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September 25 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Join the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Chippewa Valley Writers Guild, and Write On for a reading from and conversation about the new anthology Hope Is the Thing

There has been hope amidst this pandemic, and award-winning Wisconsin author B.J. Hollars has gathered it up to share at a special Conversations and Coffee event at 10 a.m., Sept. 25 at Write On. Hollars will be joined by local writers whose essays and poems on hope they found appear in his new Wisconsin Historical Society Press book, Hope is the Thing: Wisconsinites on Perseverance in a Pandemic.

Drawing upon Emily Dickinson’s famous poem “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” Hollars called on Wisconsin writers to reflect on their own glimpses of hope in the era of COVID-19. He gathered 100 of their writings into a book that demonstrates not only that hope lives in hard times but the depth and range that such hope comes in: a dad dance, a birth plan, an unblemished banana, a visit from a neighborhood dog, the revival of an old tradition, empathy, and more.

Door County area contributors will join Hollars in sharing the Hope they found during this special discussion. Contributors scheduled to appear include Rebecca Meacham, author of two award-winning fiction collections and a UW-Green Bay English professor; Sharon Auberle, the Door County Poet Laureate from 2017 to 2019; and jack-of-all trades and writer Ralph Murre, the Door County Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017.



This event is presented in person; please read our Covid-19 policy below. This event is free but registration is required as seating is limited. To register online for the program, please click the button below. For other registration options, please call 920.868.1457.


B.J. Hollars is the author of several books, most recently Go West Young Man: A Father and Son Rediscover America on the Oregon Trail; Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Maritans, and the Weird in Flyover Country; The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders; Flock Together: A Love Affair With Extinct BirdsFrom the Mouths of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us About Life, Death, and Being Human; and a collection of essays, This Is Only a Test. Hollars is the recipient of the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Nonfiction, the Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize, the Council of Wisconsin Writers’ Blei-Derleth Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award. He is the founder and executive director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and the Midwest Artist Academy, as well as an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a columnist for The Leader-Telegram.  He lives a simple existence with his family.



Sharon Auberle is a poet and photographer who fell in love with Door County in 1984 and made it her home in 2008. She has a number of poetry collections, four of which include collaborations with other poets. Her latest book is a poetry/sketch collaboration with poet and artist Jeanie Tomasko, titled Dovetail, which won the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Annual Chapbook Prize. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she is a recent past Poet Laureate of Door County. Auberle is a passionate lover of water, trees, and dachshunds, not necessarily in that order.



Rebecca Meacham‘s debut story collection, Let’s Do, won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction from UNT Press and was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection. Described by Benjamin Percy as “a kiss laced with arsenic,” the book was a finalist for both the Paterson Fiction Prize and the ForeWord Book of the Year, and earned a Wisconsin Library Award for Outstanding Achievement. Rebecca’s flash fiction chapbook, Morbid Curiosities, won the New Delta Review Chapbook Contest. Her fiction and nonfiction have been widely published and she occasionally blogs about writing and not-writing. Her prose has been set to music, translated into Polish, and carved into woodblocks and letter-pressed by a steamroller.


Ralph Murre is something of a jack-of-all-trades, and as any good jack must, he’s tried his hand at writing a few poems. Now in his 70s, Murre has been around Door County, mostly, since the late 1960s. He’s done a bit of fathering and grandfathering here, and he served as the county’s fourth poet laureate from 2015 until 2017. Murre dreads the day when he won’t be able to reinvent himself and people will be able to attach a label that sticks. In addition to releasing several of his own books, he has published the works of other poets through his Little Eagle Press, and he collaborated with Sharon Auberle on a book of love poems. He is frequently asked to read his work across Wisconsin.



Due to the ever-evolving status of the COVID-19 pandemic, Write On, Door County will now be requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test result within 48 hours of any classes, workshops, or conferences. An image of a vaccine card or an image of negative test results within 48 hours of the Write On event are both acceptable. Both are not required – only one is necessary.

To submit your vaccination or negative test status, please contact Artistic Director Jerod Santek.


September 25
10:00 am - 11:30 am
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Write On, Door County
4210 Juddville Rd
Fish Creek, WI 54212 United States
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