House of the Tomato

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

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.


Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.


HOUSE OF THE TOMATO (HOTT) is the regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, representing Green Bay/Northeast. In partnership with the Reader's Loft, the region hosts an (almost) monthly poetry reading series the third Thursday of the month with a few exceptions for holiday weekends. The region also looks to promote poetry in other ways, including poetry slams, printing of broadsides and anthologies and a wine and words contest with a local winery.

Regional VP

Tori Grant Welhouse is the regional VP for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. 

She received her MFA from Antioch University in London and has published a chapbook Canned with Finishing Line Press. Her poems have also appeared in Portage Magazine, Minerva Rising, Midwest Prairie Review, Rivet, Passager, Split Rock Review, Broad!, Glassworks, Anderbo, Verse Wisconsin and Greensboro Review.

The Reader's Loft

An oasis for booklovers, The Reader's Loft is a locally owned and staffed independent bookstore. Located in Bellevue, Wisconsin, within the shops of London Alley, the independent bookstore features more than 20,000 new and used titles in a 3,300 square-foot space. The charming interior and knowledgeable staff will make you feel right at home.

Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) is an organization for the creation, promotion and enjoyment of poetry throughout the state of Wisconsin. WFOP is a non-profit organization run wholly by volunteers.

The reading series is inspired by these lines from Erica Jong: “If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato.” 


When you live in the house of the tomato,
the fruit is hot, ripening two-by-two
on the window sill above the sink.
You see them every day, framed by red flesh,
soft as breasts your mother holds
to the light, weighing their succulence.
You are seed-bearing, too,
but hoard your germination,
unsure how to disseminate.
Tomatoes, you think, are so obvious,
cut into wheels with irregular spokes,
viscous gaps so full of seeds they spill out.
Your mother palms each wheel with an
even hand, a proficient dealer,
you know you will need to leave her table;
but for now you study her flamboyance.
How she puts her mouth down
and laps up wet seeds.

-- Tori Grant Welhouse

© 2019 House of the Tomato