U.P. Notable Books Club presents a Q&A with Marquette Poets Circle

 (Clockwise from left:  Marty Achatz, Lisa Fosmo,  Beverly Matherne, Milton J. Bates)

lives in Ishpeming, Michigan, with his wife and children.  He has taught for NMU’s English Department since 1998.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry.  His work has appeared in many journals, anthologies, the book-length collection The Mysteries of the Rosary, and two spoken word albums, Slow Dancing with Bigfoot and Christmas with Bigfoot.  Marty served two consecutive terms as U.P. Poet Laureate and is currently President of the U.P. Poet Laureate Foundation.  Marty is also the Adult Programming Coordinator for Peter White Public Library.

LISA FOSMO is an Upper Peninsula Michigan poet, from Escanaba. She has been published in various regional journals and anthologies of note. She currently serves as a judge for the National Poetry contests of the NSFPS, and is the newly elected Vice President of the U.P. Poet Laureate Foundation. She is the author of a full-length book of poetry Mercy is a Bright Darkness,, Golden Dragonfly Press (2023).

BEVERLY MATHERNE, 2023 and 2024 U.P. Poet Laureate, is professor emerita of English at Northern Michigan University and the author of seven bilingual books of poetry; her latest, Love Potions, Teas, Incantations. Beverly served in NMU’s Department of English as director of the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, director of the department’s visiting writing series, and poetry editor of Passages North literary magazine. Widely published, she has received seven first-place prizes, including the Hackney Literary Award for Poetry, and four Pushcart nominations.  Widely traveled, she has done over 360 readings across the U.S., Canada, and France―and in Wales, Belgium, Germany, and Spain.

MILTON J. BATES is the author of books about the poet Wallace Stevens, the Vietnam War and the Bark River watershed in Wisconsin. His poetry includes the collection Stand Still in the Light (2019) and two chapbooks, Always on Fire (2016) and As They Were (2018). He lives with his wife, Puck, in Marquette, Michigan.

“…you might ask yourself, ‘But what is U.P. poetry?’. You wouldn’t be wrong to expect many of the typical themes to revolve around the majesty of Mother Superior, the fleeting glories of springtime, and the striking characteristics of the abundant wildlife of the region. You’ll also find traditional poetry topics including the celebration of love, laments of loss, and meditations on the universal human conditions. However, anything and everything is fair game for poetry including dinosaurs, Bigfoot, Marilyn Monroe, and current events like the war in Ukraine, and the continuing scars from covid-19. Sprinkled amongst the poems are also a number of short story vignettes which I found haunting and evocative like musical tone poems.
“In my opinion, poetry is most effective when it can provoke a reaction with a minim of words. Superior Voyage succeeds very well in that metric and should be imbibed slowly, like a fine draught of whisky. Whether your tastes lean toward celebration of the natural world, a humorous or ironic look at human foibles, or a deeper glimpse into a land that has formed its people as hard as the people have tried to form the land, there’s an enjoyable read for you in this Superior Voyage.”
— Victor R. Volkman, Marquette Monthly

You may also wish to read Tyler R. Tichelaar’s complete review at U.P. Book Review

More information about the U.P. Notable Book list, U.P. Book Review, and UPPAA can be found on www.UPNotable.co

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