Virtual Poetry Event
Tuesday, March 9th
7:00 p.m.
via Zoom



Join Books & Company and the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books on March 9th for an evening of creativity, reflection, and words that make music with editors Margaret Rozga and Angela Trudell Vasquez as well as these guest poets: B.J. Hollars, Philomena Kebec, Amy Teutenberg, Nikki Wallschlaeger, Jodi Vander Molen, Wendy Vardaman, Max Garland, Margaret Noodin, and Ken Graber.

There’s never been a book quite like Through This Door: Wisconsin In Poems. Editors Margaret Rozga, 2019-2020 Wisconsin Poet Laureate, and Angela Trudell Vasquez, current Madison Poet Laureate, bring together poets from diverging trains of poetic thought, poems to lift you and sit with you when you need to be quiet and still, when you need to sing with joy, laugh out loud, and weep with all we the people have been through. This reading features nine of those poets, poets from northern and western Wisconsin as well as poets from southeastern Wisconsin, including one who is an alumna of the UW Milwaukee at Waukesha campus.

A partnership with the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books


About Through This Door: Wisconsin in Poems

From Superior, Washburn, and Ashland to Racine, Sturtevant, and Milwaukee. From Door County to Madison and the Driftless area. Wisconsin, you are here. Your lived experience is here. Your hopes, dreams, struggles, and joys are here in these poems. A quote from U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s book, Crazy Brave, sets the overall theme for this anthology: “When beloved Sun rises, it is an entrance, a door to fresh knowledge.”

The poems in the anthology are grouped into four sections: Through This Door, New Knowledge, In the Quiet, and Each Sunrise. The poems reflect on memories of the past, celebrate joys and recount struggles in the present, and envision hope for the future.

Included in the book are poems by the eight Wisconsin Poets Laureate who have been encouraging poetry writing and reading all across the width and breadth of Wisconsin since the beginning of the 21st century. Additionally, it includes indigenous, Black, Latinx, and White poets, as well as poets published for the first time. Open this door. See the fullness of Wisconsin and Wisconsin poetry.



About Our Nine Guest Poets:

B.J. Hollars
, an associate Professor of English at UW-Eau Claire, is the author of several books, most recently Go West Young Man: A Father and Son Rediscover America and Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians, and the Weird in Flyover Country. He is founder and director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and the Midwest Artist Academy.

Philomena Kebec is a word warrior of the Anishinaabek Nation. She lives in Wiikwedong, also known as Ashland, Wisconsin, with her partner and their two children Beatriz and Miles. Her poem in Through This Door came from observations of a cliff overlooking Mashkiziibi, translated to “medicine river” also known as the Bad River.

Amy Teutenberg owes her love for building community, hospitality and advocacy to her volunteer year with the Capuchin Franciscans and St. Ben's in Milwaukee. In college, she welcomed international students, helped found InterFaith Network and went on to help end chronic homelessness in Milwaukee at 211.  

Nikki Wallschlaeger is the author of the full-length collections Houses (Horseless Press 2015)  and Crawlspace (Bloof 2017) as well as the graphic book I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (2019) from Bloof Books. Her third collection, Waterbaby, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2021.

Jodi Vander Molen represents the Wisconsin Humanities Council on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. She served as a poetry editor for The Progressive magazine, and has taught young National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) authors the art of finding the “Monsters Within Our Pens.”

Wendy Vardaman, an editor, writer, web manager, print maker, and designer, who created the beautiful cover and interior design of Through This Door: Wisconsin In Poems. She served as co-editor of Verse Wisconsin 2009-2014 and co-poet laureate of Madison 2012-2015. She is the author of  three poetry collections: Rules of (dis)engagement, or Dubious perFormances,  Obstructed View, and Reliquary of Debt.

Max Garland, 2013-2014 Wisconsin Poet Laureate, is an emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. His books include The Word We Used for ItThe Postal Confessions, and Hunger Wide as Heaven. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michener Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the Wisconsin Arts Board

Margaret Noodin is a professor at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature and Weweni, a collection of bilingual poems in Ojibwe and English. To see and hear current projects, visit

Ken Graber, a longtime Wisconsin resident, very recently relocated to Orange Beach, Alabama. His favorite poets are Rumi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Walt Whitman, Sharon Olds, Marge Piercy, Billy Collins, and Mary Oliver. Old Testament bible stories are what most inspire him. 

Event date: 
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
1039 Summit Ave
Oconomowoc, WI 53066-4457
Through This Door Wisconsin In Poems Cover Image
By Margaret Rozga (Editor), Angela Trudell Vasquez (Editor)
ISBN: 9780979400469
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Art Night Books -