Local Ground(s)—Midwest Poetics: Selected Prose Verse Wisconsin 2009–2014

softcover, 428 pages
non-fiction/poetry criticism
Cover Art: C. Mehrl Bennett
ISBN 978-0-9846568-6-8
LCCN 2014952090

localgroundsFor six years, Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse co-edited the hybrid poetry magazine Verse Wisconsin working on laptops out of local coffee shops and libraries. Over 13 print and 15 online issues, they published the work and words of writers from around the corner and around the globe. Including poetry, essays, book reviews, interviews, verse drama, spoken word, visual poetry, and other poetic forms in print, image, audio, and video, they sought to build the audience for poetry and the community of poets, while working to define and re-define what community might mean.

Over the years, the mission of Verse Wisconsin underwent significant shifts, as editorial emphasis moved from a simple publication model toward creating conversations, activisms, and transformational circles, seeking to invite diverse voices into these conversations, to define and to redefine what a poetics of the Midwest might be, and to point the way towards what such a Midwest poetics might become. This volume represents another iteration of an ongoing conversation, as the voices of Verse Wisconsin’s editors weave in and out with those of other poets, once again reframing the questions by selecting work from over the years and placing pieces in new context.

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I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: Three Decades of Hispanic Writing (third edition)

edited by Oscar Mireles

Above: Authors from I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin at the Madison book launch. Front row: Nydia Rojas, Leana Nakielski, Oscar Mireles (editor), Nayla Chehade, Margarita Dumit. Back row: Dominic Ledesma Perzichilli, Angela Trudell Vasquez, Tomy C. Tepepa-Carmona, Moisés Villavicencio Barras, Sara Alvarado, Rubén Medina

softcover, literature
Cover Art: Ben Seydewitz
ISBN 978-0-9846568-5-1
LCCN 2014947554

mirelesTwenty-five years ago Oscar Mireles published the anthology, I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: 20 Hispanic Poets. This third volume in the series includes the work of more than thirty authors of poetry, essay, memoir, and fiction and demonstrates once again the breadth and depth of Latino/a writing and literature in Wisconsin. Not strangers, not new arrivals, these authors represent an important part of the region’s cultural and social fabric. Written sometimes in English, sometimes in Spanish, and sometimes in a dynamic mixture of both languages, Mireles’ anthology helps to extend many narratives: not only of what it means to be Latino/a in the Midwest, but also what it means to be Midwestern.

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Echolocations, Poets Map Madison

echolocationsedited by Sarah Sadie Busse, Wendy Vardaman & Shoshauna Shy

ISBN 978-0-9846568-4-4, softcover, poetry
November 2013
also available as a Kindle book
Group Discussions: Download pdf of questions and promts

Proceeds benefit the Madison Poet Laureate Fund. Read more about the Madison Poet Laureate programa volunteer position overseen by the Madison Arts Commission.

Here’s a literary block party filled with both echoes and locations, as more than 100 poets share poems that refer to specific Madison places. Long-time residents live next door to writers who passed through for only a while. Local streets intersect with myth, history, personal narrative and ecology. More than geography, more than chronology, what emerges is something akin to the shifting psyche of a city. Poem by poem, a new map evolves, folds back upon its own stories, and rewrites itself over and over through its sounds and its silences, taking into account a variety of perspectives, a multitude of voices. In the end these poets ask us, How many Madisons are there?

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