poetry

For thirty-five years, Ed Block taught English at Marquette University. And though he continues at the university as a professor emeritus, his current work is more rooted in the writing world. 

The Milwaukee poet's new collection is called Anno Domini. Like much of Block's work, his new collection explores religious themes and references his Catholic beliefs.

Block believes that many poets - even those who don't ascribe to a particular religion - use spirituality as a source for their writing. 

Joanna Eldredge Morrissey

Poet Jodie Hollander's aim is to make words sing, no matter where in the world she is writing them. 

Hollander was born and raised in Milwaukee. But for the past two decades, she has been traveling the world developing her craft.

Poem: Gift

Dec 6, 2016
Tomasz Zajda / Fotolia

In a city like Milwaukee, summertime brings mixed blessings. For many, summer heat means the return of festivals, outside dining, and long walks in the park. For others, it's a season rife with danger. Local poet and teacher, Jenny Benjamin, reflects on a summer night that changed her life forever. 

Poem: Family Camp

Sep 1, 2016
Charles Knowles / Flickr

For many of us, summer offers that rare opportunity to get away and spend some time with the people we love. You might have a special place you retreat each year.

But as Milwaukee poet Jenny Benjamin can attest – going to that special place also means you have to leave it, as well.

Ron Wimmer Photography

Author Kathie Giorgio will be the first to tell you that her new book of short stories are not fairytales.

The compilation, called Oddities and Endings,  includes 40 stories about unusual characters wrestling with life's difficulties. The collection is the result of work that she's published over the years in various literary magazines. 

Photo courtesy University of California-Riverside

Juan Felipe Herrera is already crisscrossing the country as the current Poet Laureate of the United States. Herrera is the son of migrant farm workers in California, and he grew up bilingual. His work traverses boundaries of all kinds, from describing the immigrant experience to taking the words off the page and creating performance art.

Herrera was in Milwaukee at the end of February to speak at the University of Wisconsin, and he explained how he first developed curiosity about poetry.

Excerpt: 'Latina Lives in Milwaukee'

Apr 28, 2016
Dennis Jarvis / Flickr

April is National Poetry Month and Lake Effect has been highlight local poets like Carmen Murguia. She shared her story of discovering her sexuality as a Mexican woman in Milwaukee in the book Latina Lives in Milwaukee by Theresa Delgadillo.

Here is an excerpt:

Poem: Para Jodi en Kansas City

Apr 21, 2016
timonko / Fotolia

To continue our celebration of National Poetry Month, Milwaukee poet Carmen Alicia Murguia recalls a special trip to Kansas City:


Poem: The Tenderness of Mathematics

Apr 20, 2016
Tom Brown / Flickr

April is National Poetry Month, and Lake Effect has been commemorating that observance by spotlighting some local poets and their work. "The Tenderness of Mathematics," comes from Milwaukee poet John Koethe's latest collection, The Swimmer.

God created the integers, all else is the work of man -- Leopold Kronecker

Essay: Why I Write Poetry

Apr 19, 2016
Fredrik Rubensson / Flickr

April is National Poetry Month. For the past couple weeks, Lake Effect has featured work from local poets and talked to writers about what attracted them to the art of poetry. For essayist Richard Hedderman, that's an easy answer.

But what keeps him energized about poetry? Well, that's a bit more complicated. 

 Essay: Why I Write Poetry 

Kwame.Alexander.7 / Facebook

There are plenty of issues confronting sports in this country, but there is still a lot of beauty in the games we play at the amateur, collegiate and pro level. Author Kwame Alexander would say that it’s poetry.

Rachel Morello

April is National Poetry Month, and one Milwaukee student is celebrating in the Big Apple.

Ten-year-old Pashia Bowens, a fourth grader at LaFollette School on Milwaukee’s north side, is one of fifteen students from across the country selected for America SCORES National Poetry Slam. She’ll travel to New York City this weekend to participate.

Jelly Dude / Flickr

John Koethe has had many intellectual interests in his years and many have found their way into his poetry.

Koethe is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at UW-Milwaukee, and his interest in philosophy shines through in his latest collection of poetry, The Swimmer. Physics, advanced math and literature also make appearances his poems.

Koethe notes that many of his poems reflect a look back at how things have changed during his lifetime, and not always for the better.

Richard Blanco

In December 2012, Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco learned that he was chosen to be the Fifth Inaugural Poet of the United States. As inaugural poet, Mr. Blanco was asked to write a poem and read it at President Obama's second presidential inauguration in 2013. Mr. Blanco would be one of many “firsts” for the role: the youngest, the first immigrant, the first Latino and the first openly gay poet.

Stoneboat Literary Journal

There are many different ways to write a poem, if you’re so inclined. There’s the sonnet. Or, if you lean towards the bawdy, there’s the limerick. Or if you’re wordy and think of yourself in ancient Greek terms, there’s the two-volume epic.

But for Milwaukee poet Mark Zimmermann, the form that has captured his fancy for the last decade is the lipogram. It’s a form in which the poet chooses to omit certain letters – like writing a poem without the letter B, for example. Zimmermann took it one step further and wrote poems about people that used only the letters in their names.

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