Hotel. The Original Voice event will take place on April 13 at 7 pm.  

Jim Pollock 2016

Jim Pollock  (poet) April 2016 Feature Artist 

Jim Pollock has been writing poetry most of his life and has a Master’s Degree in English. He has published a book of poetry – “Ashes and Sparks” and a parable – “A Whole Different Animal.” He’s taught English in many different settings and says, “Poetry is the one vehicle that allowed me to get to know my students and appreciate their feelings.”

After he retired from teaching, Jim spent ten years caring for his mother who had Alzheimer’s. Arriving in Stevens Point about ten years ago he and his artist wife, Mary Ellen, formed a co-op group of artists, Gallery Q, and Jim joined the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. He has been Mid-Central VP of WFOP for the last five years. Lately most of Jim’s poetry is written to be spoken. He is a popular participant in poetry slams with some of the poems worthy of 10’s; “The autopsy of Donald Trump,” Crossword Puzzles,” “to Serve or Not to Serve,” to mention a few. When asked he says, “My current goal is to bring poetry to the masses, and then let the masses bring poetry to me.”

lincoln20sittingLincoln Hartford  (poet) May 2016 Feature Artist 

Dr. Lincoln Hartford has several degrees in both music and theology. He has taught one or the other subject in several states and has also had pastorates or campus ministries in various states around the country. He has written extensively on the subject of Welsh hymns and folk music, and has performed widely in that genre.

Hartford is also the author of Choose Peaches,  a collection of poems and related photographs. Another poetry/photo collection, Recipes for Old Guys, is under construction,.  He studied poem-making  with the late Norbert Blei at the Clearing  in Ellison Bay as well as with various mentors at the  School of Arts in Rhinelander. Lincoln usually writes in free verse and likes to write about nature, or the places and people we belong to. His poems have appeared in many publications including Free Verse  and the WFOP Calendar. As music is Lincoln’s first love, it usually has a place in his poetry performances. Recently Lincoln helped establish a poetry byline in “Center Post” a  monthly literary publication at Capitol Lakes Madison retirement community.

Julie TwitterJulie C. Eger (poet and author) June 2016 Feature Artist 

Julie C. Eger (pronounced ‘eager’) is the author of EENY MEENY CRIMINY CROW,  a fictional supernatural mystery, a book of poetry, PERENNIAL – poems that last… and Girl from Grorgamon.

Julie is an author and a poet. You will find her either writing or working as a massage therapist at her business, From Back to Basics Massage Therapy, in Wautoma. She is also the founder and mistress of ceremonies of The Original Voice. She loves to sing Patsy Cline songs when no one is looking. She has been accused of playing well with others. She does some of her best writing near the shores of Lake Superior in a cabin along the banks of Eagle River in Phoenix, Michigan. Her work has appeared in various poetry journals and anthologies. She is a three time winner of the WRWA Jade Ring contests. She lives in Wautoma with her husband, Butch, and a black Golden Doodle named Ester.

Cabin Fever Poets

Vlasta Blaha, Kris Rued-Clark, Debra Johnston, Linda Aschbrenner (not pictured, Sue Twiggs)

Cabin Fever Poets (poets) July 2016 Feature Artists

Cabin Fever Poets are Linda Aschbrenner, Vlasta Blaha, Debra Johnston, Kris Rued-Clark and Susan Twiggs. The group meets twice a month in Marshfield to write and critique poetry, consider poetry markets, and discuss books read.

Words and poetry have been important in the professions of all five: Former editor/publisher of Free Verse and Marsh River Editions, Linda Aschbrenner, Marshfield, writes poetry, short stories, essays and book reviews. She currently finds herself smitten with topics relating to her family’s Finnish immigrant history.

Vlasta Karol Blaha works part time at the Colby Public Library after serving 30 years as an elementary school library media specialist. Where once she read and shared poetry with her students, she now enjoys writing poetry.

Debra Johnston, Marshfield, has been in the field of education for 19 years. She loves cultivating young writers, nurturing poems, and harvesting stories and tales about the Great Lakes.

A freelance writer, editor, and energy therapist, Kristine Rued-Clark, Arpin, has recently completed a book about Adventures on Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail, with  fellow trail-walker, Sylvia Oberle.

Susan Twiggs lives in the woods in Marshfield. She writes poetry, children’s books and practices yoga. Her poems are part of the exhibit, Artists Muse 2016.



Pat Conolly and Guy Kaplan (singers/musicians) August 2016 Feature Artists

Pat Connolly and Guy Kaplan have been singing and playing together for over twenty-five years.

Guy, who retired from teaching at the Coloma Elementary School in 2009, now spends much of his time traveling, wood turning (especially pens), building, and, of course, singing and playing his guitar.  He is a member of the Coloma Players, having taken part in many of their productions – including improv and mystery dinners.  He enjoys hiking on the Ice Age Trail, and is a long-time member of The Blackhawk Folk Society.

Pat worked for the Adams-Columbia Electric Co-Op for many years.  He still serves on the Co-Op board. He is a founding member of The Blackhawk Folk Society. Pat, along with his daughter Amy and his grandchildren Dev and Emma make up the musical group, Swamp Road.  They play at various venues around the area throughout the year.

Pat and Guy have performed on stages, decks, boats, around campfires, and almost anywhere music can be found.  They play traditional acoustic music that lends itself to sing-alongs.

krieselmMichael Kriesel (poet) September 2016 Feature Artist

Michael Kriesel writes award-winning poems boasting zombies and comic book heroes, sea stories from his navy days, nature, mysticism and magic…written in free verse and in various forms. Michael Kriesel’s readings always entertain.

He was the winner of North American Review’s 2015 James Hearst Poetry Prize and  just retired as president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Kriesel has had poems in many publications––Alaska Quarterly, Antioch Review, Rattle, North American Review, and The Progressive. An electronic volume of short poems is scheduled for release later this year from Right Hand Pointing. His other books include Whale of Stars and Moths Mail the House (both from Sunnyoutside), and Chasing Saturday Night (Marsh River Editions).

Michael collects 1940s comics and carnival glass, and was a newspaper and broadcast journalist in the 1980s navy. He now works as a janitor in an elementary school, and as a weekend security guard.


Karl Garson (poet) October 2016 Feature Artist

Karl Garson is the author of two poetry collections and  a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. His poetry has appeared in Apalachee Review, Cimarron Review, Cottonwood, Cream City Review, The Kansas Quarterly, North American Review and South Dakota Review, among others. He lives on a farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin and is at work on a novel about his experience as a Naval Aviator in Vietnam.


Ken Tennessen (poet) November 2016 Feature Artist

Ken Tennessen is an entomologist, retired but still doing research, and a poet, not retired and still writing. He considers himself a part-kent-110916time poet. His poems cover a wide array of subjects, but he writes mostly about nature and how humans relate to living things. He is always looking for an opportunity to inject a little humor.

For Tennessen, poetry is a way to create, discover and heal. He wrote 52 poems about his experiences in an Army infantry platoon in Vietnam in 1970, trying to keep it together in that confusing, unpopular war. He is still looking for a place to have this collection published. Some of his poems have appeared in Free Verse, Arbor Vitae, Verse Wisconsin, the WFOP calendar and an anthology called Perfect Dragonfly (Red Dragonfly Press). He has co-authored a book entitled Dragonfly Haiku, and he continues to write poems for various newsletters and technical journals. Ken lives in Wautoma with his wife Sandi.

20170208_184806_resized1Dan Holland (author and poet) and Catherine ‘Cat’ Wilson (musician) February 2017 Feature Artists

Dan was a college professor, educational consultant, human services administrator and small business owner before retiring to his new career as a writer.  Since 2009 he has written a number of  mystical or historical novels.  His devotion to poetry began when he was a small boy, and has resulted in the composition of  over 8000 poems.   Nature and the American West are Dan’s chief sources of inspiration.   He has maintained a Poem du Jour web site for 20 years and spends summers at his writing retreat in the Bitterroot Mountains.

Catherine Wilson of Stevens Point will join Dan in his presentation. Cat is an assistant  professor of Music Education at UWSP where she teaches the subject and conducts the women’s choir. In 2013 she won a fellowship for her research on incarcerated men expressing emotion through song writing.  In 2011 Cat was recognized for exceptional research in music education and has several other prestigious awards in the field of music.  She has written choral music for Augsburg Fortress, and co-authored Singin, Sweatin and Storytime with original music and she is also working on pieces for  public events. Cat sometimes composes music in collaboration with Dan Holland…..in her spare time she likes distance running.

Guy Kaplan (musician) March 2017 Feature ArtistGuy Kaplan

Guy is a retired teacher who lives in Coloma and is often seen on stage in the  Coloma Players’ productions or Improv evenings. Guy loves playing guitar and sharing some of his favorite songs as he has been doing since he was sixteen years old. Guy especially likes performing songs that his audience can sing along with; he has been a member of the Blackhawk Folk Society for over twenty years.  He retired from teaching five years ago, after having taught at the Coloma Elementary School for 34 years. An avid camper, hiker, and canoeist, Guy is active in the Ice Age Trail organization.

20170412_190151James P. Roberts (poet) April 2017 Feature Artist

James P. Roberts is South Regional Vice-President for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. There are four poetry collections among his fourteen published books. For the past eight years he has organized and hosted the annual Winter Festival of Poetry in Madison. James also hosts a radio show, ‘A Space For Poetry’ on WMUU 102.9 FM. His show airs every other Friday morning at 8:00 am. He says he does it without coffee! Among other publications, poems by James have appeared in Forage, These Fragile Lilacs, Mirror Dance, and Blue Heron Review. He lives on the East Side of Madison where he can be found at most Mad Rollin’ Dolls women’s flat-track roller derby bouts under his nom de derby, Hal Robotsky.

JoanJoan Wiese Johannes (poet) May 2017 Feature Artist

Joan Wiese Johannes, of Port Edwards is a retired English teacher and active member of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, past regional vice-president, editor of the 2012 Poets’ Calendar,  and current contest co-chairman.

Joan has collaborated on a crown of sonnets,  “Happily Ever After,” with her poet/artist husband Jeffrey. She is now organizing a new collection, which is still in the preliminary stages. One possibility is to combine free verse, formal, serious, and humorous poetry; the other is to do a smaller thematic collection. She is also considering a chapbook of just humorous poems, since her humorous poems have frequently been accepted by literary journals, but never seemed to fit in the chapbooks she has published.

Joan’s current focus is on new work and includes some new forms that might be of interest to other poets: skinny poem, golden shovel, and redoubled rondeau, as well as free verse, the form she uses most often.

Joan composes original Native American flute compositions and often entertains audiences by playing her flute. She realized recently that it has been 20 years since she attended her first Native American-style flute workshop. That seemed like an incredibly long time until her sister said, “Funny, I always think of you as having played the flute all your life,” which would add another 40+ years.

Joy Kirsch and Jim Pollock (poets) June 2017 Feature Artists (event canceled due to an unexpected wind storm – have rescheduled for November)


Tom Montage 2017Tom Montag (poet) July 2017 Feature Artist

Tom Montag, of Fairwater, is the author of several collections; among them are the memoir CURLEW:HOME and the poetry collections MIDDLE GROUND, THE BIG BOOK OF BEN ZEN, and IN THIS PLACE: COLLECTED POEMS 1982 – 2013. His poems have been featured in many publications and he has several Pushcart Prize nominations. In 1982, Montag and his wife Mary founded the WISCONSIN POETS’ CALENDAR, which they edited and published for three years. Tom’s poem, “Lecturing My Daughter in Her First Fall Rain” was incorporated into the design of the Convention Center in Milwaukee, along with the work of several other Wisconsin writers. With David Graham, he is currently editing an anthology of poetry about American small towns.

20170809_202657Lincoln Hartford (poet and musician) August 2017 Feature Artist

Hartford (also The Reverend Doctor Lincoln Hartford) has recently moved from a place on the shore of Castle Lake just north of the Dells, to two blocks south of the capitol building in Madison. He was happy to learn that he can walk to the capitol, to any number of churches, the Overture Center, and the University of Wisconsin. Lincoln sings in three choirs, and is still sorting through boxes of poetry, photographs and discarded kitchen ware from the move. Beyond his involvement with poetry and music, Lincoln says, he walks the land with joy and amazement.

He also says professionally he is mostly a has been––has been a professor of religion, pastor of several churches and a music teacher.   He still writes poetry and performs where he can. For the reading at Coloma, Hartford will read from among what he considers his best poems and if the piano is in tune, he will offer some songs as well.

20170913_190024F.J. Bergmann (poet) September 2017 Feature Artist

F.J. Bergmann recently moved back to Madison after living in the country near Poynette for 14 years. She just stepped down from 5 years as editor of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (sfpoetry.com), and edits poetry for Mobius: The Journal of Social Change (mobiusmagazine.com), as well as being the Managing Editor for MadHat Press (https://madhat-press.com/) and editing the WFOP Museletter. Her imprint Taraxia Press publishes collections of weird poetry. Recent poetry and speculative fiction appears in Analog, the Future Fire, Pulp Literature, and other place that should have known better. The winner of numerous writing awards and a 3-time member of the Madison, WI, Urban Spoken Word Slam team, she specializes in imagining tragedies on or near exoplanets. A Catalogue of the Further Suns won the 2017 Gold Line Press Chapbook contest.


Greg G.Greg Galbraith (poet) October 2017 Feature Artist
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Dairy Science in 1981, Greg Galbraith bought a farm in Eastern Marathon County where his ancestors began farming in 1890. He and his wife are now transitioning the ownership of their organic dairy farm to their 26 year old son. Greg is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and has been published in their annual calendar, along with Nerve Cowboy small press lit magazine, and MUSH a publication of UW- Marathon County. Most recently, he had three poems and two images published in the March 2017 issue of Midwest Review. He exhibits paintings and photography throughout Wisconsin, including a permanent exhibit in a health care clinic in Colfax, Wisconsin. Greg’s first full length book of poetry, Germinations, came out last April.

IMG_0055[1]Jim Pollock (poet) November 2017 Feature Artist

Jim Pollock has been writing and reciting poetry since his high school days some 60 years ago. He graduated from St. John’s University (the one in Minn. not in New York) with a double major in English and philosophy. He later received a master’s degree in English at Marquette U. He’s taught English in numerous settings including the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota, a Minnesota State Reformatory, St. Cloud State University, a juvenile drug treatment center in the Twin Cities and a number of high schools too numerous to mention. He has published poetry in a variety of publications in Minnesota and Wisconsin including Free Verse, Marquette Literary Journal, WFOP Poet’s Calendar, and St. Cloud State Literary Journal. Since arriving in Stevens Point 13 years ago, Pollock has sponsored and promoted poetry events in Central Wisconsin including poetry slams, outdoor readings in woodland settings and a Haiku contest with the winners appearing on the Fox Theater Marquee. For this he was honored with the 2012 Woodrow Hall Jumpstart Award. In his spare time Jim runs!





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