ARE WE LISTENING: Artist Conversations – Writers

Jun 04, 2024 6:30PM—8:00PM


Door County Economic Development Corporation, 185 E. Walnut St., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Cost Free



As part of artist Rebecca Carlton’s installation, Are We Listening?, a series of roundtable discussions with artists and community leaders has been scheduled. Write On is pleased to coordinate today’s discussion focused on writers. Join writers Ann Heyse, Jeanne Kuhns, Erika Nelson, Dan Powers, and Alessandra Simmons Rolffs for a conversation about the role of the writer in today’s culture., moderated by Debra Fitzgerald, news editor, Peninsula Pulse.

Ann Heyse is a multi-genre writer.  She is the author of the popular children’s books  Good Morning, Door County and Good Night, Door County  and a collection of poems entitled Drink In Sweet Rain.  She most recently published her first novel,  The Light is Ours, a work of historical fiction set in Door County in 1871-72. As a board member of Write On, Door County and facilitator of writing workshops, she welcomes the chance to nurture emerging writers.  

Jeanne Kuhns weaves mystical lyrics and intriguing musical patterns into her brand of progressive folk. She excels at musical storytelling. Kuhns is a fixture in the Door County music scene, having brought her music career here to stay in 2003. Currently performing solos shows, she is also part of “Buckets of Rain” a Bob Dylan review, and often teams up with other songwriters to present collaborative shows. Previous bands include “Small Forest” and “Lost Mothra” and “Dan, Benny & Jeanne.” She conceived of and managed the “Woodwalk Concert Series”, as an original singer/songwriter series, and ran it from 2008 to 2020. Jeanne Kuhns has released  7 CDs. Find out more about her music and her art at

Erika Nelson is a licensed professional counselor in private practice with a focus on trauma and PTSD. She is also the author of the book, Brave Love 365: Daily Inspiration, Validation, and Support for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse and Toxic Relationships. Through her personal and professional experience, Erika has found that our greatest pain is our most powerful medicine. She believes that each of us realizing our absolute, inherent worthiness of love would change the world, and she is committed to sharing that message through her words.

After retiring, Dan Powers pooled his background in music composition, literacy, and education and began to write fiction. He won 2nd place for fiction in the HAL competition in 2017 and then published his first novel How Long A Shadow in 2020. That same year he became a founding member of the Door County Publishers Authors Collective. In 2022, he won first place in the HAL Prize Competition for Fiction with his short piece: Two, Three… Which Is Me? His second novel Edenton will be out late in the late spring of 2024. The story focuses on multiple characters in a fictional Wisconsin school district as they interact during the socially and politically turbulent 2012-13 school year.

Alessandra Simmons Rolffs is a poet, editor, and gardener living on Washington Island, WI. Her freelance writing and editing clients include the Environmental Defense Fund, Leadership Story Lab, Pandion Music Foundation, and thought leaders who want to share their expertise with wider audiences through writing and publishing. Her poetry and essays have been published in The Southern Review, Spillway, About Place Journal and elsewhere. She is the executive director of Gathering Ground, a nonprofit with a focus on sustainable farming education. She is the mother of two boys who you may find running around the island with uncombed hair.