Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of poets and poetic heritage in the state, mentoring and supporting local poets with regular readings, workshops, conferences and other events, and advocating for the study of poetry in our schools.
Membership is open to residents and former residents of Wisconsin who are interested in the aims and endeavors of WFOP.
Member benefits include:
- Conferences: Spring and fall conferences are held around the state. More info available here.
- Bramble Lit Mag: The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets creates a quarterly members-only lit mag called Bramble. Bramble is guest-edited by a series of guest editors. See latest issue here.
- Regions: Seven regions provide additional gatherings, readings, and local events. Check here to find your region.
- Museletter: Members receive the quarterly Museletter, featuring upcoming WFOP and member events, poetry activities around the state, poetry page and more. Issues archived here.
- Calendar: Our primary fundraiser is the annual Wisconsin Poets' Calendar. Members and non-members can submit poems for consideration.
- Contests: WFOP sponsors annual contests for members and non-members. See what's open for submission here.
- Member Pages: Members are eligible for a personal page on the WFOP website, which may include contact info, bio, publications, personal website link, sample poetry and chapbooks or collections.
- Join or renew today.
On the edge of our bathtub, I cut
your hair, the shank of your collarbone
steady beneath my palm. Slivers fall
to the floor like so much black chaff; fine-cut
hairs cling to your neck, warmth of bread dough and
August earth, onion skin and olive oil.
Into the morning, a coffee quickening
below your collar where silvery splinters
collect like lovers in Vulcan’s metal net,
forged in a volcano where men work by
glow of fire and force, to taper and swage and
temper the white heat into serial
beauty – riveted as we are, my dear,
the smell of your scalp remains between my
fingers, like the ink of Sunday’s paper;
the revenant of my slow hands,
the narrative I leave with you.
Bruce the Spruce
When Prange’s department store
burned down I bragged
you could see the smoke
from my house, I was seven.
The smoke was inky
Those sheet sets busy
with bright flowers – ash;
the men’s ties as if
they’d never been there at all;
the little beds that made me
want to Goldilock lie down
and sleep the sleep of strange places
torched and then hosed.
It would be no fun
If we didn’t whisper, “Arson.”
Somehow the famous Christmas
window displays survive and
are here now at the museum:
herky jerky raccoons on ice skates
dolls rocking in rocking chairs,
angular faced elves with marionette arms,
you can hear what moves them
underneath layers of cotton batting snow-
the noise of mute things.
(The humor is lost
on my children – that artifacts
from my childhood are on display
at a museum.)
And here is Bruce the Spruce.
Empty now of the boys
hired to be his voice, boys
with voices low who kept quiet
until you were just close enough,
the same boys who worked the
Jaycee’s haunted house. Bruce
whose eyes were big enough
to climb into blinked loudly
and I cowered in the racks
of skirts safe.
Early October for Julie
Almost swelter heat betrayed
by yellowing avenues:
the orange lower horizon light
as we drive out and beyond:
churned fields make me think
the bow, the strings:
their pensive ache:
the only crows fly
from the only trees
at the plow line:
the pushing cold front
that cracks now with barely rain
will become an evening trudge
that washes on the sidewalk
worms and mud thick as words:
but here: now:
the horses are shaggy:
they have field to field burned
mud trail passages:
but here: now:
we are looking for the last
of the summer’s corn:
for the farm stand
we stumbled on last year:
but cannot remember exactly where:
those kernels we cut off the cobs:
sweet as powder:
with onions sautéed:
just butter and salt:
just warm enough
that the earth was exposed
in its stiff translucence:
we call it eating like peasants:
while wine out of juice glasses:
the simplest preparations:
we tasted the soil:
the creek that ran close:
the sunshine of July and August:
the sky forgiven
for its flashed lightning
A sky of cooling ash now:
the typeset punctuation of migratory birds
over deeper pools
of drought marsh silt:
an interjection of contrails:
like us the wind is not sure
of its direction:
I wonder where it will carry
the bell jar vibration of stars tonight
as we sit on the balcony
under a small hibernation of sky:
but when you say here:
when you say right:
and I turn right:
we ride together:
confident in the harvest:
the last acre stub short fields:
confident in the grace of movement:
the combine and till:
your hand on my hand
on your thigh:
certain that another bend
around grove trees:
springbed: silo: outbuilding:
will reveal what we seek.