Meet Our Writers-in-Residence

Top: Erika Janik, John Hildebrand, Max Garland. Bottom: BJ Hollars, Nickolas Butler, Kimberly Blaeser.

Top: Erika Janik, John Hildebrand, Max Garland. Bottom: BJ Hollars, Nickolas Butler, Kimberly Blaeser.

This summer’s residencies at Cirenaica will host a number of acclaimed writers. Take a moment to meet them and learn more of their work!

Max Garland

Perhaps no poet captures the twang of Kentucky with the heart of Wisconsin better than Wisconsin’s former poet laureate, Max Garland.  For those who’ve had the pleasure of hearing him read (and trust us, you’ll never forget it!), chances are he didn’t read at all, but simply recited the poems from memory.  Max’s poetry has lifted our spirits time and again, helping us through the hard parts of life, and the happy times, too, and occasionally, even the bittersweet.  Such was the case when Eau Claire said farewell to our beloved Mega-Foods now memorialized in this poem. | ➜ See residency info

Nickolas Butler

Nickolas Butler: the man, the myth, the legend.  A writer whose reputation transcends oceans (did you know he won France’s PAGE Prix America Award?), yet when you meet him, he’s as humble and down-to-earth as any other hardworking Midwesterner.  Which is to say: Nick is the ideal writer-in-residence for budding and veteran fiction writers alike.  Click here for a great interview with Nick and Wisconsin People & Ideas editor Jason Smith. | ➜ See residency info

B.J. Hollars

Since B.J. may or may not be writing this content, he’ll keep it brief.  He loves teaching, he loves writing, and he’d love to teach and write with you.  Click here for a featured excerpt from his debut essay collection This Is Only A Test over at the Huffington Post. | ➜ See residency info

Erika Janik

The author of several books (A Short History of Wisconsin, Odd Wisconsin, etc.), whose essays have appeared in Smithsonian, The Atlantic, and Salon, chances are you still know her best from her work as executive director for Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Wisconsin Life.”  Perhaps no one in the region has done more for capturing our stories and voices than she.  Click here to listen to “Poetry and Beer, Together at Last at Poetry and Pints”  produced by Erika and featuring Max Garland, too! | ➜ See residency info

Kimberly Blaeser

It’s not every day you get to work closely with Wisconsin’s poet laureate, but from July 14-17 you can!  Kimberly has penned three collections of poetry (Apprenticed to Justice, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Trailing You) and when she’s not busy crisscrossing the state in support of poetry, she can be found teaching at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee.  This year she’s started a new project aimed at making Wisconsin the “Poetry Recitation Capital” of the country.  Learn more (much more!) with her this summer!  Until then, enjoy a few of Kimberly poems at The Poetry Foundation. | ➜ See residency info

 John Hildebrand

Whether you’re canoeing across the state, building a cabin in Alaska, or simply observing the brief moments of beauty that flicker past us each and every day, there’s no better tour guide than John Hildebrand.  You can read John’s books (The Heart of ThingsA Northern FrontReading the River, Mapping the Farm) or simply flip through a magazine to find him.  His work has been featured in Harper's, Audubon, Outside, Sports Illustrated, and more.  This summer, let him help you grace the glossy pages, too!  Listen to him read “Skating Backwards” in a segment of “Wisconsin Life.” | ➜ See residency info