Wisconsin People & Ideas – Winter Spring 2023 | wisconsinacademy.org
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Wisconsin People & Ideas – Winter Spring 2023

In this issue: This double issue features a profile of Wisconsin’s new poet laureate, Nicholas Gulig, as well as an article on the state of book publishing. Dig in to a special Wisconsin Table feature on rainbow smelt, and explore Lula Lake Preserve to learn about the relationship between controlled burns, biodiversity, and native bees. In the arts, there’s an interview with Dakota Mace, and previews of upcoming exhibits at the James Watrous Gallery. Additional literary features include more prize-winning fiction and poetry from last year’s writing contest, and reviews of more Wisconsin books for your reading pleasure.

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Finding common values, making connections, and fostering collaboration are at the heart of our work at the Academy.

The days are getting longer, the sun is shining on the thick drifts of snow we got last weekend, and my old dog, Clio, my companion for the past fifteen years, sleeps beside my desk as I think about winter, and spring.

Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and provocateur, once said that good food and good eating involve an element of risk. I believe he was talking about oysters. One of my risky food experiences involved a different kind of seafood.

In Wisconsin, like elsewhere, bee populations are declining. There are many causes...


You settle into the couch with a cup of hot tea. In a beam of light at just the right angle, you stroke the cover of your book club’s latest selection, crack the spine, take a long, deep inhale of new-book smell, and start to read.

The news of Gulig’s prestigious appointment came as no surprise to me, rather as a well-timed confirmation of a life dedicated to poetry and language.

Dakota Mace, as a Diné (Navajo) artist, focuses in her work on translating the language of Diné history and beliefs. She recently curated Reclaiming Identity, an exhibit of 25 Indigenous artists from across the U.S.

Migratory Pattern, 2023, Paper (roadmap of the Continental US and land map of Canada interwoven) 13 x 18 inches

In my work, I ruminate quite a bit on the concept of change. The way words change, for instance, depending on context. The way land changes, depending on natural disasters, weather, and human impact.

Colin Matthes, The Days Go by Like Wildness, pencil on paper, 9 x 12 inches

I draw with my kids, who are seven and five years old. Their freedom and joy while drawing is contagious. Once the kids are asleep, I unwind by drawing in my studio or on the couch while watching shows and having a few drinks with my wife.

Accordion books.

This exhibition of artists’ accordion books reflects my personal and academic interest in the field of artists’ printed matter, especially artists’ periodicals.

Climate Fast Forward Conference collective art project.

Nearly 400 Wisconsin residents gathered last October at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison for Climate Fast Forward, a participatory conference hosted by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.

Willie swung his hammer and missed, smacking his thumb. He mashed his lips together, trying not to swear. He considered the monastery on the hill, and the serenity of the valley where he knelt on top of a storage shed.

The cover of this astonishing poetry collection features a woman rising out of a primordial gloom, her arms clawing the cracked walls of an ancient mikvah, the Jewish symbol of purification.

Recently, The New York Times published an opinion piece with the slightly misleading title “Poetry Died 100 Years Ago This Month,” ruffling the feathers of many poets and their readers.

There can’t be many novels with titles shorter than the one that adorns Ink, Madison writer Angela Woodward’s third book of fiction; nor are there likely to be many novels in which short essays about the chemistry of ink (and the nature o

Debra Monroe’s writing is sneaky, and I mean that in a good way. In her new book of essays, the Flannery O’Connor award winner and author of six other books of fiction and nonfiction considers roughly 40 years of her life...

You don’t need to know anything about Maggie Ginsberg to adore her first novel. You don’t need to know that she’s a truly lovely person, warm and generous of spirit. The kind of person who offers her secrets to help you heal your own.

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