Whether you think of it as north of HWY 8, HWY 29, or HWY 10, northern Wisconsin is known for many things—snow, bears, outdoor sports, lakes and woods and some would say, a unique Up North culture. Joel Friederich, an Associate Professor of English at UW-Barron County, is doing all he can to add literature to the mix by strengthening what he calls a ‘NW Wisconsin literary landscape.’
This weekend is the second annual Northwest Wisconsin Writers Festival. How a connection to place can inform and ground writing will be one of the topics of discussion among authors and audiences. The featured authors, Nickolas Butler and Marnie Mamminga, are both known for stories and characters set in northern Wisconsin.
Butler grew up in Eau Claire and his novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, has been praised up and down for having captured the unique mood and character of northern Wisconsin with honest and loving accuracy. Mamminga’s memoir, Return to Wake Robin, tells of her own summers spent in a cabin built by her grandfather on a lake near Hayward. Her stories and photos evoke the spirit and cultural heritage of an era quickly receding. The book, she explained, is an attempt to capture the spirit and traditions of the place that have had a huge influence on her life.
The WHC is proud to have given a Mini-grant to the Northwest Wisconsin Writers’ Festival. The festival is one of the first projects funded with help from the HRK Foundation. The foundation, with roots in Bayfield, has been a longtime supporter of the arts and humanities in northern Wisconsin. The WHC recently received a generous grant from HRK to expand our ability to fund projects in 17 northern counties.
We are lucky to be working with HRK, a foundation that, like us, is committed to strengthening communities. With our grant program, we support the work of local organizations that respond to local residents’ needs and interests with creative public programming. The festival is a perfect example of a project that uses the humanities and arts to bring people together. Projects like this truly enrich life in the region.
Organizations serving Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Lincoln, Marinette, Oneida, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Vilas and Washburn are encouraged to review WHC guidelines and consider an application. All regular deadlines and applications apply. And as always, we like to hear from you. Feel free to contact us with your program ideas.
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|Working through a Digital Divide: Libraries as Community Centers, an article from librarian Amy Lutzke.||Coming Soon! Our Working Lives Project speakers bureau with presenters sharing perspectives on work in Wisconsin.||Our next grant deadlines are August 17th and November 1st. Here are additional tips for writing successful applications.|