Readings Events

IT’S NATIONAL POETRY MONTH: Several Eau Clairians Part of Wisconsin Writers Event

six-poet reading event features four locals, including two UWEC profs

McKenna Scherer |

FOR THE LOVE OF POETRY. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Wisconsin Writers Association is hosting a virtual reading and Q&A. (Submitted image)
FOR THE LOVE OF POETRY. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Wisconsin Writers Association is hosting a virtual reading and Q&A. (Submitted image)

The Wisconsin Writers Association (WWA) is celebrating National Poetry Month with a special reading with six phenomenal published poets, several of whom are based in Eau Claire. Dr. Dorothy Chan, an English professor at UW-Eau Claire and WWA board member, will be emceeing the Zoom-delivered event. Four of the six poets are based in Eau Claire. 

Slated for Tuesday, April 25 from 7-8:30pm, the reading and Q&A event will feature Dr. Dorothy Chan as emcee and reader, Gustavo Barahona-López, Dr. José Felipe Alvergue, Aja St. Germaine, Dr. Rita Mookerjee, and Rosebud Ben-Oni.

Each poet will offer roughly 5-7 minutes of readings followed by a 15-minute Q&A segment as a wrap-up.

Barahona-López is a poet and educator originally from California, largely drawing from his experience growing up as the son of Mexican immigrants in his writing. His work can be found or is forthcoming in Iron Horse Literary Review, Puerto del Sol, The Accents Review, and more. Some of Barahona-López’s work can be found here.

Dr. Chan has published five poetry collections including Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (2018), Revenge of the Asian Woman (2019), and others, including their forthcoming collection Return of the Chinese Femme (2024). They are editor-in-chief and co-founder of Honey Literary, a nonprofit and BIPOC women and femme literary organization. Chan also received the 2022 University of Wisconsin System’s Dr. P. B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ people alongside being an awardee and multi-time finalist for several awards. Links to some of Dr. Chan’s work can be found here.

Dr. Alvergue has published three books of poetry, the latest of which was selected as the winner of the Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize, and is a professor of Contemporary Literature and Transnationalism at UW-Eau Claire. His work engages both creative and critical language in a slew of ways. See some of Dr. Alvergue’s work here.

St. Germaine is a writer focused on queer and Native liberation, currently serving as the essays editor at Honey Literary. They student-edited Dr. Debra Barker and Dr. Connie Jacobs' essays collection, Post-Indian Aesthetics: Affirming Indigenous Literary Sovereignty (Arizona Press, 2022), and is a Ronald E. McNair scholar. St. Germaine graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in May of 2022, earning their Bachelor of Arts in English Critical Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Some of St. Germaine’s work can be found here.

Dr. Mookerjee is a professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Worcester State University, the Poetry Editor at Split Lip magazine, and is co-founder of Honey Literary. She has forthcoming work in this fall’s JackLeg Press and has been published by the Baltimore Review, New Orleans Review, Copper Nickel, and others. See some of Dr. Mookerjee’s work here.

Ben-Oni teaches at Catapult, the University of California-Los Angeles, and the Speakeasy Project, currently residing in New York as the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and CantoMundo. She won the 2019 Alice James Award and penned If This Is the Age We End Discovery (2021). Learn more about Ben-Oni’s work here.

Bring your juiciest poetry-related questions and set up at home, at a coffee shop, on the bus, or wherever for the virtual event on April 25.

Registration to the Zoom event is required for Wisconsin Writers Association members ($10) and non-members ($15) alike, available here