Write On Door County Sept 2019 Residency

I’m near the end of my week-long writing residency at Write On Door County. Postcard poet Sharon Auberle tipped me off to this writing center in the part of Wisconsin that sticks into Lake Michigan. After one day here I wrote:

Write On Door County is a wildlife refuge. The wilderness of rural
Wisconsin on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Michigan (what Melville in
Moby Dick called a great “inland sea”) features more coastline than any
other USAmerican county. The wilderness of the mind too is given refuge
with a “QUIET PLEASE. WRITERS WORKING” sign before you even enter.
In the giant backyard find wild asters & other native flowers & 100
summer-extending butterflies, five different kinds of fungi, crickets &
grasshoppers bound out your path. Find the cabin of Norb Blei who wanted
to make all the county asphalt dirt again & a nearby firepit to watch the fire
and finish the hypnosis the butterflies started. Whoever first had this idea
for this place, thank you. It’s what writers need. It’s what preserves what
culture’s left in this ACD/Fake News/End-Stage Empire/Post-Democracy/
Immigrant-Children-In-Cages-era. An antidote to the cruelty that is
USAmerica where writers/butterflies/grasshoppers & crickets collaborate.

Egg Harbor, WI Sunset 9.23.2019

Egg Harbor, WI Sunset 9.23.2019


peN at Norb Blei's former writing cabin

Photo by Bhakti Watts




This residency requires the facilitation of one workshop and I had a small, but focused group last Tuesday at the Ephraim Universalist Unitarian Fellowship of Door County. I facilitated my workshop The Art of the Interview and no one wanted it to stop, which is a rewarding feeling. Tomorrow I will host a critique session in the former writing cabin of Norb Blei, Chicago transplant and local writing legend. (Some other cabin images below.)

Bhakti and I are stunned by the beauty of this part of the world, LOVE Parador, the tapas restaurant in Egg Harbor and are appreciating the quiet, the monk-like atmosphere here. The sound of construction of the new WODC offices and performance space barely registers. We hope to return here.

My task has been to go over my Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia manuscript so that it can be appended to my first book of poems, A Time Before Slaughter in time for an expanded tenth anniversary edition in 2020. I have accomplished that and am grateful to Jerod Santek, Lauren Bremer and Katie Smullen for their warm welcome, their assistance and also for the work they do on behalf of writers.

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). www.POPO.cards. He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: https://paulenelson.com/americanprophets/) has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com
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6 Responses to Write On Door County Sept 2019 Residency

  1. Ingrid Bruck says:

    Such wonderful news, Paul. I’m so proud of you! The residency sounds terrific!!! I loved what you wrote hereabout it.

  2. Splabman says:

    Thanks Ingrid! Thanks for reading the blog.

  3. Sara L Bingham says:

    This was a wonderful post. It made my morning; there is still beauty in the world!

  4. Heidi Greco says:

    Ah, yes, Door County. Window on the World As It Should Be. So glad you now know it too. Such a special place!

  5. Splabman says:

    Thanks Heidi! First went there in 1986! I hope to be back there in October 2020.

  6. Ed Varney says:

    Sounds likle you accomplished a lot in between raptures.

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