Wisconsin People & Ideas – Summer 2023 | wisconsinacademy.org
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Wisconsin People & Ideas – Summer 2023

In this issue: Our summer issue features beer, boats, beaches, and a cover story celebrating the role of Wisconsin artists in the recent national acknowledgement of Native artists and art. Head out to Old World Wisconsin to learn about beer brewing as it was done in the mid-1800s. Travel to the south shore of Lake Superior for a tour of Josh Swan’s boat building shop, and walk along the wandering beach of Lake Michigan’s western shore.  previews of Mend, an upcoming exhibit at the James Watrous Gallery. Plus more prize-winning fiction and poetry from last year’s writing contest and reviews of books by Wisconsin authors.


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A key focus of mine over the past year has been outreach and relationship building across Wisconsin. As I have been meeting people around the state, I have had many conversations about what matters to them and what they value in the Academy.

Summertime, according to Gershwin, the living is easy, and summer in Wisconsin is indeed a golden time, a brief season that evokes leisure, cold beer, boats, lakes, and beaches, all of which we touch on in this, our summer issue.

You don’t have to be a beverage industry expert to know beer is big business, and you don’t have to be a historian to know Wisconsin is home to one of the country’s proudest beer brewing cultures.

John Hitchcock and Tom Jones in Hitchcock’s studio.

Though historically it has been difficult for contemporary Native American artists to find acceptance and inclusion within the often exclusionary world of the fine arts, Wisconsin artists are playing a prominent role in changing that.

Examples of beach glass.

My attraction to nature has gotten stronger as I have gotten older.

Josh Swan in front of his sawmill outside Bayfield.

High on a rise outside of Washburn, with Lake Superior sparkling in the distance, sits the workshop where Wisconsin native Josh Swan builds and restores wooden boats.

Sylvie Rosenthal, Hands (remainders + entanglements), 1 of 5 assembled and carved hands, 2001/2023. Laminated pine, plywood, dowels, screws, paint, 27” x 29” x 13”

There is so much in the wider world that needs repair right now. It can feel impossible to respond in a meaningful way or identify the tools and skills that might make a difference.

Founded in a time of political upheaval and amid the Great Depression, Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) was chartered in 1930 by farmers who recognized they were stronger together.

Hers is the last vehicle in the funeral home parking lot. Carol makes sure of that before she straps the brass urn with her husband’s ashes into the passenger seat of their pickup truck and sets off for their summer house on Lake Superior.

In “Exile,” the first story in Steve Fox’s debut collection, the author prepares us for the narrative, linguistic, and grammatical surprises to come. An adolescent encounters a homeless man who offers him a drink from a paper bag.

Mouthfeel Press, 134 pages, $16

I have edited three anthologies of Latino poetry and fiction featuring almost a hundred Wisconsin poets and writers, including Martín Espada, Ruth Behar, and former Milwaukee Poet Laureate Brenda Cardenas.

In 1925, a restless Dr. William Lorenz, noted Wisconsin psychiatrist, foregoes usual snowbird activities during January to crew on The Ruth, a commercial fishing smack sailing from Pensacola for red snapper.

This collection of essays, compiled and edited by folklorists and UW–Madison Scandinavian Studies/Folklore Program alums Marcus Cederström and Tim Frandy, guides readers through the principles, processes, and products of public folklore and...

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Phone: 608.733.6633 x25