On May 3, 2016, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, held an evening poetry reading and panel discussion at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. The following poets participated:
- Kimberly Blaeser — poet, scholar, and current Wisconsin Poet Laureate
- Fabu — poet, community organizer, and former Madison Poet Laureate
- Dion Kempthorne — poet, scholar, and dean emeritus of UW–Richland Center
- Timothy Yu — poet and UW-Madison associate professor of English and Asian American studies
Each poet shared a short reading of their own work which reflected diverse perspectives of being a poet in Wisconsin. Following the readings, Wisconsin Poet Laureate Kimberly Blaeser lead the poet panel in a discussion about how writers relate to their own communities, people and places.
From urban areas to the north woods of Wisconsin, the poets shared their thoughts about how Wisconsin history has shaped writing. The panelists pointed out Wisconsin is more diverse historically than many people realize. They noted, as poets we have a unique ability to write ongoing history by giving voice to diversity from communities throughout the state.
The panel also shared that as poets we gain strength through coming together in writing communities, even though the act of writing may take place alone. It is in these creative community settings where poets can make a difference raising awareness of rich, diverse cultures in our state, along with opening awareness of issues such preserving our natural resources and natural areas.
Annette L. Grunseth, Green Bay