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News & Reviews
Submit local poetry news, reviews you've written of stuff you liked or hated, other strong opinions, gossip whether relevant or scandalous to:


6/11/14: Charles Wright is the new U.S. Poet Laureate. Interview with David Graham:

Urban Spoken Word Collective, the third-Thursday slam and poetry reading at Genna's on the Capitol square, was named one of Madison's best ways to live it up on a budget.

The poems from Bridge I, II, III, and IV are now up on the Chazen website:

Calls for Submissions

Attention all area residents, students, transit riders and writers! Metro Transit and Madison's Poets Laureate invite you to send short poems, haiku, prose poems, or excerpts from longer poems, 3-5 lines total, to the Bus Lines 2014/15 open call for poetry. The theme is "Write Your Madison." Help us see what you see and hear what you hear. Share your poetry stories about Madison with the thousands of passengers who share the bus with you every day. Video poems will also be accepted. Select video submissions will be featured at and on Metro's YouTube channel. Select poems will appear on the exterior of a bus! Additionally, selected poets will be invited to read their entries at the Olbrich Gardens Poetry Event on May 17, 2015, hosted by Madison's Poets Laureate.

Featured poems will be chosen from the following categories:
Elementary Students
Middle School Students
High School Students
Adults (18+)
Submissions can include up to (3) poems. If your poem includes a title, please bold it and be sure to include it in your total line count. Students should include their name, school, grade and sponsoring adult if under 18. Please also include a contact phone and/or email for both the student and sponsoring adult. Adult entrants should include their name, phone and email address.

All submissions, including video poems, can be sent to or mailed to:

Metro Transit
Attn: Bus Lines Poetry
1245 E. Washington Ave. Suite 201
Madison, WI 53703

Entries must be submitted by: January, 31 2015
Use #WriteYourMadison if you'd like your poem to be read via Twitter. Follow Metro on Twitter!
City of Madison's Poets Laureate Website,

The Wisconsin Humanities Council awards grants for public humanities programs, which deepen our understanding of life, culture and society through reflection and conversation rooted in the study of history, literature and other branches of the humanities. Our grants are offered to non-profits and ad hoc committees for programs—and many of them involve poetry! Our grants are up to $10,000.00 in seven different cycles throughout the year, and giving grants to small communities in Wisconsin is one of our top priorities. Programs we have helped to bring to fruition include a poetry festival by The Friends of Lorine Niedecker in Fort Atkinson, a workshop and reading featuring Todd Boss at the McIntosh Memorial Library in Viroqua, and a Native American reading series in Lac du Flambeau. Learn more about how your own local community can be aided in providing poetic programming to the general public by checking out the WHC grant guidelines, and calling Shoshauna Shy at (608) 262-0706. Upcoming events statewide that we have helped with financial support at

Awards & Publications

Winners of the Wisconsin People & Ideas 2014 Poetry Contest:
1st place: “Liturgy of the Swallow” by Dion Kempthorne – Richland Center
2nd place: “The We of Two Horses” by Jeanie Tomasko – Madison
3rd place: “Interior Landscape” by Judith Harway – Shorewood
Winners of the Wisconsin People & Ideas 2014 Fiction Contest receive cash awards of $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place). The first-place author also receives a one-week artist residency at Shake Rag School for Arts and Crafts in Mineral Point, and all three award-winning authors will read their stories at the 2014 Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison this October.

The Council for Wisconsin Writers is proud to announce the 2014 winners and honorable mentions for the Wisconsin Writers’ Awards. CWW’s highest award, the $1000 Major Achievement Award for work of outstanding merit, goes to John Nichols, Madison, Washington correspondent for The Nation, associate editor of The Capital Times, and author or co-author of ten books on media, politics and American history. A frequent guest on radio and television programs in the US and abroad, Nichols is the co-founder of the nation's media reform network, Free Press.

Winners of the Wisconsin Writers’ Awards for work published in 2013 each receive $500 and a weeklong writing residency at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point. Honorable mentions receive $50. Out-of-state judges made the decisions for each award.

Matt Cashion of La Crosse is winner of the Zona Gale Award for Short Fiction with “Awful Pretty,” published in Moon City Review. Margaret Benbow of Madison is recipient of an honorable mention for “Simeon Prophet and Johanna,” published in The Antioch Review.

Amaud Jamaul Johnson of Madison is winner of the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award for Darktown Follies (Tupelo Press). Honorable mention goes to Seth Abramson of Madison for Thievery (University of Akron Press).

Craig Reinbold of Milwaukee is winner of the Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award for his article “The Girl in the Photograph” (Ruminate Magazine). Jill Sisson Quinn of Scandinavia receives honorable mention for her essay “The Myth of Home” (Ecotone Journal).

The Great Cat Nap (Cornerstone Press) by A.M. Bostwick of Tomahawk is winner of the Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award; Rebecca Williams Spindler and Madelyn Spindler, Madison mother-daughter writers, receive honorable mention for Moving Out and Moving On (Little Creek Press.)

B. J. Hollars of Eau Claire is winner of the Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award for Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa (Univ. of Alabama Press). Nicholas Hoffman and Jesse Gant, Appleton, receive an honorable mention for Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State (Wisconsin Historical Society Press.)

The Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award goes to Jesse Lee Kercheval of Madison for My Life as a Silent Movie (Indiana University Press, 2013). Honorable mention goes to Raymond D. Schrab of Hartford for Dutch Schultz and the Gold of Quilalí (CreateSpace).

The Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award for five individual poems goes to Jeanie Tomasko of Middleton; Rita Mae Reese of Madison receives an honorable mention.

The CWW Essay Award for Young Writers of $250 this year will go to Hannah Kinzer of Eisenhower Middle and High School, New Berlin, plus an additional $250 to her high school library, for her essay “Thirty Thousand Feet in the Air.” Honorable mention goes to Satvir Kalsi of Brookfield Academy for “Out of the Cold, a Friend.” Members of the CWW Board judged.

More information about winners, judges, banquet registration, and the Council can be found at

Poetry Books

Motherlung, by Lisa Marie Brodsky, has been published by Salmon Poetry.

"Lisa Marie Brodsky's poems are like a knife cutting away subcutaneous fat to reveal the abnormal tissue that needs to be excised before the healing can begin. Motherlung, in its quiet emotive passion, chronicles the tenuous strength of the mother- daughter relationship in terms so stark and final it leaves the reader gasping for breath at the end of each poem … and understanding at the end of each life. These poems will stay with you, a perpetual guiding play of light and shadow over the soul." —James P. Roberts

Reviews: submit brief opinions or reactions to poets or poems you read or hear for the benefit of those who might not have encountered them. More unsolicited reviews would be welcome—about or by Madison-area poets, please.

Old Reviews: Reviews previously posted on this page.

Services lists poets nationwide who are available to read, perform, or do workshops. Poets pay a yearly fee and can be contacted directly from the site.

      Too busy to submit your poetry to magazines or journals? Don't know where they fit in?
      POEMFACTOTUM is an affordable poetry submission service! No hourly fees; just flat rates.

Editing, manuscript selection, and book or chapbook layout, design, and publishing services also available.