House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

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GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

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IMAGINE Poetry Reading

  • The Reader's Loft 2069 Central Court, Suite 44 Green Bay, WI 54311 USA (map)

SEPTEMBER: Fall for Poetry

Marilyn Zelke-Windau, Georgia Ressmeyer & Maryann Hurtt

Marilyn Zelke-Windau Marilyn Zelke-Windau is a former elementary school art teacher and a Wisconsin poet who enjoys painting with words. Her work has appeared in printed and online venues including Verse Wisconsin, Stoneboat, qarrtsiluni, Your Daily Poem, and several anthologies. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, her first chapbook Adventures in Paradise was published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. Momentary Ordinary, a full length, illustrated manuscript, was published  in December, 2014 by Pebblebrook Press.

Marilyn Zelke-Windau

Marilyn Zelke-Windau is a former elementary school art teacher and a Wisconsin poet who enjoys painting with words. Her work has appeared in printed and online venues including Verse Wisconsin, Stoneboat, qarrtsiluni, Your Daily Poem, and several anthologies. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, her first chapbook Adventures in Paradise was published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. Momentary Ordinary, a full length, illustrated manuscript, was published  in December, 2014 by Pebblebrook Press.

On the Front Porch

It was a day of errands,
a day of from here to there,
of deposit and pick up,
of chores, not visits.
Driving down Monroe Street
I passed your house.
It may have been your house
or it may have been your son’s
or daughter’s house.
At 25 miles per hour in the city,
it was a quick glance.
You were seated on the front porch,
a full-facing, windowed front porch.
Your hair was neat, cut short, prim.
You had on a dark cardigan sweater,
navy blue I think, unbuttoned,
over a white Peter Pan collared blouse.
I couldn’t see your hands.
I couldn’t see your legs, your feet.
You were very still, gazing,
just gazing with a blank stare
at the outside world:
the world on Monroe Street.
Not much action on Monroe Street—
only cars passing, no pedestrians,
no school children at 11AM on a Thursday.
My thoughts of chores and errands paused.
You stayed.
You stayed on that porch with your quietness.
Your vacant look echoed my day
through Target, the bank drive-up window,
Piggly Wiggly, and the post office.
I deliberately retraced my route
on the way home.
Your world had broadened
because you weren’t there.
Mine had narrowed
because for me you still were.

-- Marilyn Zelke-Windau

Georgia Ressmeyer Georgia Ressmeyer, a New York native, spent her childhood summers swimming and sailing on Long Island’s North Fork. Since 1974 she has lived happily in Wisconsin, first as an attorney in Milwaukee, now as a poet in Sheboygan, where she lives three blocks from Lake Michigan. Twice a recipient of grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Ressmeyer has published fiction, numerous poems, and an award-winning poetry chapbook, Today I Threw My Watch Away (Finishing Line Press, 2010). Her first full-length poetry collection, Waiting to Sail, was published in 2014 by Black River Press. For more information see www.georgiaressmeyer.com.

Georgia Ressmeyer

Georgia Ressmeyer, a New York native, spent her childhood summers swimming and sailing on Long Island’s North Fork. Since 1974 she has lived happily in Wisconsin, first as an attorney in Milwaukee, now as a poet in Sheboygan, where she lives three blocks from Lake Michigan. Twice a recipient of grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Ressmeyer has published fiction, numerous poems, and an award-winning poetry chapbook, Today I Threw My Watch Away (Finishing Line Press, 2010). Her first full-length poetry collection, Waiting to Sail, was published in 2014 by Black River Press. For more information see www.georgiaressmeyer.com.

Waiting to Sail II 

Most summer mornings the wind slept in,
lay on the bay’s floor till noon or later
under a taut, reflective sheet that pleased
swimmers, water-skiers, skimmers of
rocks, but never Dad, who was a sailor. 

Wherever he went near water, he made
a detour to the shoreline or causeway,
checked for breezes dimpling or rippling
the surface—signs that wind had begun
wiggling its toes nearby. 

After lunch we might row unhurriedly
out to the sailboat, giving wind more time
to shake sleep off while we bailed, raised
the sails, and in other ways prepared to
transcend stillness. 

We were wind’s dependents, never cursing,
only praising, and paddled out to the bay
on faith, if required, where we sat limp-
sailed until wind deigned to unchain us. 

Sometimes we sang jaunty songs to put wind
in the mood to propel us along on a steady
but not overpowering breeze, which
eventually it did, at least most of the time. 

We liked to heel the boat on its side, slice
and slap the waves with our hull, feel
salt-spray on our skin, and be, at least for
a few hours, as feral as wind can be 

while the Old Salt—our dear old Dad,
not old at all—issued commands to loosen
or tighten the jib, duck our heads and
switch sides when he called “Hard-alee!” 

Then he might lean back, look up at the
burgee and say, “This is the life”—and it
was, and continues to be, for though his
bones are now cradled in a wooden casket
underground, his spirit still sails in us.

-- Georgia Ressmeyer
Waiting to Sail, Black River Press, 2014

Maryann Hurtt Living almost equal distance between the Elkhart Lake library and the Ice Age La Budde Creek trailhead keeps Maryann Hurtt centered.  She retired in the spring of 2014 after almost thirty years of hospice nursing. Now heart-deep in an Oklahoma Super Fund site, she is hearing and recording the voices of old lead miners, a mortician's wife, Quapaw Indians, William Clark's Nez Perce prisoner of war son, even the "voice" of a Ku Klux Klan cross.  She will be reading at the Tar Creek Environmental Conference in the fall of 2015. Receiving scholarships, Maryann studied poetry at Charles University in Prague, Fishtrap, and Breadloaf-Orion Environmental Conference. Her writing has been published in  Free Verse, Fox Cry Review, Stoneboat, Echoes, Wisconsin People and Ideas, Wisconsin Poets' Calendar, Wisconsin Hospital Association and a few anthologies including The Cancer Poetry Project, Ariel, and Verse and Vision. While still practicing as a hospice nurse, she and Cynthia Frozena co-authored a book, Hospice Care Planning: An Interdisciplinary Guide.

Maryann Hurtt

Living almost equal distance between the Elkhart Lake library and the Ice Age La Budde Creek trailhead keeps Maryann Hurtt centered.  She retired in the spring of 2014 after almost thirty years of hospice nursing. Now heart-deep in an Oklahoma Super Fund site, she is hearing and recording the voices of old lead miners, a mortician's wife, Quapaw Indians, William Clark's Nez Perce prisoner of war son, even the "voice" of a Ku Klux Klan cross.  She will be reading at the Tar Creek Environmental Conference in the fall of 2015.

Receiving scholarships, Maryann studied poetry at Charles University in Prague, Fishtrap, and Breadloaf-Orion Environmental Conference. Her writing has been published in  Free Verse, Fox Cry Review, Stoneboat, Echoes, Wisconsin People and Ideas, Wisconsin Poets' Calendar, Wisconsin Hospital Association and a few anthologies including The Cancer Poetry Project, Ariel, and Verse and Vision. While still practicing as a hospice nurse, she and Cynthia Frozena co-authored a book, Hospice Care Planning: An Interdisciplinary Guide.

The Patience of Orchids

the orchid I bought you
looked stunning
in the Piggly Wiggly plant corner
at home it dazzled
for a little bit
then lost its purple bonanza
it sat in the south window
through all the seasons
kind of forlorn
after such auspicious beginnings
when Valentine's day
rolled around once more
I see what may be could be a bud
trying so hard
then three days after all the heart hoopla
blossoms again
it's 10 below 0
when I learn how to wait
never give up
dream purple

-- Maryann Hurtt

Earlier Event: August 27
IMAGINE Poetry Reading
Later Event: October 29
IMAGINE Poetry Reading

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