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Sure Light Poetry Reading & Workshop

Thursday, October 27
5:30 PM at The Reader's Loft

Sure Light Poetry Reading & Workshop

Wisconsin's Poet Laureate

Kimberly Blaeser

Reading: Thursday, October 27, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Workshop: Friday, October 28, 11am - 1pm 

**As inspiration, Blaeser asks attendees to bring lines from their favorite poems**

Poet, photographer, and scholar, Kimberly Blaeser, is the current Wisconsin Poet Laureate.  Blaeser is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee where she teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing. Her publications include three books of poetry: Trailing You, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Apprenticed to Justice. Included in volumes whose titles are as varied as Sing, Women on Hunting and Reinventing the Enemy’s Language, her poetry, essays, and short fiction are widely anthologized and selections of her poetry have been translated into several languages including Spanish, Norwegian, Indonesian, French, and Hungarian.  Blaeser has performed her poetry at over 200 different venues around the globe, from Bahrain to Spain, and identifies the two most memorial sites for readings as the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia and a Fire-Ceremony at the Borderlands Museum Grounds in arctic Norway. She been the recipient of awards for both writing and speaking, among these a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship in Poetry, the Diane Decorah first book award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, and four Pushcart Nominations.

Of Anishinaabe ancestry and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Blaeser grew up on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. Her current creative project features “Picto-Poems” and brings her nature and wildlife photography together with poetry to explore intersecting ideas about Native place, nature, preservation, and spiritual sustenance.   She lives in the woods and wetlands of rural Lyons Township Wisconsin and spends part of each year at a water access cabin adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota chasing poems, photos, and river otters—sometimes all at once.

High School Life

Saturday, November 5
1:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

High School Life

  High School Life 

14 De Pere HS Students Take Readers on a Journey into the Thoughts of Today's Teenagers

What's it like to be in high school in the Midwest? Please join us as we showcase 5 of the 14 students featured in this collection of personal essays. 

The students were guided through the year long process by their teacher and mentor Robert Guyette. The essays are short and poinant, illustrating the real-life thoughts of today's teens. 

The goal of the book was not to show the negativity that often is associated with teen life, but rather quite the opposite. The students were asked to talk about what they are thinking about today, what their thoughts are regarding their future, what they care about, what they want adults to know about them, and so much more. 

The book is broken into 10 chapters that represent each month of the school year. Whether it be the first day of school, homecoming, the life of a football player, or the end of the high school journey each is a glimpse into the daily lives of teens.

The teens represent a mix of ages with a variety of interests. The two things they do have in common are that they are all deep thinkers and were hand picked by Mr. Guyette to be a part of the project. 

So, grab your teen and join us on Saturday, November 5 at 1:00 pm to learn more!

The Nightingale

Tuesday, November 8
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

The Nightingale

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

In love we find out who we want to be.

In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can … completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

HOTT Poetry Night

Thursday, November 17 - 5:30 PM
HOTT Poetry Night

Kathryn Gahl & Laurel Mills

Kathryn Gahl is a writer, dancer, and registered nurse. Born to an Irish nurse and German farmer, she grew up with seven siblings in a farmhouse located at the end of a half-mile gravel drive. She earned a B.S. in English at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a B.S. in Nursing at Syracuse University (NY). After 25 years in nursing and nursing management, she became a full-time writer, studying at Bread Loaf, Stonecoast, Sewanee, Iowa Writers’ Workshop Fiction Intensive, Iowa Summer Festival, Vermont College, and Taos.

Her poems and stories are widely published in small journals, including Eclipse, Hawaii Pacific Review, Permafrost, Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine, and Willow Review. Twice a Glimmer Train finalist, she received honorable mention from The Council of Wisconsin Writers and Wisconsin People & Ideas . Margie named her a finalist for the Marjorie J. Wilson Award. Other finalist awards include poetry at Lumina and Chautauqua , the Arthur Edelstein Prize for Short Fiction, the William Richey Short Story Winner, and the Flash Fiction finalist at Talking Writing .

Mother of two young adults and Oma to one, she loves red lipstick, the tango, and home cooking. Her readings have been described as “lively and pulsating. Even if you don’t like poetry, you will get goosebumps when you hear Kathryn.” She participates in Reading Buddies, a Wisconsin program supplying readers and picture books to preschoolers. 

Gahl recently finished her first novel (hooray)! Inspiration flows from her father, who would have been a writer if it weren’t for frozen barn pipes, sows farrowing at midnight, rust in the wheat field, cows breaking into the raspberry patch, and eight children wanting lunch money. That, and his devotion to his wife and Saturday night dance partner, Kathryn's mother. This site is dedicated to them.

Laurel Mills of Neenah is the author of five award-winning collections of poetry, including Hidden Seed which won the Posner Poetry Award, and Rumor of Hope which won the Encircle Publications chapbook contest.  Both of these books are about her daughter, Beth, who has a rare genetic condition.  Mills’ poems have been published in periodicals such as Ms. Magazine, Yankee, Calyx, Kalliope, and in several anthologies including Boomer Girls: Poems by Women from the Baby Boom Generation.  She is Senior Lecturer Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, where she taught English and edited the literary magazine Fox Cry Review. 

Larry Watson Returns to The Reader's Loft

Saturday, December 3
1:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Larry Watson Returns to The Reader

As Good As Gone

Calvin Sidey is always ready to run, and it doesn’t take much to set him in motion. As a young man, he ran from this block, from Gladstone, from Montana, from this country. From his family and the family business. He ran from sadness, and he ran from responsibility. If the gossip was true, he ran from the law.

It’s 1963, and Calvin Sidey, one of the last of the old cowboys, has long ago left his family to live a life of self-reliance out on the prairie. He’s been a mostly absentee father and grandfather until his estranged son asks him to stay with his grandchildren, Ann and Will, for a week while he and his wife are away. So Calvin agrees to return to the small town where he once was a mythic figure, to the very home he once abandoned.  

But trouble soon comes to the door when a boy’s attentions to seventeen-year-old Ann become increasingly aggressive and a group of reckless kids portend danger for eleven-year-old Will. Calvin knows only one way to solve problems: the Old West way, in which scores are settled and ultimatums are issued and your gun is always loaded. And though he has a powerful effect on those around him--from the widowed neighbor who has fallen under his spell to Ann and Will, who see him as the man who brings a sudden and violent order to their lives--in the changing culture of the 1960s, Calvin isn’t just a relic; he’s a wild card, a danger to himself and those who love him.

In As Good as Gone, Larry Watson captures our longing for the Old West and its heroes, and he challenges our understanding of loyalty and justice. Both tough and tender, it is a stunning achievement.

Larry Watson is an American author of novels, poetry and short stories. He was born in 1947 in Rugby, North Dakota. Watson taught writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin/​Stevens Point for 25 years. He currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

*Please help us welcome Larry back to the store for this special event.

Circling the Sun

Tuesday, December 13
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Circling the Sun

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature's delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it's the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl's truest self and her fate: to fly.