Friday both the Hoard Museum and Dwight Foster Public Library will be open. Exhibits at the museum include: the Lorine Niedecker Room, a new exhibit titled "Legacy of Duck Hunting on Lake Koshkonong", the venerable old Bird Room, local, regional and Native American history. Lorine Niedecker books are for sale in the Gift Shop. At the library the Lorine Niedecker Study Room will be open for reading, writing and quiet reflection.
You are welcome to take a self-guided tour of Niedecker sites in Fort Atkinson. Please be aware you must stay off of the Niedecker property on Blackhawk Island at this time.
The kick off Friday night will be dinner at the Café Carpe followed by an Open Mic. Moderator Ron Czerwein of Avol's Books in Madison will moderate. New this year, join the "After Party" at the Carpe for socializing, word games, renga communal poetry writing, and more.
Saturday morning there will be poetic activities at the Fort Atkinson Farmer's Market. The Poetry Path will be back by popular demand. John Lehman, Director of the Cambridge Humanities Council will be doing "Stand Up Poetry." Be ready for some smiles. Also new this year is a Poetry $5 Bucks booth at the Farmer's Market. Paul Wiegel, from Berlin, is founder of the Fox River Poetry Company. He will chat with you and then write you a personal poem for $5.
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 cards printed for the Festival.
Presentations include "Lorine and Daisy" by Margot Peters, author of Lorine Niedecker A Poet's Life. At best there exist less than twenty hard facts about Daisy Kunz Niedecker, Lorine Niedecker's mother. Undeterred, Margot Peters creates a portrait of Lorine as daughter and Daisy as mother that reveals Daisy as both unconventional and baffled by the position of women during her lifetime, 1878 to 1951.
During the presentation "Digging into Wintergreen Ridge" Door County poet and poet advocate, Nancy Rafal and other members of the Solitary Plovers will delve into Niedecker's poem "Wintergreen Ridge" which Niedecker wrote following a trip which included a visit to the Ridges Sanctuary in Door County, and uncover some interesting facts and interpretations of this long poem.
"The Writing is Everything: A Life of Poetry and Art" is next. In 1975, less than five years after her death, David Wilk edited an entire issue of his influential journal TRUCK to commentary celebrating Lorine Niedecker's work. As a poet, publisher, promoter and reader, David Wilk will reflect on the career long influence of Niedecker's writing: "Her work has resonated for me so much - and still does."
Tom Montag, managing editor of "What Region?" a monograph pamphlet series
will introduce us to the two monographs released in May, 2015 in recognition of Niedecker's birthday and will point any inspired writers in the right direction with discussion the type of commentary that the series' editors are seeking for future monographs. Time will be allotted for questions and answers and give and take discussion between the audience and the editors.
Saturday afternoon, the Wisconsin Poetry Festival Open Mic will be moderated by Marilyn Taylor, former Wisconsin Poet Laureate.
Round Table Poets include an opportunity to meet with poets in small groups for discussion about their work and the poetic process. This year's notable and award winning poets include: Cathryn Cofell of Appleton, Nick Demske from Racine; Fabu from Madison; and Lisa Vihos of Sheboygan.
The festival will conclude with a talk and reading by 2015-2016 WI Poet Laureate Kimberly Blaeser, renowned for her abililty to reach broad audiences through poems that explore her Native culture, poems of place and community, poems of witness, family poems, poems centered in women's experience, and poems with a sly sense of humor.
Surrounded by an installation of her nature photography and picto-poems in the library's upstairs Jones Family Gallery, she will address the poetics of place and the complex harmonies between the vibrant natural world and the resonant human imagination.
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Dwight Foster Public Library
209 Merchants Avenue
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538