Join us for an evening of poetry and music honoring the publication of Max Garland’s latest collection, The Word We Used For It, winner of the 2017-18 Brittingham Poetry Prize, selected by Robert Wrigley. Accompanying Max will be poets Sharon Auberle and Kimberly Blaeser and pianist Beth Coleman.
Memory, perhaps, is the longest poem of all
In these poems Max Garland confesses, even revels in, the fabricated nature of memory. He links personal and localized patterns (fingerprints, plowed fields) to the motions animating the insides of atoms and the unfurling of remote galaxies. Back on earth, the poems honor the decidedly homespun quality of grit—how creatures both animal and human bear up in the face of mounting odds against them. Garland suggests that imagination itself requires grit, to be called upon when the more spectacular angels are otherwise occupied.
Sharon Auberle is the 2017-2019 Door County Poet Laureate. Her collections Crow Ink and EVErywoman, contain her photography as well as poems. The Book of Summer Hours is a collection of poetry and photo paintings. She collaborated with poet Ralph Murre on the collection Wind Where Music Was. Her poetry and photography have appeared in numerous publications and her writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has facilitated poetry writing workshops at Write On, The Clearing, Scandia Village, and Gibraltar School. She has collaborated with poets in Australia and Vietnam for a world writing project called Conversations Across Borders and for the past several years participated in a group of poets teaming with musicians to combine the spoken word with music in a program called Words On Fire.
Kimberly Blaeser, writer, photographer, and scholar, served as Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-16. She is the author of three poetry collections—most recently Apprenticed to Justice; and editor of Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor of Creative Writing and Native American Literature, Blaeser also serves on faculty for Institute of American Indian Arts low rez MFA program. Her poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction have been widely anthologized, and selections of her poetry have been translated into several languages including Spanish, French, Norwegian, Indonesian, and Hungarian. An enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Blaeser grew up on White Earth Reservation. She lives in the woods and wetlands of rural Wisconsin and spends part of each year at a water-access cabin adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota chasing poems, photos, and river otters—sometimes all at once.
Beth Coleman has been playing the piano since age 3 when she first fell in love with her Grandma Bert’s upright in the parlor of her grandparents’ farmhouse in Hoagland, IN. She took piano lessons from 2nd-8th grade, and also studied organ for a year before focusing more on vocal music in high school and college. But throughout her life she has always found personal joy in playing music, and professionally has been an organist/pianist at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Juddville for over 20 years, where her intent is to help people feel a deep connection with what they hear and sing. She also enjoys being a guest musician for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County, as she so appreciates their beautiful Steinway. Her mother says she could always tell what kind of day Beth had by the music she played when she got home from school.
Max Garland is the author of The Word We Used for It, winner of the 2017-18 Brittingham Poetry Prize. Previous books include The Postal Confessions, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and Hunger Wide as Heaven, which won the Cleveland State Poetry Center Open Competition, He has received an NEA Poetry Fellowship, a Michener Fiction fellowship, inclusion in Best American Short Stories, and fellowships in both poetry and fiction from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Born and raised in Kentucky, where he worked as a rural letter carrier on the route where he was born, he is Professor Emeritus at UW-Eau Claire, the current Writer-in-Residence for the city of Eau Claire, and the former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin.