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Jan 26 6:30 PM in Waupaca
Discovering Austen Event Details »

Feb 2 in Menasha
A Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities Pop-Up Museum Event Details »

Feb 11 12:00 PM in Wisconsin Rapids
ARTi Gras 2015-Grim Natwick Film Festival Event Details »

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Mar 10 10:00 AM in Two Rivers
Wood Type Manufacturing Machinery Operation at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum Event Details »

Penelope Trunk in a mudbath
In the Breakroom with Penelope Trunk

This week, we asked Penelope Trunk, whose popular career advice blog regularly features personal stories of her own work-family-farm-life balance, about the meaning of making a living and making a life.

"Adult life is very difficult. It's amazing how strong we are to keep getting up every day and doing it."

Thinking back on a moment that changed the course of her career path, she explains, "I was unemployed and I didn't have rent money. I had been telling myself if I ever ran out of money it would be okay because I could be a nude model. So finally the time came and I knocked on the photographers door, and he answers and right away he said, 'Nah. You're too uptight.'"

She has since founded four companies, been published in over 200 newspapers, and homeschools her two sons with her husband on a farm in Wisconsin.

Keep reading her thoughts on ice cream, suicide, and why people think they need to make more money here.

This fabulous interview with Penelope Trunk is part of a series. We hope you’ll enjoy it, and keep reading over the coming months to get "In the Breakroom" with a sports journalist, a film maker, and more.

Learn more about our Working Lives Project: Making a Living and Making a Life in Wisconsin.

Poet Laureate Commission logo with image of Kimberly Blaeser
Kimberly Blaeser has been selected as the 2015-2016 Wisconsin Poet Laureate!

Wisconsin is so lucky to have Ms. Blaeser, and her words, to inspire us. As the Poet Laureate website explains, the position is “more an ‘activist’ than an ‘honorary’ one. Past Poet Laureates have traversed the state tirelessly to fulfill their calling to “enrich the lives of Wisconsin residents by sharing the values of poetry, creativity, and artistic expression across the state.”

We know Kim to be quite the activist on behalf of the humanities. Over the years, she has been involved with five projects awarded WHC grants. In a piece she wrote for us on the theme of Beliefs, the theme of the 2010 Wisconsin Book Festival, she said, “questions of belief follow me around. Always have. Or perhaps I wear them tucked into the hems of my skirts.”

We hope you enjoy the full essay, called "On the Existence of Unicorns," and find times to see Ms. Blaeser read her poetry in person at events over the coming two years!

And thank you to Carol Cohen, another tireless advocate for the humanities, who represents the WHC on the Poet Laureate Commission!