The origin of this group is shrouded in mystery: not because it’s really a mystery, but because, well-
they’re poets, and they don’t pay attention to such stuff. They met at Conkey’s bookstore in Appleton
(late 1990’s? Maybe?) to read, write, critique, support, and celebrate the company of fellow writers.
One thing led to another, and they started talking about putting together a book of their poems. Title?
One of them noted that their meeting place, the coffee shop at Conkey’s named “Between the
Pages,” suggested – rather suggestively – “Between the Sheets.” And so the book began. And what
better name for the group, than “The Sheets?”
Tawdry beginnings notwithstanding, The Sheets have enjoyed a remarkable degree of poetic success:
two of them (Karla and Bruce) have served as Wisconsin Poet Laureate; The Sheets collectively have a
dozen-or-so books to their credit, and about as many prizes and awards for poetry and other writing.
They don’t meet at Conkey’s any more, because their lives have gone in different directions. They spent
more driving to Conkey’s than they have made with their poetry: but, hey – they’re poets. Money
doesn’t matter; poems do.
Most of The Sheets will attend in person, to read from their works. Karla, who lives in California, will be
there via video link. Time permitting, they will introduce you to some of the writing exercises they use
to create their poetry.
Cathryn “Big Sheet” Cofell is an Appleton poet with two full-length collections including Stick Figure with Skirt, winner of the Main Street Rag Poetry Award, six chapbooks, and a music/poetry CD called Lip. She’s currently Co-President for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and PR Maven for the Poetry Unlocked reading series.
Bruce “Giva Sheet” Dethlefsen served as Wisconsin Poet Laureate 2011-12. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He has published multiple books of poetry. He believes that flying dreams are the best.
Retired from a career in healthcare marketing and public relations, Annette Langlois “Sheet Happens” Grunseth has published two books, earned a Pushcart Prize nomination, and has won multiple awards for her poetry and books. She chaired the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets chapbook contest for two years. She is grateful to the Sheets for many years of support, critique, and friendship.
Wisconsin Poet Laureate 2017-18, Karla “Dip Sheet” Huston earned an MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The author of eight chapbooks of poems, a second full-length collection, Ripple, Scar, and Story, was published by Kelsay Books in 2022. Her poems, reviews, and interviews have appeared in many regional and national journals. Huston taught creative writing at Neenah High School for 15 years. She taught poetry writing for adults at The Mill: A Place for Writers for ten years.
Mike “No Sheet” Koehler writes a lot and publishes a little. His poetry has a sharp eye, a lean vocabulary, a tender heart, and a generous spirit.
Peter “Short Sheet” Sherrill earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, majoring in English. He has been published in a variety of venues and won a number of statewide awards for his writing. He is a past president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Birth order? Middle kid. Baggage? Yup.