“you would die, or be happy forever”

by Jessie Lynn McMains A couple months ago, I made a post on Facebook: What was the poem or poems that first made you really say WOW? The poems that felt like spells or prayers to you? The ones that felt like portrals to Elsewhere? The ones that gave you chills, made you cry, made…

Love Song during Riot with Many Voices

by Jessie Lynn McMains All through the summer of 2020, from May to September, I returned again and again to Lynda Hull’s poem “Love Song during Riot with many Voices.” I thought of it when police murdered Breonna Taylor in her apartment, and the protests began in Louisville, demanding justice. I thought of this man,…

Dear Peter Lorre—

by Jessie Lynn McMains Lieber Teufel— You are as strong as you are honest. Says the railroad bridge over the river. The graffiti. The river graffitied with all that autumn light. Rust and rusting, golding and gold. Honesty’s not my business. For example: you make a face, a ghastly, blissful grimace, and it sticks. That…

Revolution Poet-Style Now!

by Jessie Lynn McMains 100 Thousand Poets for Change began in March 2011. It started with just a few people, who had the idea to get poets (and other writers, and artists, and musicians, and activists of all stripes) together to raise their voices in solidarity. To act as megaphones shouting for peace and sustainability,…

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.)