Kimberly Blaeser is a poet, scholar, and former Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2015–2016). Of Anishinaabe ancestry and a native of White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota, Blaeser crafts poems that dwell deeply on a complex, natural world—which includes the power of human imagination.
Poet Laureate Commission
Sheri Castelnuovo has been responsible for the planning and execution of public programming at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art since 1991. She oversees all of the museum’s educational programming, including the docent program, school programs and learning resources; adult enrichment programs; youth and family programs; online exhibitions; and film and video series.
Cathryn Cofell was previously vice-president of Letters for the Wisconsin Academy Board of Directors. Cofell worked with Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson to establish the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission, and went on to serve as the Commission's founding chair.
Carol Cohen is the Wisconsin Humanities Council appointee to the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. She served as Associate Academic Dean at Edgewood College where she also taught writing and drama. In the past, Cohen has done freelance writing for the Madison Repertory Theatre and was the director of a college theatre in upstate New York. She holds a PhD in Theatre and Drama from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Nick Demske lives in Racine and works at the Racine Public Library. He serves as the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission representative for Wisconsin Center for the Book. Nick is the author of a self-titled collection of poetry, which was picked for the 2010 Fence Modern Poets Series prize, and a chapbook, "Skeetly Deetly Deet," which was published by Strange Cage Press.
Journalist and poet Ronnie Hess began her broadcasting career at Wisconsin Public Radio. In the 1980s, she was a reporter/producer for CBS News in Paris, before returning to public radio in the Twin Cities and Chicago.
Soham Patel is the author of two chapbooks, and nevermind the storm (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2013) and Riva: a Chapter (kitchen-shy press, 2013). She is a Kundiman fellow and a PhD Candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where she serves as a poetry editor for cream city review. Patel became a member-at-large of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission in 2015.
Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission chair William Stobb has five poetry collections which have garnered a variety of awards and praises. Of Stobb's National Poetry Series collection, Nervous Systems (Penguin Poets), August Kleinzahler writes, "William Stobb has nerve and talent, and engages this madly accelerating, often nearly indecipherable world in what's called real time, and he does it without sacrificing emotional force."
Mark Zimmerman represents the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets on the Commission. Since 2004, Mark has lived in Milwaukee where he teaches humanities and writing courses at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and where he has won the Johnson Controls Teaching Award (2012-2013). From 1993-2001, he taught American literature at Ibaraki University in Mito, Japan, while also working as a journalist and editor. He has also taught at colleges in Russia, the Netherlands, and Poland.
Wisconsin Academy Administrative Offices and Steenbock Gallery
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703