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Poetry Arrives in Downtown Kenosha

The Kenosha/Racine Poets Laureate Program was established in 2011 to celebrate the power and beauty of language by recognizing poets who make meaningful impact on our diverse communities through their poetry, community involvement, and ability to embolden others to take up the pen and speak their souls. This Program is coordinated by a volunteer Board, which appoints poets, based on competitive applications and an interview process, to serve two-year terms as Poets Laureate of Kenosha and of Racine, Wisconsin, including their cities, towns, and villages.

We hope you enjoy the poems which have been placed in the windows of dozens of Downtown Kenosha businesses. The 2024 Kenosha Poet Laureate Project, which includes a poetry chapbook, public readings, as well as the Poetry in Windows component, was created to use poetry to celebrate the relationship between the people of Kenosha County and Lake Michigan.

While strolling through Downtown Kenosha, keep an eye out for the wonderful artwork of Missy Isley-Poltrock. This image, based on her painting “Angel of Lake Michigan,” accompanies every poem

“The lake is a fundamental presence and inspiration to those of us living by her shores,” Christopher Kolan of the Kenosha Poet Laureate said.  “Poetry is a powerful medium we can use to express thoughts and memories of the lake, as well as those ineffable feelings and longings such a natural wonder evokes in many of us. With this project we discover the power of poetry to connect us to our world, enriching our lives in the process.”

Kolon designed the project, curating the poems used from over 36 poems submitted by Wisconsin poets for the poetry chapbook, The Lake Is Mother to Us All, which is available for purchase at Blue House Books, Modern Apothecary, and Lemon Street Gallery.

Follow the Kenosha/Racine Poets Laureate Program on Facebook to stay up to date on this beautiful addition to Downtown.

This article first appeared in the Summer 2024 issue of the Go Downtown Kenosha Magazine (Coming Soon)
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