Next Conference:

FALL 2017
Northwest Region
Co-VPs: Andree Graveley & Nancy Austin

Dates: November 10-11, 2017
Venue: Holiday Inn Convention Center, Stevens Point

1001 Amber Ave, Stevens Point, WI 54482
Phone: (715) 344-0200 x. 3 (ask for WFOP group rate by October 9, 2017)
** After you register for the conference, don't forget to reserve a room. **

When the Phoenix is Fire



Deepen your appreciation of Islamic culture, especially its mysticism and ecstatic poetry. 

A Friday night presentation on Islamic faith and culture, plus our featured Saturday speakers (see below).

Featured Presenter: Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and educated at the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught poetry and creative writing at the University of Georgia for thirty years. He is the author of numerous Rumi translations and has been a student of Sufism since 1977. His work with Rumi was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers's Language of Life series on PBS, and he is a featured poet and translator in Bill Moyers's poetry special, "Fooling with Words." Coleman Barks is the father of two grown children and the grandfather of five. He lives in Athens, Georgia.

Lisa Starr

Lisa Starr

With Lisa Starr

Lisa Starr is a former Rhode Island Poet Laureate and the founder of the Block Island Poetry Project. Starr is also a mother of two teenagers, an innkeeper of Block Island's Hygeia House, a teacher, a coach, and a poet. She served as poet laureate from 2008 to 2013, and she is the two-time recipient of a Rhode Island Fellowship for Poetry. She is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, which have appeared in a variety of journals and publications over the last two decades. Her Block Island Poetry Project is in its 11th year, taking place from April 10th thru the 13th.

And Elaine Strite

Elaine Strite

Elaine Strite

Elaine Strite has spent 27 years in the Middle East, 15 in Egypt, 10 in the occupied Palestinian territory, and 2 in Lebanon.  She got her start in Egypt teaching English in Egyptian schools and set up an income generating project for women in the Sinai. In Palestine, she worked in journalism and as a consultant for handicraft marketing before managing USAID-funded scholarship and education support projects from 2001 until 2007.  In Lebanon she worked as an independent consultant for two US organizations, surveying international development efforts and conditions in Lebanese schools. She has a Master’s Degree in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan.  Elaine is married to Wausau native, John Viste.  They have three children, all born in the Middle East.  Elaine is actively engaged in sharing Middle Eastern culture with the northern Wisconsin community.


Conference Agenda is available here

If you have any direct inquiries or questions, please email Nancy Austin at

Roll Call

At every conference during the general session there are designated times for poetry "roll call." All attendees are invited to come forward to share a poem with the group. Typically shorter poems work best, especially if they do not require a lot of explanation. Bring your best!


Future Conferences

Generally the WFOP holds a conference in the spring and fall. We aim for late April/early May or late October/early November. However, holidays, local events, and anticipated weather conditions can occasionally trump those dates.

Eighty to a hundred of the state's most passionate poets gather to engage in workshops, readings, open mics, book fairs and a banquet/awards ceremony.

Writing is a solitary journey. Make connections on the way. We're a room of writing friends you haven't met yet. Hope to see you there!

The seven WFOP regions take turns hosting the conferences. The conferences generally run from Friday evening through late Saturday afternoon.

April 27 & 28, 2018 ** Save the Date **
Central/Fox Valley
VP: Christina Kubasta

FALL 2018
VP: Tori Grant Welhouse

West Central
VP: Sandra Lindow