My America

What does it mean to be an American in 2017? What has it ever meant? Join us as these five poets interrogate and celebrate America—our past, present, and future; our successes and heartbreaking failures; our color, our queerness, our desperation, and our hopes. 

Derrick Austin poet BOA

Derrick Austin is the author of Trouble the Water (BOA Editions). A Cave Canem fellow, his work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2015, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, and New England Review. He is the 2016–2017 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellow at The Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing and was a finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.

Ruth Goring Chicago Poet

Ruth Goring’s poetry collections are Soap Is Political (Glass Lyre, 2015) and Yellow Doors (WordFarm, 2003); her children’s picture book Adriana's Angels / Los ángeles de Adriana is due out in 2017. Ruth’s poems have appeared in CALYX, Pilgrimage, RHINO, New Madrid, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. She edits books at the University of Chicago Press and teaches an editing course at the Graham School.

Martha Kaplan Madison poet

Martha Kaplan is a Pushcart nominated poet living in Madison. She has published widely, most recently in Hospital Drive Anthology, An Ariel Anthology, and in Driftless: A Zoomorphic Anthology. She won the 2016 Poets' Choice Contest from Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. She has been politically active both in Texas and Wisconsin. 


Madison Wisconsin Poet Richard Merelman

Richard Merelman is Professor of Political Science (Emeritus) at the UW Madison. Finishing Line Press recently published his chapbook, The Unnamed Continent. He doesn't believe he is an avatar, but is willing to be convinced otherwise. 

Margaret Rozga Wisconsin poet

Margaret Rozga’s fourth book of poetry, Pestiferous Questions (Lit Fest Press 2017), focuses on both public issues and private facets in the life of Jessie Benton Frémont (1824-1902). Rozga’s work has appeared recently in the Mom Egg Review and Los Angeles Art News.  She served as managing editor of the chapbook Turn Up the Volume: Poems About the States of Wisconsin and as co-editor of Cries for Justice: Poems for Dontre Hamilton.

Shoshauna Shy Madison Wisconsin poet

Shoshauna Shy is the author of four collections of poetry, the most recent titled What the Postcard Didn’t Say which won an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. A twice-nominated Pushcart Prize nominee, Shoshauna works for the Wisconsin Humanities Council and helped create, coordinate and facilitate poetry programs for the annual Wisconsin Book Festival in downtown Madison for a decade.  She is also the founder of Woodrow Hall Editions which sponsors the Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf initiative, and the Woodrow Hall Jumpstart Award program.  

Ready to Visit?

Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.


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