Let’s Be Bad

by Jessie Lynn McMains Sometimes, I want to do bad things. This is not a confession of nefarious plots or dirty thoughts. Maybe I should rephrase it. Sometimes, I want to allow myself to be bad at things. I want to let myself make crappy stuff. I want to let myself just make the absolute…

READ MORE POETRY (#thesealeychallenge)

by Jessie Lynn McMains If you follow the same sorts of people on social media as I do, every year in late July, your feeds are flooded with photographs of hulking book-stacks and captions that read something along the lines of: Can’t wait to read these in August! #thesealeychallenge. And if you’re anything like me,…

Jack Kerouac in Racine

by Jessie Lynn McMains (& Jack Kerouac) The children in Monument Square pay no attention to me, either that or because I’m a ghost they don’t see me. Belle City rattles in my haunted head — O to be out in Racine in the summereve, air so wet and thick it slicks along my shoulders…

What I Wanted to Say …

by John Bloner, Jr. This is my final article as Racine Writer-In-Residence as I will hand off its baton to the next honoree on July 1st. Thank you to ArtRoot, the Osborne & Scekic Family Foundation, Nick Ramsey, and the Racine Literacy Council for their support and encouragement. Over the past six months, the Krazines,…

Forget Paris on the Seine. I’ll Take the Louvre on Lake Michigan

Would you rather have a brat or a baguette? A Kouign-amann or a Kringle? Paris with its Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo is 4,100 miles away from here, and who needs the Louvre Museum when you can experience fine art (and engage in much more) at the Louvre on Lake Michigan, better known as Spectrum School of the Arts and Gallery? Spectrum is located within the historic DeKoven Center campus in Racine, WI at 2050 Wisconsin Avenue and has served southeastern Wisconsin with culture, education, entertainment, and fellowship for over 40 years.

Seeking the Next Writer-In-Residence

Calling on all writers, age 18 and older, from Kenosha and Racine County. ArtRoot, a committee of artists and advocates, is accepting applications for a six-month tenure as Racine Writer-In-Residence. You can download application information and materials HERE. The person selected to receive this honor will serve from July 1-December 31, 2021 and receive a $1,200 stipend (75% upfront and 25% upon completion of expectations and an evaluation form.)

Drawing Tom Waits

As much as I love the sound of Tom Waits – blues shouter, field hollerer, junkyard dog howler, carnival barker – I also am jazzed by the man’s countenance and love to draw pictures of him.

The Problem with Shakespeare

The problem with Shakespeare is William Shakespeare. The name provides PTSD to those who first encountered his work in high school.

My Kind of Town: Kenosha

don’t get around much anymore. That’s not just a song title or a result of the pandemic, it’s a fact of my life. Long-distance travel doesn’t suit me. I’ve tried to stuff my 6’3 frame into an airline’s economy class seat and found Houdini couldn’t escape from a space that tight. When my family would travel to Yellowstone or other spots when I was young, I was left behind in the care of my aunt. They did not want to be on a car ride with me then, and you don’t want me as a passenger with you today. It’s a good thing I’ve learned to bloom where I was planted: Kenosha, Wisconsin, the fourth largest city in our state, nestled on the shore of the second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.

Superheroes with Pens

Writers are rock stars. I wouldn’t cross the street to see Mick Jagger, but I’ve driven 500 miles on two occasions to see my literary heroes, Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient) and Robertson Davies (The Deptford Trilogy), in Stratford, Ontario. In early adulthood, I wore a maroon T-shirt with the J.D. Salinger book title, The Catcher In The Rye, printed on it, replicating the paperback edition’s cover.