Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is generally considered the holiest day of the year in Judiasm. Years ago, it was a day that might have gone by unnoticed by poet DeWitt Clinton, who was raised a Methodist in Kansas. 

Dan Mullen / Fotolia

Bay View was one of the first places we visited for a Lake Effect On-Site.  It’s home to poet and contributor Jenny Benjamin, who wrote a poem in honor of the show and the place she calls home.  Here she is, from that broadcast, reading “My Neighborhood”:

What borders are here, around this house?
Fernwood School fences
A canopy of ash trees in the rain
Lakeside sunrise, salt mountains, windmill,
Coffee houses, hat shop, soap shop, pet care,
And bars, lots of bars, for sugar maple-ing the night away.

Xeno Books

If you’re a parent, you’ll probably never forget how you felt the first time you found out you were expecting. Becoming a parent changes everything, and fear and love can be constant companions. As Father’s Day approaches, we look at one man who processed his feelings about fatherhood in his own unique way.

courtesy Jenny Benjamin

Milwaukee writer Jenny Benjamin transported readers between 21st Century Milwaukee and 18th Century Italy in her 2013 novel, This Most Amazing.  But Benjamin's latest books take readers on a much more intimate trip, into her heart and her mind.  Benjamin is an award-winning poet and frequent poetry contributor to Lake Effect, and has two new collections that are now on shelves.

Ed Block spent 35 years as a professor of English at Marquette University. But during those years he wasn't just writing academic papers and analyzing other people's writing. Block was always working with his own creative inspirations.


AWST Press

Vida Cross teaches English literature and creative writing at Milwaukee Area Technical College. But the Chicago native practices what she teaches at MATC and has just published her first book of poetry.

geargodz / Fotolia

In-laws can be difficult to win over, and as poet Jenny Benjamin points out, sometimes the work is just as physical as it is emotional.


Milwaukee poet Ed Makowski shares through minute observations, what separates the "I" from the "You," while at the same time showing how similar we all are:

You can't debate with memory

or slow dance a regret

The music of my youth
will always mean more
than the music of yours

How does the insect population hope to support
the spider population in my garage?

The ape I am derived from is no more superior
than the ape you are derived from

clownbusiness / Fotolia

We’re fortunate to have a chance to hear from some remarkable poets, from around the world and around our own area on Lake Effect

Jonathan Shoemaker / Aja-Monet/Facebook

It’s hard to encapsulate a person’s life and experiences in printed words. No matter how eloquent the writing, there will always be moments and pieces left to speculation. This was one of Aja Monet’s biggest worries when she first considered publishing her poetry.

By day, Stephen Anderson is a psychologist whose practice is based in Milwaukee. But in his spare time, Anderson is also a well-regarded poet, with many published works to his name. His latest collection, In the Garden of Angels and Demons features a mix of old and new poems, which vary in both form and content. Anderson will read from the collection for an event at Boswell Book Company on Wednesday, May 24.

A Discovery

Steve / Fotolia

There are volumes of books dedicated to the art of interpreting poetry. And often, poetry is a way for writers to re-interpret the world around them and search for understanding. Writer Christianna Fritz' poems "After the Proposal," and "Meeting Her," do exactly that. 

The first poem explores the motives and complicated lives of characters in another, longer piece by Fritz. The second is a re-imagination of her grandmother, whom she never met, and what her life was like on the family farm.

After the proposal

Mark Lacy

This weekend in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets holds its annual conference. Most of it is a private affair, but the noteworthy exception is the public reading by one of the nation’s most-honored poets, Mark Doty.

Poem: Dappled Things

Jan 26, 2017
Photocenter / Fotolia

Poet Jenny Benjamin reflects on writing poetry, spotted dogs, and the 'dappled things' that make up an average day. 

Glory be to God for dappled things…
All things counter, original, spare, strange…

- From “Pied Beauty” Gerard Manley Hopkins

For thirty-five years, Ed Block taught English at Marquette University. And though he continues at the university as a professor emeritus, his current work is more rooted in the writing world. 

The Milwaukee poet's new collection is called Anno Domini. Like much of Block's work, his new collection explores religious themes and references his Catholic beliefs.

Block believes that many poets - even those who don't ascribe to a particular religion - use spirituality as a source for their writing.