Featured Poets 2016

Congratulations to our 2016 featured poets:

As the current Wisconsin Poet Laureate, poet, photographer, and scholar, KIMBERLY BLAESER has been zig-zagging the state traveling from the thumb of Door County to the southern wrist cities, and everywhere in between.  Anishinaabe, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe, Blaeser grew up on White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. She is the author of three poetry collections— Apprenticed to Justice, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Trailing You. She is also the editor of Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose and Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry.  Her poetry is widely anthologized and has been translated into several languages including Spanish, Norwegian, Indonesian, French, and as of just this week—Hungarian. A Professor at University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, Kim teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing. Her current creative project features “Picto-Poems” and brings her nature and wildlife photography together with poetry. She lives in the woods and wetlands of rural Lyons Township and spends part of each year at a water access cabin in the BWCA chasing poems, photos, and river otters—sometimes all at once.

Kimberly Blaeser


PETER BLEWETT took over the home cooking duties when his partner Mary was incapacitated by early onset Alzheimers.  Away from the stove, he cares for Mary, teaches English courses, and advocates for language and arts education.

Peter Blewett




PETER BURZYNSKI is the son of immigrants. He grew up in a restaurant booth on the South Side of Milwaukee. He is a third-year PhD student in Creative Writing-Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.F.A. in Poetry from The New School University, and a M.A. in Polish Literature from Columbia University. In between his studies, he has worked as a chef in New York City and Milwaukee. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming from The Best American Poetry Blog, Thin Air, Prick of the Spindle, Thrush Poetry Review, Your Impossible Voice, RHINO, and Forklift Ohio, amongst others.

Peter Burzynski




BRENDA CÁRDENAS is the author of Boomerang (Bilingual Review Press, 2009) and the chapbooks Bread of the Earth/The Last Colors with Roberto Harrison (2011) and From the Tongues of Brick and Stone (2005). She also co-edited Between the Heart and the Land: Latina Poets in the Midwest (2001). Cárdenas’ poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Latina/o Poetics, The Golden Shovel Anthology, City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, Angels of the Americlypse: New Latino/a Writing, The Wind Shifts: New Latino PoetryThe City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century, and RATTLE, among others. Cárdenas served as the Milwaukee Poet Laureate from 2010-2012, and in 2014, theLibrary of Congress recorded a reading of her work for their Spotlight on U. S. Hispanic Writers. She is an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Brenda Cardenas




JIM CHAPSON was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, educated at San Francisco State University, and taught writing at UWM for forty years. He has never owned a horse.

Jim Chapson




REBECCA DUNHAM is the author of three collections of poetry. Her most recent book is titled GLASS ARMONICA. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Rebecca Dunham


K LUI ENGEN lives in Bay View, works in wine, and enjoys growing very large blue pumpkins with her two kiddos and husband. She’s happy to be back in Milwaukee after some years away, selling bottles to app-makers in SF and retired folks in Florida. Depending on her latitude, she shops both Mills and Blain’s.

K Lui Engen




ROBERTO HARRISON is the author of Os (subpress, 2006), Counter Daemons (Litmus Press, 2006), bicycle (Noemi Press, 2015), culebra (Green Lantern Press, forthcoming 2016), Bridge of the World (Litmus, forthcoming 2017), Yaviza (Atelos, forthcoming) as well as of many chapbooks. He is also a visual artist.

Roberto Harrison




SIWAR MASANNAT is an Arab writer from Jordan. She is the author of 50 Water Dreams (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2015). Her poems have recently appeared in PhantomThe Denver Quarterly, and APARTMENT, among others. Siwar holds an M.F.A. from George Mason University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Siwar Masannat




ANDREW RUZKOWSKI lives and writes in Milwaukee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review, The Bakery, [PANK], Midwestern Gothic, The Seattle Review, Willows Wept Review, The Camel Saloon, Emerge Literary Journal, and Parable Press, among others. He has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, a Best of the Net award, and was a finalist for the 2012 Atlantis Award and the 2012 Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry.  His debut chapbook, A Shape & Sound, is available from ELJ Publications.  His first full-length collection, Things That Keep Us from Drifting, is available from Another New Calligraphy.  He also serves as the reviews editor for Poets’ Quarterly, and as a poetry editor for Black Tongue Review.





CAITLIN SCARANO is a poet in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee PhD creative writing program. She was the winner of the 2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize, judged by Eduardo Corral, and Conium Review’s 2015 Flash Fiction Contest. She has two poetry chapbooks: The White Dog Year (dancing girl press, 2015) and The Salt and Shadow Coiled (Zoo Cake Press, 2015). Her recent work can be found in GrantaCrazyhorse, and Ninth Letter.

Caitlin Scarano




ANGELA VORAS-HILLS earned her MFA from UMass-Boston and was a fellow at the Writers’ Room of Boston. She has been awarded grants from The Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Key West Literary Seminar. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Memorious, and Best New Poets, among other journals and anthologies. She currently lives with her family in Madison, WI, where she is the Literary Arts Program Co-Director at Arts + Literature Laboratory.

Angela Voras-Hills




A Bit About Your Curators for EL::RL 2016

LINDSAY DAIGLE has coordinated and curated Eat Local::Read Local since 2012. She is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, where she also teaches undergraduate writing and literature. She holds an MFA from The New School. She’s interested in the poetics of place, space, and melancholy; the ekphrastic process; as well as the intersections between creative writing and composition pedagogies. Her work has appeared in Barn Owl Review, Quarterly West, The Laurel Review, and elsewhere.

Lindsay Daigle


TOBIAS WRAY has coordinated and curated Eat Local::Read Local since 2014. He is a poetry editor for the cream city review. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Bellingham Review, North American Review, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Poetry and Translation from the University of Arkansas and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Tobias Wray