Wisconsin Poetry Activists | Rob Ganson

Interviewed by Lisa Vihos, November 21, 2015

It was water that weaponized my poetry, evolving out of the proposed GTAC mine and actions against that. Activism infused my poetry with a purpose. A lot of time, as often now as I’m writing for the love of the word, I’m writing for the effect my words will have on hearts and minds.

Poetry is growing and coming to the forefront again. It’s bringing a lot of us together. I’d never met Peggy Rozga until she got in touch with me for her chapbook, Turn Up the Volume (2013).

In this movement there are no leaders. Everything evolves organically. People do what they’re good at.

Let’s get a tribe of poets. Maybe we should have 100 Thousand Cheeseheads for Change and marshal our resources. None of us know what the others are doing.

Rob Ganson is a Wisconsin activist, photographer, and writer. His photo, above, appeared on the cover of Turn Up the Volume, a 2013 chapbook edited by Margaret Rozga whose proceeds went to the First Amendment Protection Fund to pay necessary legal expenses to defend against charges in the more than 300 arrests for singing in the Wisconsin Capitol.

“Wisconsin Poetry Activists” is a flash interview series by Lisa Vihos, which grew out of research that she conducted for an article in Wisconsin People & Ideas, Turning on the Lights, Spring 2016.

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