65th Anniversary Conference Lifetime Memberships Awarded
Susan Godwin. Member 21 years. Regional VP. Provided assistance at conferences and tireless behind the scenes volunteer for poetry. Frank Konieska. Member 19 years. VP of South Region for several years, until the region was dissolved recently due to its low population. He hosted conferences in 2005 & 2009. Also sponsored a Rhinelander School of the Arts $200 scholarship for several years.Helen Padway. Patron. Member 18 years. Vice President. Very active in Milwaukee area poetry events.
June 5–7, 2015: 65th Anniversary WFOP Conference
One hundred six individuals attended the WFOP 65th Anniversary Conference at the beautiful 125-year-old Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin. The open mic reading Friday evening was well-attended, and it was followed by live music by members including Captain Charango, Lynn Patrick Smith, David Blackey & Lynn Biddick, Gary Frisch & the Owl Hoots, and Charles Nevsimal.
The Saturday featured reader and workshop presenter was nationally recognized poet Dorianne Laux, followed by various indoor and outdoor workshops. The evening banquet included a moment of silence for members who have passed away recently including Ellen Kort and Jeff Poniewaz, and music by harpist Rosalie Gilbert and pianist Lincoln Hartford.
The evening concluded with dancing to music by Bruce Dethlefsen and the Big Talkers Jazz/Blues quartet. Sunday morning's presenters included a Lorine Niedecker presentation by Ann Engleman and others from the Friends of Lorine Niedecker Society, a reading and book signing by Wisconsin Poet Laureate Kimberly Blaeser, and a printing workshop by Daniel Goscha of The Mill Paper & Book Arts Center of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Overall, the food provided by the Center was very good and the conversation was splendid.
Special thanks go to Michael Belongie for his hard work coordinating the conference, treasurer Colleen Frentzel for handling the finances, Kimberly Blanchette for registration, Bobbie Lovell for her "steampunk" conference program, Jan Chronister for flowers, Joan and Jeff Johannes for coordinating the poetry contest and to Sandra Lindow for 65th anniversary "Community" poetry contest and quilt.