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,…
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.)
Call Me DJ Jazzy Johnny. My younger self could make a pretty cool mixtape, first on cassette and later on CD. I never played them in clubs – I cannot stay up past ten o’clock, and I hate crowds, even in pre-COVID times. Nowadays, I prefer to mix things up on paper or canvas instead.
In the summer of ’94, I spent a week at a folk school in Door County, WI where on one morning I sat on a slab of limestone to contemplate a garden of wildflowers, while fellow students walked a nearby sawdust path through the woods to our classroom. One student, a woman named Rose, who was as old as the years accumulated thus far in that 20th century, paused in her parade to question me. “Are you a person?” she asked.
My friend, composer Karel Suchy, calls it KeRacine, pronouncing the word, in his cool Czech accent, like you’d say, “ker-o-sene.” With this term, he’s referring to the Wisconsin cities of Kenosha and Racine, but it’s more than a mashup of names for him. He’s talking about a powerful energy, fueled by the the creative culture that burns bright here.