The Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission is comprised of volunteers who administer, promote, and maintain the state’s Laureate program. Commission members represent diverse populations across the state and the member organizations that support the laureateship: the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters; Wisconsin Center for the Book; Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets; Wisconsin Humanities Council and Wisconsin Arts Board.
Sheri Castelnuovo has been responsible for the planning and execution of public programming at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art since 1991. She oversees all of the museum’s educational programming, including the docent program, school programs and learning resources; adult enrichment programs; youth and family programs; online exhibitions; and film and video series. She serves as co-curator of the Wisconsin Triennial Exhibition and collaborates with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets to present interdisciplinary poetry events at MMoCA. She has a Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Arts Administration and a BFA from Tufts University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Castelnuovo became a member-at-large of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission in 2014.
Carol Cohen is the Wisconsin Humanities Council appointee to the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. She served as Associate Academic Dean at Edgewood College where she also taught writing and drama. In the past, Cohen has done freelance writing for the Madison Repertory Theatre and was the director of a college theatre in upstate New York. She holds a PhD in Theatre and Drama from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Nick Demske lives in Racine and works at the Racine Public Library. He serves as Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission representative for Wisconsin Center for the Book. Nick is the author of a self-titled collection of poetry, which was picked for the 2010 Fence Modern Poets Series prize, and a chapbook, "Skeetly Deetly Deet," which was published by Strange Cage Press. His work has been taught at dozens of universities and colleges throughout the country, including Notre Dame, Columbia, Cleveland State, Marquette and many more. In 2011, Nick went on a 40+ city book tour that covered both coasts of America and back. Nick is a vegan, an urban gardener and a crappy student of sitting meditation.
Writer and poet Ronnie Hess serves as Chair of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. She is the author of a chapbook, Whole Cloth (Little Eagle Press, 2009), A Woman in Vegetable (forthcoming, Kattywompus Press) and a culinary travel guide, Eat Smart in France (Ginkgo Press, 2010). She has contributed to many publications—national, regional and local—including Saveur, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Karen Ann Hoffman
Karen Ann Hoffman serves as the Wisconsin Arts Board representative on the commission. For her Iroquois raised beadwork, she was named Wisconsin Master Folk Artist in 2007. Her works are held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution-NMAI, The Wisconsin State Museum, The New York State Museum, and the Indianapolis Childrens' Museum.Karen Ann was a member of the Skanikwat Project, Nakuru, Kenya, Africa, which used tribal beadwork as a medium to foster peace across languages, races, religions, and continents. Karen Ann lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.
Soham Patel is the author of two chapbooks, and nevermind the storm (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2013) and Riva: a Chapter (kitchen-shy press, 2013). She is a Kundiman fellow, and a PhD Candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where she serves as a poetry editor for cream city review. Patel became a member-at-large of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission in 2015.
Chuck Stebelton works as literary program director at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee and and serves as a member-at-large of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. He is author of two full-length collections of poetry, The Platformist (The Cultural Society, 2012) and Circulation Flowers (Tougher Disguises, 2005).
An at-large member of teh Commission, William Stobb has five poetry collections which have garnered a variety of awards and praises. Of Stobb's National Poetry Series collection, Nervous Systems (Penguin Poets), August Kleinzahler writes, "William Stobb has nerve and talent, and engages this madly accelerating, often nearly indecipherable world in what's called real time, and he does it without sacrificing emotional force."
Angie Trudell Vasquez
Angie Trudell Vasquez received her MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts in May 2017. In 2016, she was a poetry panelist at Split This Rock! Her poems have been published most recently in the Yellow Medicine Review and the San Diego Poetry Annual 2015-2016. She has work forthcoming in the Raven Chronicles and Return to the Gathering Place of the Waters. She was nominated for a Pushcart in 2014 for her essay, "The Making of the Latina Monologues." Since 2005 she has worked for the ACLU of Wisconsin and developed their youth poetry program. Her work has been performed on stage in Portland, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Her op eds have reached millions. She has her own press, Art Night Books, and has self-published two collections of her own work, The Force Your Face Carries and Love in War Time. Art Night Books will resume publishing other’s work now that she is done with graduate school.
Mark Zimmermann represents the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets on the Commission. Since 2004, Mark has lived in Milwaukee where he teaches humanities and writing courses at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and where he has won the Johnson Controls Teaching Award (2012-2013). From 1993-2001, he taught American literature at Ibaraki University in Mito, Japan, while also working as a journalist and editor. He has also taught at colleges in Russia, the Netherlands, and Poland.