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people & ideas

nsin the magazine of the wisconsin academy of sciences, arts and letters

Ida Wyman: Chords of Memory Meet a pioneer in the field of photojournalism whose images capture the American experience

Light as Medicine? Wisconsin-based phototherapy research holds tremendous promise

New Wisconsin Poets $5.00 Vol. 59, No. 4

Winter 2014

A selection of poems from our state’s emerging voices


What if

television opened a window to bigger worlds? Wisconsin Public Television

wpt.org

Watch online anytime.


Contents

winter 2014 FEATURES 4 FROM THE DIRECTOR Open Minds and Deep Thinkers

6 EDitor’s NOTES Taking Back the Comments The Steenbock Center, offices of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters

Wisconsin People & Ideas (ISSN 1558-9633) is published quarterly by the nonprofit Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters and is distributed free of charge to Wisconsin Academy members. For information about joining the Wisconsin Academy to receive this magazine, visit wisconsinacademy.org/join. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Copyright © 2014 by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. All rights reserved. Postage is paid at Madison. Postmaster: Send address changes to mailing address below.

Wisconsin People & Ideas Jason A. Smith, editor Jean Lang, copy editor Jody Clowes, arts editor Meg Domroese, science editor Augusta Scescke, editorial assistant Designed by Huston Design, Madison Cover photo: Ida with Camera, The Bronx, New York, 1947. Photograph by Simon Nathan.

7 Upfront 7 Wisconsin Regional Arts Program teams up with the Academy. 8 Poet Laureate Max Garland provides an update on the state of the arts. 9 IceCube Neutrino Observatory begins new age of astronomy. 10 FEllows Forum Wisconsin Academy Fellow and bioethicist R. Alta Charo separates the hope from the hype when it comes to stem cell research.

14 PHOTO ESSAY Mike Rebholz’s 10 Weeks: Ice Fishing in Wisconsin provides a glimpse of our culture that can only be seen on the frozen, wintertime lakes of our state.

24 Emerging MEDICINE Medical researcher at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee are making tremendous strides in the field of phototherapy. Science wrtier Laura L. Hunt shows us how light can be used as medicine.

30 GALLERIA Curator Melanie Herzog introduces us to a Ida Wyman, one of the greatest photojournalists of the 20th century who created a lasting legacy of iconic images of America.

administrative offices/steenbock gallery 1922 university ave. | madison, WI 53726 tel. 608-263-1692 www.wisconsinacademy.org

Image credit: Peter Jakubowski, UWM Photo Services

Jane Elder, executive director Randall Berndt, assistant curator, James Watrous Gallery Jody Clowes, exhibitions manager, James Watrous Gallery Meg Domroese, Initiatives program director Aaron Fai, project coordinator Martha Glowacki, director, James Watrous Gallery Don Meyer, business operations manager Amanda E. Shilling, development director Jason A. Smith, director of communications and editor, Wisconsin People & Ideas Stephanie Smith, development and program associate

ABOVE: Used at specific intervals, at a specific wavelength, light has healing properties. Janis Eells, University of Milwaukee–Wisconsin professor of biomedical sciences, applies near infra-red light to a tissue culture. See page 24 to learn more about phototherapy.

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Contents

winter 2014 READ WISCONSIN 41 READ WISCONSIN Good news from the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission 42 FIctiON The third-place 2013 fiction contest prizewinning story, A Day in December,

by Geoffrey Collins

43 Book Reviews 43 Ronnie Hess reviews Good Stock: Life on a Low Simmer, by Sanford D’Amato 45 John Lehman reviews The Map of What Happened, by Susan Elbe 47 Erika Janik reviews Wisconsin Supperclubs: An Old-Fashioned

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters

Experience, by Ron Faiola

47 NEW & REcent Releases

Officers of the Council President: Millard Susman President-elect: Thomas Pleger Treasurer: Diane Nienow Secretary: James W. Perry Vice President of Sciences: Richard Burgess Vice President of Arts: Marianne Lubar Vice President of Letters: Linda Ware

Selected titles by Wisconsin authors

48 5Q Five questions for Milwaukee poet and scholar Angela Sorby 50 Poetry Works from emerging Wisconsin poets: Jeremy Behreandt,

Statewide Councilors-at-Large Les Alldritt, Washburn John Ashley, Sauk City Mark Bradley, Wausau Patricia Brady, Madison Roberta Filicky-Panesky, Sheboygan Art Harrington, Milwaukee Joseph Heim, La Crosse Jesse Ishikawa, Madison Tom Luljak, Milwaukee Tim Riley, La Crosse Tim Size, Sauk City Marty Wood, Eau Claire

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, C. Kubasta, and Angela Sorby

54 OUR ANNUAL REPORT Featuring highlights from our 2012–2013 season and

Our gallery, the James Watrous Gallery in Overture Center for the Arts, Madison

acknowledgement of the people who make our work possible

Ida Wyman, The Ladies’ Lounge, Los Angeles, 1950

Officers of the Academy Foundation President: Jack Kussmaul Vice President: Andrew Richards Treasurer: Diane Nienow Secretary: David J. Ward Founder: Ira Baldwin

ABOVE: Photographer Ida Wyman’s career spans over fifty years and hundreds of publications, including Life, Time, and the New York Times. See more of Wyman’s iconic images and learn about her storied life on page 30.

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Foundation Directors Marian Bolz Greg Dombrowski Jane Elder Terry Haller Douglas J. Hoerr Millard Susman


Contents

NEWS for MEMBERS DID YOU KNOW? Members get discounts on ticketed Wisconsin Academy events! We don’t often charge for events, but when we do we make sure that members recieve a discounted rate: Poetry & Pi(e) Friday, March 14, 5–7:00 pm Wisconsin Academy Offices Join us for a poetry reading hosted by Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland, featuring some of Wisconsin’s leading poets. Coffee and homemade pie will be served. Academy members recieve a $10 discount on each ticket. Register online at wisconsinacademy.org/poetryandpi or call 608-263-1692. 2014 Fellows Induction Ceremony Sunday, April 27, 1–3:30 pm Promenade Hall, Overture Center Celebrate the election of seven new Wisconsin Academy Fellows, leaders in the sciences, arts and letters. The induction ceremony includes a reception with hors d’oeuvres and brief presentations by each new Fellow. Academy members recieve a $10 discount on each ticket. Register online at wisconsinacademy.org/ fellows or call 608-263-1692. The Wisconsin Academy thanks the following institutional members for their continued support: Carroll University Marshfield Clinic UW Colleges UW–Baraboo/Sauk County UW–Barron County UW–Eau Claire UW–Fond du Lac UW–Fox Valley UW–Madison UW–Manitowoc UW–Marathon County UW–Marinette UW–Marshfield/Wood County UW–Milwaukee UW–Richland UW–Rock County UW–Sheboygan UW–Washington County UW–Waukesha

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Melanie Herzog is professor of art history and chair of the Art Department at Edgewood College in Madison. She holds an MFA in ceramics and a PhD in art history from the University of Wisconsin– Madison. Herzog teaches, publishes, and lectures widely on North American art and visual culture. Her publications include Elizabeth Catlett: An American Artist in Mexico (University of Washington Press, 2000), Milton Rogovin: The Making of a Social Documentary Photographer (Center for Creative Photography, 2006), and “Dancing in Two Worlds: The Portraits of Tom Jones,” in Wisconsin People & Ideas (Spring, 2006). Ronnie Hess is the author of a culinary travel guide, Eat Smart in France (Ginkgo Press, 2010), and two poetry chapbooks, Whole Cloth: An Illustrated Poem Cycle (Little Eagle Press, 2009) and the forthcoming A Woman in Vegetable (Kattywompus Press).

Laura L. Hunt is a senior writer in the Office of Communications and Media Relations at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. A former daily newspaper reporter, Hunt has a BA in journalism from the University of Georgia. Her work at UWM focuses mostly on science and technology research. She lives just blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan with her husband, son, and dog. Erika Janik is a freelance writer and the executive producer/editor of Wisconsin Life at Wisconsin Public Radio. She is the author many books, including A Short History of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2010), Apple: A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2011), and the newly published Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine (Beacon Press, 2014). Janik’s work has appeared in Isthmus, The Onion, Midwest Living, the Wisconsin Magazine of History, Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, the Wisconsin State Journal, and in the book Renewing the Countryside: Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007). Her essays have also been featured on Wisconsin Public Radio. John Lehman is the founder and original publisher of Rosebud magazine and he served as literary editor for Wisconsin People & Ideas for almost twenty years. He is a partner of Zelda Wilde Publishing and—with editors Andrea Musher and Marilyn Taylor—for three years published the free, street-quarterly Cup of Poems and a Side of Prose. Lehman was a finalist for the Wisconsin Poet Laureate position in 2004 and again in 2008. His many collections of poetry include Acting Lessons (Parallel Press, 2007) and Shrine of the Tooth Fairy (Cambridge Book Review Press, 1998), and his latest nonfiction book is America’s Greatest Unknown Poet: Lorine Niedecker Reminiscences, Photographs, Letters and Her Most Memorable Poems (2003). He also publishes short stories under the name Jack Lehman. Mike Rebholz is a photographer and lifelong resident of Wisconsin. Rebholz sees his Ten Weeks: Ice Fishing in Wisconsin series as a reflection of the care and interest he has in his native state. Work from Ten Weeks has been shown in galleries from Palm Springs, California, to Chicago, Illinois, and the series is currently part of the Chicago Collection at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago. Ten Weeks also appeared as a five-page photo story in Madison Magazine in November of 2013, and selected images from the series have been featured in the print and online edition of Russian Esquire and DailyMail.co.uk. Rebholz lives in Madison.

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Open Minds and Deep Thinkers JANE ELDER WISCONSIN ACADEMY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR One of the rewards of working at the Wisconsin Academy is being able to play in the same pool with some of the leading thinkers from across the spectrum of the sciences, arts, and letters as they wrap their heads around the complicated issues of today. The statement, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world” is attributed to the anthropologist Margaret Mead. I have no doubt that the small discussion and working groups that the Academy is convening are contributing to positive change, and providing conceptual tools that we and others (we like to share) can use to build a better Wisconsin. This is at the heart of the Wisconsin Academy’s mission. While we regularly convene conversations with thoughtful, committed citizens, I wouldn’t consider the Wisconsin Academy a think tank. But, our public talks, this magazine, and Wisconsin Initiatives forums and working groups all provide a rare and important space for deliberating—and finding solutions that move us forward. Convening is more of an art form than a set of standard tasks. We strive to bring together people who are willing to park egos at the door and offer the best of their knowledge and experience with others who are willing to do the same. The people we like to ask to join us are all motivated by a desire to make a meaningful contribution to our quality of life in Wisconsin. They are also wicked smart. I enjoy mixing up the theorists with the practitioners, the academics and the advocates, the community leaders and corporate leaders. Within these deliberative crucibles, fascinating but distracting background noise and barely formed hunches are burned away—and extremely solid ideas emerge. This only works if people are willing to come to the table with open minds, and the willingness to listen and reflect, as well as to be surprised at where conversation might take them. Not everyone can do this (or wants to), and not every group that we convene is a triumph of collective epiphany-level wisdom. Sometimes progress is incremental. But, more often than not, several powerful observations or conclusions will come out of a rigorous discussion or thoughtful critique that provide a jaw-dropping new insight, a “Why couldn’t we do X?!” or that proverbial “A-ha!” moment. These moments affirm for me that people of good will and wisdom are eager to play their part in doing the most good for the most people. These moments also remind me that there are a lot of great Wisconsin minds we can tap in this

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endeavor. In an era where celebrity meltdowns seem to dominate news headlines and partisan gridlock and government shutdown are the status quo, it is reassuring to be playing a small—but essential—role in fueling the machinery of real progress. Here is a just of handful of some of the big questions our Wisconsin Initiative working groups are wrestling with right now: • Without a long-term energy plan, will Wisconsin fall behind neighboring states that are now diversifying their energy sources, and how will this affect our electrical rates and overall economy? • Given Wisconsin’s unique geography, landscape, culture, and mix of agriculture, manufacturing, and the “idea economy,” how do we balance our energy consumption with the need to adapt to a changing climate? • In a world with growing demand for fresh water, does Wisconsin have an adequate framework to protect both the quality and supply of our surface and ground water? • Will Wisconsin’s groundbreaking new rules to tackle the phosphorus pollution that chokes our lakes and streams with algae become a model for the Great Lakes region and beyond, and what will it take to make that possible? • What can modern social science and cultural knowledge teach us about the best ways to communicate complex issues like climate change and water sovereignty to people in Wisconsin so they can effectively preserve and enhance our natural and cultural resources? We’ll be sharing our progress on answers to these and other thorny questions at our Resilient Wisconsin public forum in Madison on May 6. We hope you will save the date for what we expect to be a rich exchange of ideas. What are the big questions weighing on your mind about Wisconsin’s future? Can science, art, or literature shed light on the answers? If so, we hope the Wisconsin Academy can be one of those sources of light.

Questions or comments? E-mail jelder@wisconsinacademy.org


Do you want to be better informed about—and more engaged in shaping—

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through civil discussion?

Wiissccoon nssiin n Soo ddoo W S M y M e y e mbbeerrss!! m m m e e d d a a c c A A Since 1870, the nonprofit Wisconsin Academy has brought people together at the intersection of the sciences, arts, and letters to inspire discovery, illuminate creative work, and foster civil dialogue on important issues. We’re a membership organization open to any and every one interested in fostering a more creative and resilient Wisconsin.

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Subscription to our monthly electronic newsletter and invitations to lectures, art exhibitions, and discussion forums that explore the intersection of the sciences, arts and letters.

Be the first to know about opportunities to network with Wisconsin Academy Fellows and other members from across the state.

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EDIt TO or R ’ sS N NOTES otes

Taking Back the Comments Jason A. smith Editor, Wisconsin People & Ideas While many people don’t bother with visiting or posting to the comments sections of websites, these spaces—much like a town meeting or kitchen table—can be home to the kinds of thoughtful and constructive conversations that transcend cultural or political differences, conversations that build community. But these days, almost every popular blog or website has to deal with trolls, those digital denizens who post disruptive, inflammatory, and sometimes hurtful messages to discussion boards or comment threads. While the common Internet wisdom is to never feed a troll (meaning, don’t engage them in discussion), a venerable science and technology magazine recently decided that the best way to deal with their troll problem is to starve them out entirely. In a post that began with the memorable line, “Comments can be bad for science,” Popular Science’s online content director Suzanne LaBarre linked the decision to shut off PopSci.com’s commenting function to an overwhelming amount of troll and spambot traffic. LaBarre expressed particular umbrage at commenters who were doing “the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine.” To be fair, some online commenters—perhaps because of rigid belief systems that don’t allow for any deviance from their own “truth”—can be unknowingly disruptive or hurtful. But there are as many if not more garden-variety trolls—cyberbullies, cyberstalkers, and downright creeps—out there who feel that the anonymity of the Internet provides them license to sow discord and say awful things. Preventing these trolls from dominating and thus destroying online discussion largely depends on effective site moderation and a requirement that commenters own their comments. Trolls who post ad hominem attacks on article authors and fellow commenters generally have an anonymous account, and their expletive-laden comments are easily spotted by site moderators or editors. Keeping them from hijacking comment threads is possible, but it takes time and resources. Though, LaBarre is talking about something more insidious than your garden-variety troll. This particular troll wears a disguise and poses as a voice of reason (no expletives here) expressly for the purpose of muddying, casting doubt, or misstating established scientific findings. Visit the comments section under any online newspaper article or blog citing this or that scientific study—from global issues like climate change and renewable energy to human health topics like childhood vaccinations and e-cigarettes—and you’ll find this type of troll doing the “cynical work” LaBarre references. Is the commenter named “Scienceguy22” who cites studies (with links) about the expanding polar ice caps really right about global warming? Should you believe “NIMBY,” who says she suffers from wind turbine syndrome? Does “ConcernedMom” 6

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have firsthand experience with childhood autism that stems from MMR vaccinations? Did “Ex-smokerBob” really beat throat cancer after he began smoking e-cigarettes? These commenters may be dissemblers, perhaps working for a special interest to promote this or that dogma, or they may hold these beliefs in earnest. The bottom line is that we just don’t know who they are because most sites still allow people to post comments anonymously. But we do know that people post these types of comments because they sway readers’ opinions about the contents of an article. And, in the case of complex, interconnected scientific topics, even a little misinformation can go a long way in casting doubt on the validity of a scientific endeavor. Even garden-variety trolling that is outright venomous and totally unrelated to an article can sway readers’ opinions, according to a recent study by UW–Madison social scientists Dominique Brossard and Dietram Scheufele. “Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participant’s interpretation of the news story itself,” said Brossard and Scheufele, calling this phenomenon “the nasty effect.” So, in some ways LaBarre is right: “Comments are bad for science.” But, the Internet is a relatively new technology. And there is much we can do to cultivate thoughtful and constructive online discussion and weed out trolls in disguise. More and more websites are using software that can weed out garden-variety trolls and flag for review by site moderators those comments that are specious in nature. Too, many are eliminating anonymous posting entirely by asking people to sign in through some form of verified profile or profile-based social media application like Facebook or Disqus. Of course there are ways to subvert a verified profile, and trolls will still creep into online conversations. But this doesn’t mean that we should simply shut off the discussion and call it a day. Nor should we have a free for all in the comments section. Accountability is the key to fostering trust and building the digital community. This is doubly true if we’re going to have honest discussions online around the issues and ideas that are and should be important to everyone: scholarly research and how it can help humanity, the health of our local and global environment, and the role of government and the individual within a democracy. Free speech is a fundamental component of a healthy community, yes, but thoughtful conversations necessitate a little pruning in order to flourish, grow, and welcome others.

Questions or comments? E-mail jsmith@wisconsinacademy.org


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ABOVE: Recent Wisconsin Regional Arts Association award-winning works (left) Antler (Standing), by Jackie Alberg, winner of the La Crosse Society of Arts and Crafts Award and (right) Night Passages, by Anna Kopmeier, winner of the Mary Lou Lindroth Award.

It’s A WRap!

Wisconsin Regional ARts PRogram To Curate WIsconsin ACADemy’s Steenbock Gallery When the Center for Photography at Madison moved into a permanent gallery space in downtown Madison last spring, it left the Wisconsin Academy’s Steenbock Gallery without collection and curator. It’s a modest gallery space, one that Wisconsin Academy director Jane Elder thought might be a good fit for the Wisconsin Regional Arts Program (WRAP) and its partner organization, the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association (WRAA). An amateur watercolor painter, Elder has participated in WRAP over the years and deeply admires it’s commitment to providing exhibit opportunities for Wisconsin non-professional visual artists. “Given its statewide network, its role in developing Wisconsin artists, and its experience with exhibits, we thought WRAP would be a great fit for our gallery in the office,” says Elder. As a result of Elder’s invitation, WRAP is joining forces with the Academy to develop quarterly exhibitions at the Steenbock Gallery, which gives them a permanent presence in Madison. WRAP director Helen Klebesadel explains, “Most of the other WRAP venues focus on exhibiting the work of artists from their local communities. WRAP will use the Steenbock Gallery to develop smaller exhibitions that feature a variety of wonderful artwork by WRAP participants from across the state on a regular basis.” While the Steenbock Gallery space isn’t what you would consider traditional, Elder finds that working group participants and others attending meetings at the Academy office stop to admire the “serendipitous connections” between meeting topics and the works hanging on the wall. WRAP has been creating serendipitous art connections for almost seventy-five years. Begun by UW–Madison College of

Agriculture Extension in 1940 as a way to give rural artists an opportunity to show their work, the first Rural Art Exhibit displayed the work of thirty nonprofessional artists at Madison’s Memorial Union. With help from the influential American Regionalist artist John Steuart Curry (UW’s first artist in residence), WRAP rapidly gained steam and enlisted over one hundred participating artists by 1947. In 1954, thirty-six artists founded WRAA, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to supporting WRAP exhibitions. Today WRAA has over 600 members, and their leadership is actively involved in the WRAP exhibition and workshop process. Today WRAP is part of UW–Madison’s Continuing Studies division, and includes urban artists as well as rural. The Wisconsin Academy joins the more than twenty communities that sponsor month-long WRAP exhibitions. Each regional exhibition, whether in Eagle River or Whitewater, features work by Wisconsin artists and concludes with a workshop day for artists and the public, during which a guest artist gives a lecture or demonstration and the exhibit judge critiques the artwork. The judges, who are usually professional artists, endow particularly compelling works with State Awards, and these pieces from across the state are exhibited at the Annual State Art Exhibition and Conference held in September each year. The Steenbock Gallery is free and open to the public during all of the Wisconsin Academy’s business hours. Stay updated on WRAP events throughout the state by following their new blog, wisconsinregionalarts.org. Also find information about WRAA and WRAP at wraawrap.com. —Augusta Scescke W isc o nsin

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Illustration by Luke Benson

Wisconsin Road Trip:

Poet Laureate Max Garland’s Observations on the State of the Arts A year ago I was doing what any sane adult does on a sub-zero night in Eau Claire: sharing a plate of fried cheese curds and ordering a second round at Houligan’s. When my cell phone went into spasms for the fourth time, I stepped over to the coat rack, and among parkas, scarves, and overcoats, learned I’d been selected Poet Laureate of Wisconsin. Now, 10,804 miles later, I’ll share some observations about the state of poetry and the arts in Wisconsin. First, a complaint: They don’t actually give you a laurel wreath to wear, though I suspect those aren’t very warm, and frankly, a set of tires would be more useful. And as has been often noted, state arts funding was tossed merrily under the bus in the governor’s 2011 budget. And though the tread marks remain, I’ll crawl out from under the wheels long enough for some observations. Of course, writers, artists, and supporters of art continue to nurture creativity in our state. Most do it for little or no monetary gain. They do it because it’s a vital part of keeping humanity afloat in a flood of sales pitch, distraction, sound bite, and political spin. They do it because art is inherent in the species, an ancient means of

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expressing, with compassion, honesty, and beauty, the thunderous complexity of the human heart. For instance, the ten-year old girl reading her prize poem in Delafield, middle-school slam poets ranting beautifully in Sheboygan, elders reading poems of loss and renewal in Oconomowoc. There were recitations in Milwaukee City Hall, songs by a mother/daughter duo among fireflies, bats, and bat-sized mosquitoes in Egg Harbor, a soprano singing arias from a flatbed truck outside Reedsburg. I read and listened to poems in the birthplace of the electric guitar, the hamburger, the Republican Party, and the hodag. Just as I’d suspected—it’s hard to find people who don’t have poetry tucked into their hearts and minds, whether in the form of lines on a page, hymns, sermons, scripture, song lyrics, journals, daydreams. Poetry may simply manifest itself in the realization that we feel more than we can easily say, and amount to something richer than text messages or emoticons can fully express. There were glitches, for instance, getting lost following the wrong car to my lodging in the Baraboo hills, and finally around midnight being invited in by the

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surprised woman whose car I’d mistakenly followed, who called into the next room to her husband, “Honey, if you’re still watching TV in your underwear, put on some pants. I’ve got the Poet Laureate of Wisconsin here. He’s lost.” Occasionally, returning home, I found myself struck by a couple of things about my own town, one of them a little sad, the other supremely hopeful. The sad one? It gradually became clear that Eau Claire, bursting with talent and creativity, nevertheless lags behind other places in utilizing its city center, fulfilling its natural role as a cultural destination along the 267-mile stretch between Madison and the Twin Cities. We have writers and artists galore, some famous and some who should be, and hosts of folks who donate their talent, a kind of artistic free lunch for our community, or whatever winds up in the tip jar at night’s end. We have business owners working day and night to make this a better place. But we do lack something found in almost all thriving economic and cultural centers. The hopeful part? People on all sides of our famously fractious political spectrum are coming together to make something amazing. It seems fitting, poetic justice, you might say, that the very rivers that


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built this town now seem to be inspiring its renewal. Once our Confluence Project is complete we’ll not only have closed the gap between this valley and other parts of the state in terms of cultural and commercial offerings, but frankly, we’ll have surpassed most of them. Across Wisconsin we know the “creative economy” brings jobs, visitors, tax revenues, helps attract and keep the best and brightest. I have to confess, however, that’s not why art matters to me. It matters because we—children, adults, elders— deserve more than isolated evenings of TV-induced trance, hours squinting into iPhones, and Xboxes out the wazoo. We deserve places to go, performances that enrich and expand our capacity for wonder, remind us of the power of imagination inherent in each of us.

The more I listened and talked to Wisconsinites about poetry and art this past year, the more I came to realize that while a balanced budget is good, a balanced life is a better measure of wealth. Making a living is important, but making life worth living is an art. Part of a balanced understanding of prosperity includes the nurturing of human imagination in service of community. Poetry and the other arts are everybody’s business, the ancient means by which we connect our individual lives with the community, as well as the natural world, without which there is neither individual life, nor community. In one of his final speeches, honoring the poet Robert Frost, President John F. Kennedy said, “I look forward to an

America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft ... an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens.” Less than a month later, President Kennedy was dead. Fifty years later, what he envisioned has yet to be achieved. Having recently driven many miles across one stretch of America talking to poets and artists, I think it’s still a vision with great promise, and to slightly mangle a famous poem, though we have miles (and miles) to go, it’s a promise we should keep. —Max Garland

Editor’s Note: A version of this essay originally appeared in Volume One, Eau Claire

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory was built specifically to chase neutrinos, ghostlike fundamental particles formed in the first second of the early universe. Billions of neutrinos pass through every square centimeter of the Earth every second, but the vast majority originate either in the sun or in the Earth’s atmosphere. But some of these nearly massless subatomic particles can carry information about the workings of the highest-energy and most distant phenomena in the universe, thereby expanding our knowledge about the universe far beyond what we’ve learned through telescopes that rely on capturing photons (visible light). Built at the South Pole with National Science Foundation funds and assistance from partner funding agencies around the world, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory was completed in December 2010 after seven years of construction under difficult conditions. The Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center at UW– Madison is the lead organization for IceCube, responsible for maintaining and operating the detector to maximize data quality and output. Unlike traditional observatories that look to the sky, IceCube’s 5,160 digital optical modules are strung along 86 cables embedded in a cubic kilometer of ultra-clear ice (see illustration at right). The ice filters out other high-energy particles and helps IceCube to detect neutrinos when they collide with atoms in the ice and produce tiny flashes of blue light called Cherenkov radiation. Visible to the optical modules, the Cherenkov radiation helps researchers understand the source and intensity of the neutrino. In November of 2013, IceCube announced the detection of 28 neutrinos originating from other galaxies. “This is the first indi-

Image credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

IceCube Neutrino Observatory Begins New Age of Astronomy

cation of very high-energy neutrinos coming from outside our solar system, with energies more than one million times those observed in 1987 in connection with a supernova seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud,” says Francis Halzen, principal investigator of IceCube and the Hilldale and Gregory Breit Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “It is gratifying to finally see what we have been looking for. This is the dawn of a new age of astronomy.” Visit icecube.wisc.edu for more information on the IceCube project or check out the video of our recent Academy Evening talk with Dr. Halzen at wisconsinacademy.org/icecube. —Jason A. Smith W isc o nsin

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Photo credit: Jeff Miller/ ©UW–Madison University Communications

Stem Cells: Save the Hope & Lose the Hype By R. Alta Charo Wisconsin Academy Fellow since 2005

R. Alta Charo is the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at UW– Madison, where she is on the faculty of the Law School and the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the medical school. Charo (BA biology, Harvard 1979; JD Columbia, 1982) is an elected member (2004) of the World Technology Network and (2005) the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine (2006). In addition to teaching courses on public health law, bioethics, biotechnology law, food & drug law, reproductive rights, torts, and legislative drafting, Charo is the author of nearly a hundred articles, book chapters, and government reports on law and policy related to environmental protection, reproductive health, new reproductive technologies, medical genetics, stem cell research, science funding, and research ethics. Charo served on President Obama’s transition team, where she was a member of the Heath and Human Services review team, focusing her attention particularly on transition issues related to NIH, FDA, bioethics, stem cell policy, and women’s reproductive health. Charo has also served on several expert advisory boards of organizations with an interest in stem cell research, including the International Society for Stem Cell Research and WiCell, as well as on the advisory board to the Wisconsin Stem Cell Research Program. Also in 2005, she helped to draft the National Academies’ Guidelines for Embryonic Stem Cell Research, and in 2006 she was appointed to co-chair the National Academies’ Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee. Charo was born in Brooklyn, New York. She is fond of poker, foreign language study, cats, home renovation, Harry Potter books, old movies, roller coasters, salsa music, Jane Austen novels, and Star Trek.

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here are a number of horrible diseases that we face in our lives and in the lives of our friends. And with the diagnosis of these diseases comes a realization that we don’t have a cure for everything.

Even when there is the promise of a cure for any one disease, there is often frustration expressed at the time it takes to develop that cure—at least in the United States, Europe, Australia, and other developed countries. There is a widespread perception that development of cures is lagging because researchers, or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are overly cautious about assuring their effectiveness and safety. But there can be severe consequences for not proceeding with caution. Some people may remember the 1970s, when desperate patients sought Laetrile, a fad cure for cancer. Steve McQueen was probably the most celebrated person to die from forgoing the standard therapies at the time, and, instead, pursuing the apricot pit-derived remedy from Mexico called Laetrile. The quest for a miracle cure is an old story, but it’s one that we’re again hearing today. But this time it’s stem cell therapy, a therapy that suffers from tremendous hype. It began when, in an effort to counter the political forces lined up against stem cells—embryonic, adult, et cetera— stem cell researchers, medical doctors, and bioethicists like me talked to a lot of patients, politicians, and journalists about the cells’ phenomenal potential for &

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human cures. It seemed the only way to protect this field of research during years of attacks aimed at defunding all stem cell work. But, in pressing that “phenomenal potential” story upon journalists, politicians, and the general population, we created a monster. We’ve created an atmosphere of finality around stem cell research where much of the public thinks that it’s a done deal, that it’s ready for prime time: they can get a cure now; it’s the magic bullet for each and every disease out there. And unethical clinics are taking advantage of this public perception by selling phony cures—even though most stem cell work is still in the research phase. And it is getting harder and harder for the public to distinguish between what is real and what is fake when we talk about stem cell therapies. Part of this is because, interestingly, in the world of medicine generally and in the stem cell field to some extent, there is a kind of growing consumerist approach to medicine. This consumerist approach combines diminished deference to medical authority and less trust in experts with a heavy reliance on selfselected websites, blogs, and patient anecdotes. Authoritative statements coming out of the Food and Drug Admin-


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istration, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the Surgeon General seem to matter little to people who take this approach. We see this in the area of vaccines all the time, where information that overwhelmingly confirms the safety of vaccines is ignored in favor of a single anecdote that somebody finds on the web. And we find it in the realm of stem cells, where there is now a kind of “I’m going to take care of myself; I’m going to take control of my therapy” attitude that leads some people to put more faith in what they’re reading online than on what responsible medical authorities say. It’s hard, I realize. We’re saying things like, This needs to be developed slowly, step-by-step while we watch each step and determine what kinds of cells actually are safe and effective for what kinds of applications. Yet what people are seeing online is that stem cell therapy is available right now for a price, and that it works like a charm. Visit Google for a moment and type in “stem cell treatment.” Lots of results, right? The advertising alone on some of these “treatment” sites is mind-boggling. Scrolling down the left side of the screen are lists of the different diseases that can be cured at this or that clinic, and citations of all the “studies” on how stem cells cure things. Here’s the problem: You’re seeing an unfiltered mix on your computer screen. There’s the real stuff—clinics in the United States that are currently doing clinical trials under the supervision of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test stem cell-based therapies for things like macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. These clinical trials start with a test tube and slowly move through animal models. The researchers understand the biological mechanism; they have safeguards in place. And when they move into human adults, they start with just a couple of people, and then gradually scale it up. It’s all done very incrementally so you can find a problem and solve it before you move to the next stage. And then there are the fly-by-night clinics all over the world, many of which are presented online as reputable estab-

lishments, that sell phony cures by making them sound like real ones that have been tested and proven effective. Researchers do have decades of experience in which one particular kind of stem cell has been used for the treatment of one particular disease: and that’s leukemia. So just about anyone can say, We have studies that show that stem cells can be used to treat cancer and it’s a technically true statement. But it’s

It is getting harder and harder for the public to distinguish between what is real and what is fake when we talk about stem cell therapies. profoundly misleading because it’s made in the context of a website that describes everything else besides leukemia with the implication that all of these diseases are amenable to treatment. Without expert guidance, how can patients know what they are looking at? Indeed, how is somebody who’s willing to trust the experts even able to distinguish between what is real and what is fake on the Internet? When the International Society for Stem Cell Research tried to educate and empower patients by listing on its own website those clinics and services they thought were dicey, they were inundated with threatening letters from lawyers representing those clinics. The Society took down the list because they weren’t yet ready to defend against the potential onslaught of defamation litigation. And yet what the Society was doing was helpful and truthful. We now have documentation of hundreds of clinics around the world that are selling phony-baloney stem cell therapies. They are especially prevalent in China, Russia, the Ukraine, and Mexico. But we also have them in the United

States. And because of technicalities in the law that governs how the FDA regulates biological products—like cells from our bodies—the FDA has been subjected to litigation challenging its authority over these clinics. These phony clinics are using all kinds of cells for their therapies. Some of them may be stem cells, others we’re not even sure what kinds of cells they actually are. We certainly don’t know how these unknown cells function or how to control them properly or how to stop them growing once they’re started. Of course the number of therapy claims has been expanding so that now, basically, if you have AIDS or Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease or Parkinson’s or Type One Diabetes, you are being targeted by these clinics. You don’t need to worry anymore, they say, we’ve got you covered. Beyond the damage this does to legitimate stem cell research, the misinformation and deception surrounding these fake therapies does real damage to patients. Certainly the injuries are financial. People are paying these clinics from $3,000 to $40,000 per treatment, and patients are often told that they will need to return again for booster treatments— and again and again. And because of the desperate hope that there is some cure or at least some improvement, you will find patient reports on blogs saying, I think I feel better. I feel better. I definitely feel better. The placebo effect or just the need to find something that works leads many people to grossly overestimate what is the result of the therapy and to ignore what may be the result of other factors. Perhaps beyond the financial injury is the emotional injury when people discover that at the end of the day this stuff really isn’t working, that the responsible use of stem cells in therapy is still at a research stage and governed by very careful clinical trials, and that these clinics are in fact phony. Of course, there’s also physical injury. But this is hard to document because nobody is collecting this information. So, stories—like an Israeli boy with a rare brain disease who suffered from tumors caused by the injection of fetal

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that had “nano stem cells” (they covered all of their bases). Most of this stuff is benign—the prices don’t go beyond $150 for a little bottle. (We pay that for Clinique even when Consumer Reports has been telling us for years that Jergens will do just as well.) However, sometimes things are not so benign. For instance, there’s a surgeon in California who is in the business of doing injections to plump up those pouchy pockets under your eyes that develop when you get older. This is standard cosmetic stuff—especially out in Los Angeles—but this surgeon decided he was going to inject stem cells. We think he injected a type of cell called mesenchymal, which may or may not actually be a stem cell, that causes a bad reaction when you put it in contact with the typical dermal filler. You can guess what happened next. One of his patients began growing bone fragments all around the pouch of her eye and even into her eye. She couldn’t see, couldn’t open up her eyelids, and has had to go through many surgeries to repair the damage. If that surgeon had done the kind of careful clinical trials under oversight that is required

stem cells—are not that easy to find. But the stories are out there. In one case, a child got meningitis from an injection of bone marrow and there is at least one other story of a child in Germany who also developed a tumor and died after receiving stem cell injections. Stem cell treatments have also expanded beyond clinics and therapies and into a world that I was, frankly, shocked to find when I started looking into this for a project I’m doing with the National Academies. Go on Amazon.com right now, type in “stem cell,” and see what comes up under the Health and Personal Care category. Out of thousands of “stem cell”-related products you will find at least a hundred products with labels that explicitly say, “This is a stem cellbased treatment” for your moisturizer, or your lip plumper, or for that lotion to fade the dark spots on your face. Seriously, you name a cosmetic and stem cell will be there because it has now become one of those special phrases. It’s got a magical quality, just like electricity or magnetism. Another magical word is nano, for nanotechnology, and I was really amused to see there was at least one cosmetic

Fellows in the News Wisconsin Academy Fellow Jo Handelsman (2009) has been selected by President Barack Obama as associate director for science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Handelsman is currently professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale University, Connecticut, after serving at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as Professor in Plant Pathology from 1985 to 2009 and Professor and Chair of the Department of Bacteriology from 2007 to 2009. Handelsman succeeds Carl Wieman, the physics Nobelist who stepped down in June 2012 for health reasons. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor since 2002, Handelsman formed the Center for Scientific Teaching when she moved to Yale in 2010 after almost thirty years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she also earned her PhD. In 2011, Handelsman received the Presidential Award for

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under U.S. law, we—and he—would have known about the dangers of the procedure. It’s just one more example of someone who should be subjected to FDA control, but, because of pending litigation against the FDA, was allowed to administer his “treatment” with impunity. This incident in Los Angeles shows that the abuse of stem cell therapies is not restricted to things going on abroad, nor is it restricted to cases involving desperate measures for people desperate to treat their illnesses. I think that we are at a stage where we need to have a coordinated effort from our professional medical and scientific societies and our government authorities to control the flow of misleading and false information about stem cells reaching patients via the Internet. This is tricky business. We don’t want to censor, but we do need to deal in truthfulness and counter those so-called “professionals” who are offering treatments that have not been proven to be safe or effective. In other words, I think we are at a point with stem cells where it’s really important for us to save the hope and lose the hype. Z

Excellence in Science Mentoring. She says that she is equally interested in science and education and hopes to make an impact in both areas. “I’ve wanted to change and improve aspects of science for a long time,” says Handelsman, who is currently president of the American Society for Microbiology and chairs the National Research Council’s Board on Life Sciences at the U.S. National Academies. “I’ve worked on national agendas quite a lot, and this is an opportunity to work on those agendas at a pretty high level, and with a team of people who are deeply committed to science. … And who could turn down this president? He loves science.” The 54-year-old Handelsman said that she plans to take a two-year leave from Yale, where she is a chaired professor in the molecular, cellular, and developmental biology department. “I’m in the middle of my research career and I don’t want to lose that,” she explains. “I think there’s a limit to how long you can have a hiatus.” For more information on Handelsman and other Wisconsin Academy Fellows, visit wisconsinacademy.org/fellows.


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P h o t o ESS A Y

P h oto essa y b y M ike R eb h ol z

Beginning as a contemplation of the architectural form of the ice shanty, Ten Weeks: Ice Fishing in Wisconsin became much more than that over the ten-week duration of the ice fishing season where I live. I found beauty and community, and I fell for both the day I stepped onto the ice. To be on the ice and share in the cold and camaraderie, the wet and the silence, alters one’s sensibilities. There is an inherent distance to photographing on the ice. It is a long way from shore to where the fish and the shanties are clustered, and this distance is almost always a component of the photographs. There is also a closeness of community if there are fishers on the ice. I hear laughter and jokes, warnings: Someone’s got a flag up. It is that contrast of the big emptiness and the coziness of the shanties that I want to bring home, the sense of a season that only lives a short while and then disappears entirely until the ice returns. I was talking to a friend the other day who asked why I was making these photographs. I answered with the words above. Later, as I was thinking about these words, I realized there were other reasons as well. There is a large body of what feels like inherited knowledge out on the ice among men and women who seem to have been born to be on the ice, and know what to do out there: Things like how to put a shiner on the hook the right way to attract Northern Pike, how to get enough people and four wheelers together to pull a shack out of the water when it has gone through the ice. Over the four years that I’ve been photographing ice fishing, I’ve learned things about the winter world of lakes and rivers—the difference in the ways ice can freeze at the start of the season, depending on the weather conditions at the time. How sometimes cold makes no difference, but wind does. There’s a certain kind of exuberance found in being outdoors in a place the vast majority of people never go—and in the warm comfort of a shack with a wood stove, a deck of cards, and a cold beer. It is hard to explain in words. And I doubt one could ever fully convey the sense of this temporary world in writing. In short, it is a world that demands to be experienced. —Mike Rebholz

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ABOVE: Clint Schneider Shack #1, Lake Monona, 2011. OPPOSITE PAGE: Untitled #1, Governor’s Island, Lake Mendota, 2011.

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ABOVE: End of Season #2, Governor’s Island, 2011

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ABOVE: (clockwise from upper left) Un-Named Red Shack, Lake Mendota, 2011. Ticket Shack #1, Rock Lake, 2012. Jimenez Shack #2, Lake Monona, 2010. Clint Schneider Shack #2, Lake Monona, 2011

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ABOVE: Barry Thoma Shack, Interior, Lake Mendota, 2011 OPPOSITE PAGE (top): Un-Named Shack Interior #2, Lake Mendota, 2011. (bottom) Brad Humphrey Shack, Lake Monona, 2011.

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ABOVE: Flat Pack Shack, Maple Bluff, Lake Mendota, 2011

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ABOVE: Pressure Crack, Lake Monona, 2011

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ABOVE: (clockwise from upper left) Crus Brothers Shack Exterior, Lake Mendota, 2011. Bus Shack, Lake Kegonsa, 2012. The Vipers Nest, Crystal Lake, 2012. Redzepagic Shack #4, Lake Monona, 2011.

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ABOVE: Sunday Morning, near Governor’s Island, Lake Mendota, 2001.

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Light as medicine? Photons Give CElls Energy, Plus a whole lot more B y L aura L . Hunt

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hat if there was a way to treat debilitating diseases without drugs or surgery? What if chronic injuries could be healed with the application of something as ubiquitous as light?

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Scientists have known for years that some wavelengths of light in certain doses can heal tissue, but they are only now uncovering exactly how light accomplishes its therapeutic effects. Known as phototherapy, the use of light in medical treatment is producing surprisingly successful results in the treatment of a variety of ailments from topical infections and chronic wounds to autoimmune and chronic degenerative diseases, says Chukuka S. Enwemeka, dean of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s College of Health Sciences. Enwemeka, who is internationally known for his work in phototherapy, is one in a cluster of scientists at UW–Milwaukee (UWM) conducting studies in this emerging field of medicine. Work by the UWM researchers focuses on wavelengths of light that lie in two regions of the electromagnetic spectrum: longer wavelengths in the far-red to near-infrared (NIR) region and shorter wavelengths in the visible blue region of the spectrum.

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Light is energy, a kind of radiation consisting of photons whose individual energy levels correspond to specific wavelengths. On the electromagnetic spectrum, light is arranged by wavelength along with other forms of energy, including gamma rays, microwaves, and radio waves. White light, or the “visible spectrum,” exemplified by the sun or incandescent light bulbs, includes blue, yellow and red light and makes up only a tiny section of the electromagnetic spectrum. White light lies between ultraviolet radiation and near red and infrared radiation. Determining the best wavelength for phototherapy is a difficult task, says JeriAnne Lyons, a UWM associate professor of biomedical sciences. “[We use] only certain wavelengths, at a certain intensity, for a certain amount of time.” Studies show that though red to near-infrared light covers wavelengths of about 600 to &

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1100 nanometers (nm), the 670 nm and 830 nm wavelengths are the most beneficial of the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum. Because light in these wavelengths can penetrate the skin and be absorbed by subcutaneous cells, it can act on wounds, internal injuries, and disease. NIR light—which produces no heat— is administered through an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that can be configured to the desired wavelength. Sometimes LEDs are arranged in large, flat arrays to facilitate the treatment of large wounds. Finding the appropriate dose and dose regimen for delivering the light is important. “Like ingested medication, it’s all about the dose,” says Lyons, adding that establishing dosage for near-infrared light has been largely a matter of trial and error. “We started irradiating damaged cells in cultures and found what appeared to be a ‘sweet spot’ in terms of dosage,” says Janis Eells, UWM professor of biomed-


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ABOVE: Near-infrared light covers wavelengths of about 600 to 1100 nanometers (nm), the 670 nm and 830 nm wavelengths are the most beneficial because light in these wavelengths can penetrate the skin and be absorbed by subcutaneous cells.

ical sciences who studies how NIR light helps to slow degenerative eye disease. This dosage, which stimulated repair in the cultured cells, was also shown to be effective in animal models of disease. “We are conducting dose-response experiments now to determine the optimal dose of light.” Last year, Eells and a team of collaborators conducted a wound-healing study in spinal cord injured veterans who, because of being bedridden and inactive, developed pressure ulcers, or bedsores, that wouldn’t heal. “Chronic wounds are ‘stuck’ in the inflammatory phase of healing. NIR light removes that obstacle,” says Eells. “If you can tone down the inflammation in a non-healing wound, like a pressure ulcer, you speed the healing.” Conducted at the Zablocki Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee, the study compared the rate of wound healing in two groups of veterans with similar ulcers. All wounds were first treated for four weeks with standard care (keeping the wound clean and free of infection). But only one group was subsequently given phototherapy three times a week for ninety seconds for four weeks. According to the study, the rate of healing was 250% faster in the wounds receiving the NIR light.

cellular reception Although study at the Zablocki Medical Center showed that phototherapy holds tremendous promise, there is much to be done before the treatment becomes standard practice in America. This includes phototherapy experiments that help researchers better understand the cellular processes involved. For any light therapy to work, there must be light-responsive molecules within the body that are positively altered in some way by the light waves’ energy. UWM researchers have built upon the work of Tiina Karu at the Russian Academy of Laser Sciences. It was Karu who determined that far-red and NIR light, applied using low-intensity lasers, acts on organelles of human cells known as mitochondria. More specifically, the light acts upon a molecule called cytochrome c oxidase. A mammalian cell contains thousands of mitochondria, protein “machines” in charge of converting the energy in the food we eat into a form of chemical energy that the cell can use. Research by Karu and others has shown that when cytochrome c oxidase, an enzyme that is part of the energy-generating sequence in the mitochondria, is excited by photons of NIR light, a number of cellular changes

can occur. For example, there is an increase in the messages exchanged between mitochondria and the cell’s nucleus resulting in a boost in the mitochondria’s output of ATP, a molecule that increases the cell’s energy. This triggers release of signal molecules that tell genes to go into action. The genes activate release of antioxidants and other cell-protecting factors that counteract cell degeneration by repairing mitochondria that have become damaged or dysfunctional. Antioxidants also work to clean up free radicals, highly chemically reactive molecules that can bond to and alter other molecules in destructive ways related to aging and cancer. “Through this enzyme [cytochrome c oxidase], the light gives a ‘molecular kick’ to the mitochondria, telling the cell to turn on a large number of antioxidant and energy-boosting genes,” summarizes Eells. She says that it is a concept that makes perfect sense, when you consider that “mitochondria are similar to chloroplasts in plants, which absorb red and blue wavelengths of light and use the light energy to make chemical energy [during] photosynthesis.” Eells, who has great admiration for the complex ways in which mitochondria behave and communicate with the rest of the cell, says that these organelles

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ABOVE: UWM biomedical sciences professor Janis Eells (left) and associate professor Jeri-Ann Lyons (right) irradiate cells with near infra-red light from a ‘cool laser’ apparatus. Certain wavelengths of this light have been shown to have beneficial effects on cell function.

do far more than simply produce energy for cells. “They not only control the life of the cell, they control cell death too,” she says. “If a cell becomes diseased or dysfunctional, the mitochondria send out signals which tell the cell to selfdestruct in an organized fashion—so that it doesn’t take out its neighbors at the same time.” When mitochondrial function is disrupted, says Eells, unintentional cell death occurs. Additionally, the stage is set for another imbalance: over-production of free radicals. In limited numbers, free radicals play important roles in cell communication. However, these molecules have a dark side. An accumulation of too many creates what’s called “oxidative stress” and will damage other components of the cell, such as proteins and DNA. Near-infrared light can help restore balance by activating antioxidant molecules that “disarm” the free radicals and help repair and even reverse their damage. This restorative component of NIR therapy has interesting implications for slowing disease impacts and even some aspects of aging. Eells has seen this kind of restoration in her own work treating eye diseases like 26

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retinitis pigmentosa and diabetic retinopathy. She has found that NIR light triggers positive cellular responses that actually preserve many of the eye’s photoreceptor cells that these diseases would otherwise have destroyed.

Antibiotic EFFECTS In contrast to far-red and NIR light which stimulate the body’s repair of injured cells, blue light improves wound healing by killing the bacteria that cause wound infections. UWM’s Enwemeka is a pioneer in the use of LED blue light to clear infections. In a 2007 study supported by Dynatronics Corporation, Enwemeka discovered that some wavelengths of blue light, especially those in the 405–470 nm wavelength, kill bacteria so effectively that the process even works on MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant “superbug” form of Staphylococcus aureus. What gives this shorter wavelength of light such a powerful antibiotic effect? One explanation is that bacteria contain light-sensitive, iron-rich molecules that, upon absorbing blue light, generate free radicals that kill the bacteria. Enwemeka suggests that blue light also acts on &

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cytochrome c oxidase in the cells’ mitochondria—like NIR light—but in this case causes the cytochrome to pair up with nitric oxide, creating a toxic environment for bacteria. Blue light therapy has achieved undeniable laboratory results in treating antibiotic-resistant MRSA. Enwemeka demonstrated that one dose of blue light irradiation killed as much as 92% of two pervasive MRSA strains. He has also seen what he describes as astonishing results at a clinic he works with in Brazil where the blue light, combined with NIR light, is used to treat chronic wounds like diabetic ulcers. Enwemeka notes that to achieve complete destruction of bacterial colonies with blue light, the treatment must be repeated. But given its relative ease of application, blue light therapy holds tremendous promise as an alternative to full-spectrum antibiotics, many of which are decreasing in efficacy. Humans are exposed to so many antibiotics— through food sources and careless use of prescribed medications—that bacterial resistance is now rising much faster than the rate of new drug discovery. Unlike NIR light, which can penetrate below the skin, the shorter wavelength of blue light can only be absorbed at the surface of a wound. “But suppose that the [tissue] layer is thick,” says Enwemeka. “In that case, you have to increase the dosage [to reach all the bacteria]. Now the question is, ‘will using a higher dosage kill more normal cells along with the bacteria?’ ” Enwemeka’s current project with UWM physicist Valerica Raicu aims to render that question moot. The two are developing new technology that will allow blue light’s wavelength to penetrate skin—and dense bacterial colonies— more deeply, the way NIR light can, but without increasing dosage. The goal is to achieve complete bacterial eradication in a wound. Why doesn’t the blue light also kill the cells of the human host cells? While Enwemeka has found evidence that small numbers of the human cells in proximity to the infection are also killed after blue light irradiation, the answer is not yet clear. But it may have to do with differences in the photosensitive molecules


present in bacteria versus mammalian cells. In recent research, Enwemeka found that in higher doses, treatment with blue light yielded a completely unexpected result: While some human cells are destroyed by irradiation along with much of the bacteria, a greater percentage of human cells appear to multiply. How can blue light both destroy and generate cells simultaneously? Enwemeka doesn’t yet know, but the possibility isn’t as far-fetched as it may sound. His team is exploring the fact that one of the downstream effects of blue light therapy could be the activation of genes responsible for division of mammalian cells. Their research with cells in culture has shown that blue light exposure increases growth factors, which leads to proliferation of fibroblasts, a type of connective tissue cell that plays a role in wound healing. Low-level light therapy has also been implicated in activating genes involved in programmed cell death and in the stress response generated by too many free radicals. Enwemeka’s team hypothesizes that both cell proliferation and cell death can occur together if there is more response in the genes controlling cell death than in those that stimulate growth factors.

Beyond Trials With so much success, why isn’t phototherapy being used more widely? Lyons, for instance, has tested phototherapy as a method of controlling the

Image credit: Troye Fox, UWM Photo Services

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ABOVE: Chukuka S. Enwemeka, dean of UWM’s College of Health Sciences, conducts an experiment with research associate Violet Bumah. Among Enwemeka’s discoveries in phototherapy research: blue light in a certain wavelength kills the antibiotic-resistant “superbug” form of Staphylococcus aureus.

severity of multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that causes progressive paralysis—interrupting vision, balance, and even thought processes by destruction of nerve cells and the spinal cord. But while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved NIR light for the treatment of pain and depression as well as skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, the FDA has not yet approved it for wound healing or the treatment of diseases like multiple sclerosis.

“It’s considered ‘alternative’ therapy in Western medicine. It seems too simple for people to accept,” says Lyons. Enwemeka agrees, but says that UWM research is moving phototherapy closer to mainstream acceptance. What the FDA is waiting for, he says, is confirmation from a large-scale clinical study before approving phototherapy for a wider variety of ailments. It’s something Enwemeka and his colleagues at UWM are determined to accomplish. Z

ACADEMY EVENING TALK Full Spectrum: The Promise of Light as Medicine Tuesday, March 25, 7–8:30 pm DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard Street, Madison Phototherapy can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments and destroy dangerous pathogens. Chukuka S. Enwemeka, dean of UW–Milwaukee’s College of Health Sciences, shares the latest medical applications for near-infrared and blue light. Presented in partnership with the Morgridge Institute for Research. Free and open to the public with advance registration. For more information or to register online, visit wisconsinacademy.org/fullspectrum.

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The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets is one of the oldest American poetry societies. WFOP sponsors local and regional events, biannual conferences, contests, and the yearly Calendar anthology. antholog WFOP offers Wisconsin poets fellowship and growth. Join us! Visit wfop.org for more information.

The Clearing is a “folk school” for adults founded in 1935 by renowned landscape architect, Jens Jensen. Classes focus on the arts on the national & state register and fine crafts, of historic places humanities and natural sciences and range from one and two-day workshops to weeklong resident classes held in a secluded wooded setting on the water in northern Door County. 12171 Garrett Bay road n ellison Bay toll free 877-854-3225 n www.theclearinG.orG weekdays: 8 - 4 n weekends: 12 - 4

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By Melanie Herzog

I

da Wyman, now 87 and a relative newcomer to Madison, may not be familiar to younger Wisconsinites. But it’s likely her post-war photographs will strike a chord with older ones. Wyman began at an early age to photograph everyday scenes of her native New York City and its people.

She eventually went on to become a creator of photo essays— what she calls “picture stories”—for Life magazine, the New York Times, and many other popular publications. Wyman produced hundreds of photos of Americans from all walks of life, making her one of the early adopters of a form known as documentary photography. Many of Wyman’s classic photos are now in public museums and private collections as she has joined the ranks of pioneering American photojournalists like Jacob A. Riis and Lewis W. Hine. It was near the end of the nineteenth century that a police reporter named Jacob A. Riis used a relatively novel tool to chronicle and bring attention to the plight of people living in the slums and tenements of New York City. Today best known for his book How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York, Riis used flash photography to document the squalid conditions of Lower East Side tenement houses. For his groundbreaking work of photojournalism, Riis is often celebrated as one of the first documentary photographers in the United States. But it was sociologist-turned-photographer Lewis W. Hine who brought to documentary photography a deeply human empathy for the individuals he photographed, coupled

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with a finely attuned aesthetic sensibility. In Hine’s work, as in Wyman’s, we find the unique combination of—in the words of Jewish Museum of New York curator Mason Klein—“realism and aesthetic presence” that is so essential to documentary photography as we know it today. Taken from 1908 to 1916 for the National Child Labor Committee, Hine’s photographs of young children at work in mills, mines, and on the farms and city streets of America told a story of exploitation and suffering impossible to ignore. These photographs were instrumental in changing American child labor laws, and Hine’s images of sweatshop workers aided the passage of work reform legislation. A native of Oshkosh, Hine created a series of photographs later in life that depicted men and women at work, emphasizing the importance and dignity of humans in the process of industrial production. Near the end of his life, Hine said, “There were two things I wanted to do. I wanted to show the things that had to be corrected; I wanted to show the things that had to be appreciated.” Writing in Photo Notes, the newsletter of New York’s storied Photo League, art historian and critic Elizabeth McCausland introduced the term documentary photography in 1939 to


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ABOVE: Ida at Burbank Airport, Los Angeles, 1950. Photograph by Simon Nathan.

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TOP LEFT: Ida Wyman, Checking out the Game, Philadelphia, 1948. TOP RIGHT: Ida Wyman, Girl with Hat and Chalk Lines, The Bronx, 1947. BOTTOM: Ida Wyman, Breakdown on the Jersey Pike, New Jersey, ca. 1970.

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differentiate photography intended to present factual visual evidence—“the vanguard of photography today”—from photography as artistic expression. She spoke to the social climate of the Depression years as she described documentary photography as “an application of photography direct and realistic, dedicated to the profound and sober chronicling of the external world.” Invoking Riis and Hine as the progenitors of photography as visual testimony, McCausland disparaged movements in art photography such as Pictorialism and subsequent modernist experiments: “We have all had a surfeit of ‘pretty’ pictures, of romantic views of hilltop, seaside, rolling fields, skyscrapers seen askew, picturesque bits of life torn out of their sordid context.” In contrast, she continued, “It is life that is exciting and important, and life whole and unretouched. By virtue of this new spirit of realism, photography looks now at the external world with new eyes, the eyes of scientific, uncompromising honesty.” The unique admixture of untouched realism and aesthetic presence is found in the images created by photographer Ida Wyman. Wyman’s photographic vignettes of life in urban centers and small towns in the United States, taken during the mid-twentieth century, illuminate the historical moment while providing a deeply humanist perspective on her subjects. Variously suggesting anecdote and narrative, her images chronicle life as Wyman photographically witnessed, experienced, and interpreted it as she walked the streets of New York City and other locales and traveled on her own across America. While she began as a maker of individual images, Wyman often conceived of her photojournalistic projects as “picture stories” rather than as individual images. And, like her predecessor Hine, she envisioned multiple photographs of a subject or situation as the means to most effectively achieve the project’s narrative function. Her photographs reveal the extraordinary within what, at first glance, might appear to be otherwise unremarkable. Reflecting the related practices of documentary photography, photojournalism, and street photography, these images are a testament to Wyman’s abiding curiosity about the human condition and the complexity of human experience, both familiar and unfamiliar.

The daughter of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Ida Wyman was born March 7, 1926 in Malden, Massachusetts. The family soon moved to New York, where her parents ran a small grocery store in the Bronx. In her unpublished memoir entitled Girl Photographer: From the Bronx to Hollywood and Back, Wyman describes the store as the center of the childhood world she shared with her brother: We took turns eating in the back of the store, a place crammed with unopened boxes of canned goods taking up most of the space. One small corner had a sink, an enamel-topped table, a two-burner gas stove and one chair. If my brother and I wanted to eat at the same time, one of us had to sit on the cartons. Practically all of our meals, cooked on the two-burner, were

eaten here since my mother worked almost the same long hours as my father. My mother prepared food with one eye on her stove and the other alert for customers. She was observant and inquisitive about the world around her. “I was always curious—about people, about how things work,” she remembers. When she was fourteen years old she begged her parents for money to buy a camera and began photographing people and buildings in her neighborhood. She joined the Walton High School Camera Club, learned how to develop and print film, and bought an inexpensive enlarger so that she could print at home, using the family’s kitchen as a darkroom. Picture magazines like Life and Look in which photographic narratives made up the majority of content were Wyman’s introduction to photography as a means of depicting the world. Since their advent in the 1930s, these magazines had become important venues for documentary photographers.

Wyman’s photographic vignettes of life in urban centers and small towns in the United States, taken during the mid-twentieth century, illuminate the historical moment while providing a deeply humanist perspective on her subjects. Significantly, picture magazines such as these offered women photographers more opportunities than did newspapers and picture agencies, particularly during World War II when women took on the types of photographic projects previously assigned to men. Life, founded in 1936, published thousands of photo essays by photographic luminaries such as Dorothea Lange and Margaret Bourke-White, whose photograph of the Fort Peck Dam was featured on the cover of the inaugural issue. From 1936 until 1972, when it ceased weekly publication, Life accumulated an unparalleled archive of several million photographs. Many of these photographs read as candid images of spontaneous moments, made possible by the introduction of smaller, more portable cameras that enabled the transformation of news photography into photojournalism. The social connectedness and vitality of urban street life was a predominant theme at midcentury for photojournalists and for independent photographers making images for their own expressive purposes. Wyman’s high school camera club’s faculty advisor invited Life magazine staff photographer Bernard Hoffman to speak to the students; he encouraged Wyman to pursue a career in photography and later became a friend. “In the end it was because of Bernie that I became a nationally published photographer at a time when few women did this work and they were not welcomed by their male counterparts,” Wyman writes in her memoir.

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Wyman graduated from high school in 1943, shortly before her seventeenth birthday. She planned to become a nurse, but was too young to attend nursing school. Though she did not envision a career as a photographer, Wyman was proud of her high-school photographic and darkroom experience and was certain she would find work as a staff photographer with one of New York’s many newspapers. During her job hunt, an editor Wyman spoke with at Acme Newspictures told her that all Acme staff photographers had begun their careers in the mailroom. At the time many Acme staffers were in the armed services, providing the opportunity Wyman needed. She became the agency’s first “‘girl’ mailroom boy,” pulling prints from the large commercial print dryers, squeegeeing them dry, pasting captions on the back, and distributing them into boxes for Acme’s subscribers. She was soon promoted to printer, joining the all-male photo printing staff— most of whom resisted the addition of a “girl” to their ranks. Still, she recalls, the job was thrilling. Wyman soon purchased a 3¼ x 4¼ Graflex Speed Graphic camera—slightly smaller and less expensive than the 4 x 5 Speed Graphic that was the standard camera at the time for professional news photographers—and a leather case, film holders, and film. “Hefting that case onto my shoulder made me feel truly professional,” she writes. “I’d load up my film holders in the Acme darkroom and set out looking for pictures on my lunch hours.” Wyman photographed office workers and laborers on their lunch breaks, men at work in the nearby Garment District, and people in the streets. Though Wyman doesn’t care for the term, this approach to street photography characterizes much of her work. “Life was in the streets,” she says. “That’s where you were. Nobody thought of it as street photography. Most photographers’ photos were out of doors.” The photographs she made were shaped by her incisive observations of human interaction within this lively urban landscape. “Wearing the camera trumped my shyness,” she now recalls. “It enabled me to talk to complete strangers and hear their stories. … I wasn’t threatening and I wore saddle shoes with bobby socks.” She writes, “I saw the street more clearly carrying the camera, becoming more aware of the sun forming interesting textures and designs on the varied architecture, the expressions on faces and the hustle and bustle created by crowds intent on their destination.”

After three years at Acme, Wyman realized that she didn’t want to be a news photographer. Instead she wanted to work for the picture magazines, as more photos were used in these than in newspapers, and she would always be learning something

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TOP: Ida Wyman, Standing Ladder-Kneeling Man, Los Angeles, 1950 BOTTOM: Ida Wyman, Lalo Shaving, Los Angeles, 1950.


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ABOVE: Ida Wyman, Woman with Pet Birds, Los Angeles, 1949.

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ABOVE: Ida Wyman, Newspaper Girl, New York City, 1945.

new about her subjects. She began assigning herself photographic narratives and in 1945 sold her first picture story to Look magazine. As often as she could, Wyman took pictures— and some were published. In the fall of that same year, as men returned from military service, Wyman was dismissed from her job at Acme. She had begun her career as a professional photographer. In 1946, Wyman married Simon Nathan, an Acme staff photographer who left Acme later that year to build his own career as an independent photographer. Though work for freelance photographers was not steady, Nathan gained commercial clients and Wyman increasingly received assignments from Life and other magazines. Morris Engel, a photographer for PM (a daily New York tabloid) and a member of New York’s Photo League, was a friend of Nathan’s. At her husband’s suggestion Wyman began attending a group run by Engel and joined the League. Participation in the Photo League didn’t alter Wyman’s already prolific practice of photographing life as she saw it happening around her. Rather, it was where Wyman says she “learned that photos could be used to effect change.”

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I considered myself a documentary photographer, and the League’s philosophy of honest photography appealed to me. I also began to understand the power of photographs to help improve the social order by showing the conditions under which many people lived and worked. Even after leaving the League the following year, I continued to emphasize visual and social realities in my straightforward photographs. Members of the Photo League were known for their progressive politics. While the group initially sought to use photography to challenge issues such as racial inequality, war, and poverty, their focus turned more toward experimental aesthetics over time. During the Red Scare the League was targeted and was blacklisted in 1947. With a dwindling membership, it was forced to disband in 1951. Nonetheless, the League remains widely lauded today for its invaluable contributions to documentary photography. It’s important to note that women were vital contributors to the Photo League, comprising approximately one-third of the membership and serving in key roles within the organization. Columbus Museum of Art curator Catherine Evans emphasizes


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the uniqueness of the League in this regard: “Most significantly, the women of the Photo League were prolific and prominent artists working in documentary photography at a time when the arts, criticism, social commentary, and indeed most other professional fields still belonged largely to men.” Though Wyman was a member for just two years—she left because she was increasingly busy with magazine assignments— her alignment with the aims of the Photo League is apparent in her work. She shared with other members a photographic vision shaped by a common background and social location. Art curator Mason Klein writes in an essay from The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936–1951 that “what distinguishes the League’s treatment of photography was not the belief that its work could effect social change, as is generally surmised, but that its members—predominantly Jewish, working-class, and first-generation Americans living in a multi-ethnic city—were fascinated by the city’s composite nature and strongly identified with it.” Wyman says she was compelled by the powerful images created by the photographers who documented the effects on ordinary people wrought by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl during the 1930s. Under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, photographers employed by the Resettlement Administration, which became the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1937, produced as many as 270,000 photographs. Created to alleviate rural poverty exacerbated by the Great Depression, the industrialization of farming, and the Dust Bowl, these programs employed photographers such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans to produce images that would raise public awareness and gain congressional support for FSA efforts. Yet Wyman’s work displays a broader affinity with Photo League contemporaries, who sought subjects across a broader social spectrum within their contemporary urban landscape, than with the Farm Security Administration photographers. In diverse neighborhoods she photographed a range of social interactions and moments of focused solitude; her images of people on the move suggest the resurgence of social mobility in the post-war years. Wyman never looked down on her subjects, visually or socially. There is gentle irony to some of these photographs, but not the sardonic recording of outsiders and misfits characteristic of the work of some of her contemporaries like street photographers Weegee (Arthur Fellig) and Lisette Model (whose images Wyman found occasionally “invasive”). Wyman’s photographs are both exquisitely composed and visually compelling. While people within their own social environment are most often the focus of Wyman’s photographs, she attended as well to the details—architectural embellishments, commercial signs, utilitarian objects—that balance a composition, provide visual interest, and ground these images in their time and place.

In 1948, Wyman decided to travel across the United States by bus. She had never been outside the northeast. Her trip to major cities and small towns was planned around assignments

and included places about which she was curious (and some, such as Vandalia, Illinois, because she liked the name). She traveled alone, taking more than two weeks to get from New York City to Laredo, Texas, and then continued on to Mexico City. Throughout her journey, she photographed voraciously. When she returned from her travels Wyman continued to work for Business Week, Fortune, Collier’s, the Saturday Evening Post, This Week (a Sunday newspaper supplement), as well as for Life and other magazines. She had commercial clients as well. But she wanted most of all to see her photographs in print in Life, the premiere picture magazine at that time. On the advice of Life editor Ruth Lester, Wyman set off for the magazine’s Los Angeles bureau, where there were fewer photographers competing for assignments. Again, she traveled alone; her husband stayed in New York to pursue his own career. It was 1949; she was twentythree years old.

While people within their own social environment are most often the focus of Wyman’s photographs, she attended as well to the details—architectural embellishments, commercial signs, utilitarian objects—that balance a composition, provide visual interest, and ground these images in their time and place. In Los Angeles, Wyman became known as “the girl photographer from Life magazine.” She photographed a range of subjects for Life: a young actress’s tennis lesson, a women’s club tea party, the world’s largest rummage sale. Her cover story, “A Day at the Beach,” featuring a high school girl and a handsome life guard frolicking on the Santa Monica beach, ran in the July 4, 1949 issue, with three pages of additional photos inside. She also photographed movies being filmed, including White Heat, starring James Cagney; A Place in the Sun, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift; and Bedtime for Bonzo, featuring Ronald Reagan and Bonzo the chimpanzee. In 1950 she was assigned to cover the U.S. Senate race between Helen Gahagan Douglas and Richard Nixon. She remembers a favorite Life assignment that began as a story about an increase in marriages during the Korean War, a story in which she became a key actor: I had already shot the crowds and couples waiting in line, filling out forms, or holding hands when I met Bob, a Marine, and his bride-to-be, Beverly, both from Seattle. He was leaving for Camp Pendleton, to be shipped off somewhere else the following day. They desperately wanted to be married before he left for overseas, but they could not get a license that day because they hadn’t obtained the necessary blood

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test. Suddenly, I realized I could probably help them. First, I got permission from the Life office to continue on this story instead of the original assignment, and then I called a judge whom I had photographed on another assignment. After he heard about the couple, he agreed not only to waive the blood test, but to marry them in his chambers that afternoon. There was yet another problem. Neither Bob nor Beverly had brought enough money for their wedding rings. I rushed back to the Life office, got money from petty cash, and we all went to a jewelry store to buy one. Then we rushed over to the judge’s chambers…. After the ceremony, the couple invited me to go with them to Camp Pendleton. … Bob asked me to come see him off in the morning, saying “You’re part of the family.” I did, photographing the newlyweds’ poignant farewell. With three pages of photographs, this photo essay ran in the September 25, 1950, issue of Life as “Two Kids Who Had So Little Time: A Korea-bound Marine and his girl are wed and then parted as the war marriage business booms again.” Characteristically, Wyman also explored Los Angeles alone with her camera. She photographed in an area of the city where, in the path of a freeway under construction, intricately ornamented houses were being destroyed and their residents displaced. In La Loma, a nearby Mexican American neighborhood, she made friends with several people and was invited into their homes and to local clubs to hear music and to dance. “The dusty streets of La Loma and the people are an important part of my Los Angeles memories,” she recalls. “Children were friendly, curious, and willing to have me photograph them. I never tried to hide the camera and took pictures when people seemed comfortable. From my own background, I understood the reality of life in La Loma, the struggle to survive.” From 1947 through 1951 Wyman completed nearly one hundred assignments for Life, and her photographs also appeared in other widely read publications. She expected to continue working for these magazines after she returned to New York to resume her married life. But Wyman found herself unable to accept assignments after the birth of her children due to the consuming demands of parenting and domestic work. With her career on hold, her husband’s continued and Wyman assisted him with printing and other organizational tasks. Sometimes he cared for the children so she could work for commercial clients, but her photographs were most often of her children.

This career pause—what felt to Wyman like the end—was not unique: In the 1950s women were expected to postpone or cancel their careers in deference to the needs of husbands and children. Though she had taken the bold step in her early twenties of traveling alone across the United States and Mexico, and had worked independent of Nathan as a photographer in Los Angeles, there was an inevitability to her decision to return to New York and raise a family. The careers of many other women photographers active during the 1940s and early 1950s ended in this manner, and the work of too many has been forgotten. 38

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TOP: Ida Wyman, Salty Pretzels, New York City, 1945. BOTTOM: Ida Wyman, Florestine with Baby’s Cap, Los Angeles, 1950.


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ABOVE: Ida Wyman, Leaning on the Cow Gate, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, 1947.

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the United States and abroad. Her After a decade as a homemaker, photographs have been featured Wyman returned to her career in solo and group exhibitions at in photography. “I was a good many galleries that represent her mother,” she says, “but I was also work today: the Howard Greenberg a good photographer.” Gallery in New York, the Stephen She worked as a photographer Daiter Gallery in Chicago, the of scientific research projects for Courturier Gallery (formerly John Haskins Laboratories in New York, Cleary) in Houston, the Stephen and then as Chief Photographer Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles, and for the Department of Pathology the Monroe Gallery of Photogat Columbia University, making raphy in Santa Fe. Her work can black and white as well as color be found in collections around photographs for teaching and the world, from New York (Soho publication. After leaving Columbia Triad Fine Arts, The New York in 1983 to return to freelance City Public Library, the Internaphotography, she sought assigntional Center of Photography, the ments from the New York Times Jewish Museum of New York) to and other newspapers in order Spain (Fundación Municipal de to get the credit line that would ABOVE: Ida Wyman, Uncle Melekh Lights Up, Cultura, Valladolid) and even in enable her to once again go after New York City, 1945. her adopted hometown of Madison magazine work. (Madison Museum of Contemporary Art). Wyman moved to “I was starting over,” she says, “but I could still shoot Madison in 2006 to be closer to members of her family, and pictures.” she lives there today. By the 1990s, years of carrying heavy camera equipment Her work is a testament to the vitality of documentary had taken their toll and, with severe back pain, Wyman could photography as a fundamentally humanist practice. With no longer pursue these freelance assignments. Instead she discernment and empathy, throughout her notable career turned to shooting stock photography, working in black and Wyman persisted in photographing ordinary people in their white and color. urban and small-town landscapes, capturing their quiet Also, visits to exhibitions of historic and contemporary human dramas and their moments of solitude. The lasting photography impelled her to approach New York galleries legacy of her photographs derives from their aesthetic preswith her own work, beginning with Howard Greenberg. Greenence as well as their incisive and compassionate visual berg responded positively to what he saw and directed her recording of these mid-century moments, each one striking a to friends at other galleries as well. The art world’s acknowlchord of memory. edgment of the aesthetic as well as social dimensions of Their notes ring out clear and true: We were here, they say, documentary photography and photojournalism has brought and Ida Wyman was paying attention. Z over time increasing attention to Wyman’s photographs, now widely exhibited in art museums and galleries throughout

At the James Watrous Gallery Ida Wyman: The Chords of Memory Kevin Miyazaki: Camp Home Side-by-side solo exhibitions, on view March 14–May 4 Opening reception on March 16, 2–5:00 pm, featuring a conversation between Ida Wyman and art historian Melanie Herzog Ida Wyman and Kevin Miyazaki both began their careers as photojournalists and have developed personal bodies of work that transcend editorial photography. Their richly textured images raise important questions about social conditions, economic issues, and racial and political tensions. This exhibition and all related events are free and open to the public. Visit wisconsinacademy.org/gallery for more information.

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Image credit: Peter Gorman/Flickr.com

read WI

READ WISCONSIN Just because it is winter doesn’t mean that the Wisconsin Poet Laureate has gone into hibernation. On the heels of over 52 appearances in 2013 (that’s one per week!), Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland is booking readings all over the state, including one at the Wisconsin Academy’s Steenbock Offices on March 14, where Garland will host a Wisconsin Academy-sponsored poetry reading featuring Cathryn Cofell and Susan Elbe, titled Poetry and Pi(e). While I realize that the title is somewhat corny (March 14—3.14—reflects the mathematical constant pi), I think this event is a great way to show the influence of poetry on mathematics and vice versa. To complete the pun, we’ll be serving homemade pie as well. What’s not to like? For more information or to register, visit us online at wisconsinacademy.org/poetryandpi. While Garland has been busy, so too has the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. A group of volunteers dedicated to supporting the Wisconsin Poet Laureate, the Commission recently added two new members: Kevin Miller and Chuck Stebelton.

Miller is the executive director of the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA), a multi-use art center located in the heart of downtown Fond du Lac and longtime home of the Foot of the Lakes Poetry Collective. Stebelton is the literary program director at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee and author of two full-length collections of poetry, The Platformist (The Cultural Society, 2012) and Circulation Flowers (Tougher Disguises, 2005). Stebelton, who is the new Commission representative for the Wisconsin Arts Board, and Miller, who represents new Commission sponsor Woodland Pattern Book Center, will help to conduct the Wisconsin Poet Laureate selection process, assign responsibilities to the elected poet laureate, and assist that individual in performing official duties. It takes a village to keep the Wisconsin Poet Laureate program vital, and I’d like to thank new and established Commission member organizations Council for Wisconsin Writers, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, Wisconsin Writers Association, and Wisconsin Humanities Council for supporting this wonderful endeavor. —Jason A. Smith

TURN THE PAGE TO READ THE THIRD-PLACE PRIZEWINNING SHORT STORY FROM OUR 2013 FICTION CONTEST!

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Image credit: Drew Dies/Flickr.com

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Wisconsin People & Ideas 2013 Short Story Contest

A Day in December B Y G e o ff r e y C o l l i n s

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he boy is walking about forty feet behind his mother. The two of them, the mother and the boy, are walking in the snow on the shoulder of a straight highway on a gray windless day. The snow is not deep—just a few inches of slushy mess that fell the night before—but it’s enough to soak right through

his cheap sneakers and now the boy can feel his toes starting to go a little bit numb. hoping they are getting close to the place where the sidewalk starts. It seems like the whole thing would be more interesting if there were a blizzard or windstorm or something even more drastic like a forest fire bearing down on them, but no such luck. It’s just a day in December, that’s all. The boy is thin and unusually tall for his age, with yellow hair that hangs long and straggly and skin almost the same shade of pale as the snow. This combination makes

He would prefer to be walking on the actual pavement of the road, which is just a couple feet away and is much drier from being plowed, but his mother already made it quite clear she would not allow him to walk on the road because it was way too dangerous. Some idiot driver wouldn’t be paying attention and would run him right over. Then she’d really be pissed. So he shuffles along on the gravel shoulder through the slushy snow,

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him feel like a Viking. Or a candle. He has his coat unzipped and dangling from his arms like he’s seen some of the kids do at school. He’s trying to be casual in case someone he knows drives by. He glances up at two gray birds on a power line who are hopping from one place to another and squawking. They keep landing in the same place the other one just left as if everything was much better over there. He decides the birds are funny instead of annoying. Forty feet


read WI ahead, his mother is still walking along, still holding that ratty old dish towel up against her cheekbone. She’s got a hunk of snow wrapped up in the towel to cool the swelling and he can tell she is having trouble tracking a straight line, although the highway is doing its best to help her with that. To pass the time, the boy decides to check the points of the compass, like he used to do hiking with the Boy Scouts, way back when life still made sense. He first checks the funny-gray-bird-side of the road (which he knows is the south side) where a heavy pine forest stands darkly behind the power lines like a wall. Straight ahead to the west, he can see the top of the water tower and the steeple at St. Benedict’s in the distance. Smoke is drifting up from the paper mill on the river and the road stretches out perfectly straight ahead of him like a school hallway. To the north, snowcovered fields stretch out across the flatlands as far as he can see. Scattered about the fields are barns, silos, telephone poles, small clumps of trees and a few whitewashed farmhouses with tall, narrow roof lines and brick chimneys. He imagines families in the farmhouses laughing and talking as they sit down to dinner, as they pass the warm dishes from hand to hand. A thin gray mist hangs over everything like a veil. Like a sad song. The final point of the compass is due east behind him. The boy doesn’t have to turn and look to know what is there. The man sleeping it off in the murky darkness of a double-wide trailer deep back in the pines, old blankets tacked up on the windows to block out the light. The broken-down truck still standing in the muddy driveway, the fire pit still spitting out its toxic black smoke, and a helpless, feral rage still swirling about the clearing, looking for a way to escape. After some time, the boy hears a car on the road behind them. There’s an immediate lurch of fear and a jerking open of his senses before he realizes there’s no way the man could have gotten the truck running just like that. It’s been dead there in the driveway for months with the engine half torn apart and now two of the tires have gone flat.

{ Book Reviews } Good Stock: Life on a Low Simmer By Sanford D’Amato Agate Midway, 400 pages, $35.00

Reviewed by Ronnie Hess Good Stock: Life on a Low Simmer is an apt title for the new memoir—with recipes—by Milwaukee chef Sanford D’Amato. Good stock means bones, in both a literal and figurative sense: what we’re made of, the structure that shapes us, but also our family, our cultural heritage, our friends and mentors, even the city where we are born and raised. What Wisconsin bec fin or gourmet hasn’t heard of Sanford D’Amato, winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Award for Best Chef: Midwest in 1996? D’Amato is a hometown boy who made good in New York before returning to Milwaukee to eventually open his eponymous lower east-side restaurant on the very same spot where both his father and grandfather had operated the family grocery store. It was terra firma, and something more—what D’Amato calls “the social center of a universe” in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other. We learn in Good Stock that D’Amato’s love of food began some sixty-plus years ago on North Jackson Street, where his tastes were influenced not just by his dad’s Sicilian and mom’s German-English roots, but also by the city’s culture. D’Amato’s book recounts sentimental stories of family dinners (along with recipes for his grandfather’s spiedini—small beef roll-ups—as well as a take on his mother’s Schaum torte). But just as strong are his memories of Carvel’s soft-serve cones and burgers at the Butter Bun on Wisconsin Avenue or Big Boy at Wisconsin and Fifth Street. In some ways, Good Stock is a nostalgic cook’s tour of the town. But the meat of the memoir—the making of the chef—comes when D’Amato leaves Milwaukee. He trains at the famed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and is mentored by chef Peter Von Erp, one of the institute’s gifted and predictably exacting instructors. The account of their venture into Manhattan’s Chinatown is a delight, as are other stories of D’Amato’s ethnic food education. D’Amato tells of cutting his teeth in several establishments, including New York City’s Le Veau D’Or and top-notch Le Chantilly. In a French-restaurant universe, where most of the employees in the 1970s were Frenchmen, D’Amato was a trailblazer, one of the first Americans to crack the Gallic ceiling. But D’Amato’s life was far from charmed. And, like any good memoir, he details the ups and downs, both in and out of the kitchen. D’Amato doesn’t shy away from relating personal details—his failed first marriage, periods of unemployment, stints in places that flounder or that don’t deserve him. These experiences don’t break him. Rather they broaden his palate, reorient and teach him how to cook dishes true to himself. Back in Milwaukee is where D’Amato solidifies his career, first as chef at John Byron’s, then on his own, opening Sanford in 1989 with his new wife Angie, who manages the books and the front of the house. A second restaurant is born, Coquette Café (also under new management since 2010), and a patisserie café, Harlequin Bakery (which closed in 2009). And the world soon comes to him: a loyal following of food-lovers, a visit from Julia Child (she toured Wisconsin in 1990 and D’Amato cooked for her 80th birthday party in 1992), invitations to guest-chef, meetings with other award-winning cooks, an introduction to the Dalai Lama.

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read WI He takes a deep breath and turns to look, but just then his mother yells out, We’re not getting a ride so don’t even bother. What’s wrong with getting a ride, he asks. Some day you’ll know. The car is actually a work van with ladders strapped to the roof and it slows down as it approaches them. The boy is looking over his shoulder while walking and as a result he veers off the gravel shoulder, sliding into some deeper snow that got thrown there last night by the plow. His right foot slips into a drift and when he yanks it back up there’s no shoe on it. Just a gray sock dangling half-off like a dead fish on a trotline. He’s hopping there on one foot beside the road when the truck pulls up beside him. An older man with a kind face, You need some help there kid? The boy stops hopping around and looks at the man. He bends slowly down to try and retrieve his shoe from the snow pile and he points ahead to where his mother is still wandering down the highway. Talk to her, he says. The van pulls ahead as the boy starts shaking the snow out of his sneaker. It says Bohl & Magnuson Plumbing on the side in big block letters and there’s a nice drawing of a wrench too. The boy wonders which one is in the van, Mr. Bohl or Mr. Magnuson. He uses a jacket sleeve to try and dry out the shoe’s insides, but he realizes it’s impossible and just puts the shoe back on his foot, still wet. He stands there and watches as the van slows down beside his mother. She keeps on walking. Doesn’t even look at the guy. He must be saying something to her because finally she stops and the van stops and she steps closer to the door. After a few seconds, she yells something, whacks the door with her hand and turns to continue her quest of highway walking. Pretty soon the van is just a memory disappearing down the road into the mist ahead of them. The boy puts on a loose-limbed jog and catches up to his mother. We shoulda got a ride from that guy, he says. No. She keeps on walking.

AUTHOR BIO

2013 Fiction Contest 3rd-Place Winner: Geoffrey Collins Geoffrey Collins grew up in the city of Milwaukee and has lived in Wisconsin for most of his life. He writes mostly late at night and early in the morning, and his stories and poems have appeared in a variety of publications, including Amoskeag, Blue Earth Review, Interim, Stone Highway, Verse Wisconsin, and Waterstone. He lives with his wife and two daughters in a small town in Dane County, where he works in the local schools.

JUDGE’S NOTES

From Lead Judge Jerry Apps “A Day in December” is a haunting tale of a young boy and his mother who are attempting to escape a bad situation with few if any alternatives. They walk along a deserted road, she in front, he forty feet behind. We don’t learn the boy’s name, but we quickly get to know him through the author’s careful description of the boys actions and his reactions to his circumstance. Likewise, we don’t know the mother’s name, but we learn a good bit about her through the dialogue with her son. The author knows how to use suspense, how to use a sense of place, and how to offer just the right amount of detail to keep a reader turning the page.

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He was like, old. He wouldn’t of hurt us. I said no. His mother stops walking and looks at him. Her eyes are glassy and rimmed in red and she wobbles a little bit. We don’t take rides from strangers and we don’t take charity anyway, she says. I know that. So why are you asking? We’d be there by now. Who’s in a hurry? His mother bends down to refill the old dish towel with snow. My feet hurt, says the boy. His mother finishes packing the snow and turns to look down at his pathetic sneakers. The boy can see her cheek where it’s all bruised and there’s a deep cut still oozing a bit and blood clotted black and shiny in her hair. It’s good to hurt, she says, putting the dish towel back up to her cheek. At least you know you’re still alive. She gives him a smile that seems unsure of itself and turns back to walking. She’s faster than he is and more determined and pretty soon she’s ahead of him by about forty feet again. The boy can tell they’re getting closer to town because the pine forest wall is broken in places by a series of small square clearings in which people have built cheap ranch houses and random metal outbuildings. He doesn’t see any people outside anywhere, but there’s chickens clucking from a scratch yard at one place and the sound of someone chopping wood behind another. From one of the driveways a skinny gray hound comes loping out towards the road and at first the boy is scared, but then he notices its ears are up and its tail is wagging and his fear goes away faster than it came. The dog comes right up to him, sniffs at his knees and gives his hand a few licks before falling in beside him heading west down a straight road on a gray day in the snow. Finally, they get to the place where the sidewalk starts, which is still out in the middle of nowhere, but at least the concrete is dry and the boy is happy just to be out of the snow. The dog seems glad as well to be loping along


read WI with them and it pisses on the first fire hydrant it sees. Like its in his contract as a dog. On one side of the highway now are a bunch of curvy roads leading off into a housing development that never got built. There’s a big sign at the main entrance that says Paradise Crossing–Where Dreams Come True. On the sign is a faded picture of a family playing together on a perfect grassy lawn, a row of clean two-story homes in the background behind them. The sign is faded and there’s a chunk broken off of the bottom right corner, where it might have been hit by a car or something. The development is as empty and barren as the fields they’ve been passing all afternoon. Street signs and lot markers and weeds and green electrical boxes are all that are there. They walk a little farther, past some low metal buildings that sit back from the road behind square gravel parking lots. A heating and air conditioning contractor. An auto repair shop with customers’ cars lined up out front. A landscaper with piles of dirt and mulch and some colored lights blinking on a small pine tree near the door. The boy remembers that it’s getting close to Christmas, but the thought doesn’t stir much of a reaction in him. There’s more traffic now, people at work and cars passing on the road, and he realizes he has no idea where they are going. They pass an old car dealership that closed a few years ago and now sells used clothing from mismatched racks in the former showroom. Sad-eyed workers stare out at them from the huge windows. They end up walking to a gas station on High Street as daylight fades and a light snow starts falling again. The boy stands outside against the small building as if the fluorescent lights and red bricks can keep him warm. The dog sits against his leg and whimpers a little as they watch cars come and go from the gas pumps. The boy’s mother has gone inside the store and he can see her talking with the clerk behind the counter. The clerk is a large dark-haired woman who keeps shaking her head, saying No, I’m sorry repeatedly and

{ Book Reviews } Looking back, D’Amato reflects on what has been a paced, well-lived life, as well as some of the lessons he has learned along the way—compassion, love, humility. It’s a powerful message, delivered with grace. “A good menu should be a roadmap of your overall odyssey, with no end in sight. Your food should tell a story,” D’Amato writes. And he lets his food do the talking in over one hundred recipes, complete with lovely full-color photographs by Kevin Miyazaki. Fans of his restaurants will appreciate D’Amato’s signature dishes, such as Grilled Pear and Roquefort Tart and Provincial Fish Soup with Rouille. But straightforward and down-home recipes like Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies or TripleDecker Burger are few and far between, leaving only a handful of options for the casual cook. While the memoir’s anecdotal style might please some people, it can sometimes make for disjointed reading. And there are a few outright errors, such as when D’Amato refers incorrectly to an eastern area of France, the Franche-Comté, as the Franc-Comtois. But this is small potatoes in an otherwise delectable book.

The Map of What Happened By Susan Elbe Backwaters Press, 112 pages, $16.00

Reviewed by John Lehman I grew up in Chicago. And whenever I meet someone else from there, I feel like we have an immediate connection. We may never explore the reason for this connection, explore the experiences we share. All we know is that we did share them, and that makes us different from everyone else. I felt this kind of connection with Susan Elbe after reading her new collection of poems, The Map of What Happened. In her own way, Elbe exploits this sense of familiarity, allowing the reader, especially one from Chicago, to (re)visit the city, taking us from the shores of Lake Michigan—“Out there in the dark, my skirt / of water sings back and forth / to music from open windows”— into the lives of and sounds of the city, the “Stuck window sashes, / running toilets, / singing faucets. / The beat, beat, beat of the pipes.” The effect of these lines brings me back to things I didn’t know I knew, a slow rewinding of relationships with parents, brothers, sisters, childhood friends. Remember sitting cross-legged on the floor in a drafty school hallway for air-raid drills during the Cold War of the 1950s? Fasting on Good Friday? Tube-lit radios? Back porches? We spent hours on the front stoop. waiting for our lives to find us, not knowing we would have to steal them too, not knowing every life is kidnapped, From “Stealing Popsicles” But this isn’t simple nostalgia. There is something of the universal at work in Elbe’s poetry, as in “Colleen Moore’s Dollhouse”:

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read WI God’s honest truth, she says into the phone. I wouldn’t lie to you... Listen, he’s a total asshole. He got shit-faced and knocked me around again and took off. I’m so done with it. The boy notices there’s some sort of commotion inside the store, but he doesn’t see exactly what because he’s

closing her eyes tight as if that alone will make the boy’s mother go away. Eventually the clerk lifts up her hands and shrugs her shoulders and the boy can see the look in his mother’s eyes change from hopeful and pleading to pure hatred. She comes back outside with chips and a soda they can share and the boy wonders if she has enough money to buy them a real dinner. Or a place to stay. She approaches a man in a leather coat and asks if he has a cigarette, which he says he does. Then she asks if he has a phone with him and he says, Of course I do. Our phone’s dead, she lies. Could we borrow yours for just a minute? The guy’s unsure, standing there scratching his beard. He hands her a cigarette from a crumpled pack, tilting his head slightly to better see the cut in her cheek, then looks at the boy and at the dog sitting there. He appears to be thinking deeply about something, conjuring up what type of scenario might have led them there. Do you need some help, ma’am? he says. I just need to borrow a phone. You want me to call someone for you? Do you need the police? Please, she says, I can make my own calls. He looks around at the gas station customers pumping their cars full in the dusk. He scratches his gray beard and mumbles a bit. Finally his eyebrows arch and he shrugs his shoulders and says, I guess, I guess. What harm would it do? He reaches into his back pocket and hands the phone to her. Thanks, she says. It’s just a local call. The thing’s not even worth stealing you know, he says, turning to go into the store. In case you were thinking about it. The boy’s mother steps a few feet away and dials a number. She lights the cigarette while she’s waiting for someone to answer and starts pacing back and forth between the boy and the convenience store while she talks. The boy watches her, catching bits of the conversation she is having.

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From many blocks away, the boy can hear the Doppler wail of a siren and gradually a connection forms in his brain. Standing there in the fluorescent lights and snow falling lightly in the gathered darkness, with a stranger’s dog at his side, the realization rises up inside of him like a snake. focused on his mother’s phone conversation, trying not to miss any of the details. I don’t know where he got the goddamn car, his mother says. She shakes her head and puffs on the cigarette. He just showed up with it... Some little piece of crap Volkswagen or something... I don’t know where he went.... Now the boy sees inside the store the tall dark-haired clerk is on the phone too and she’s quite animated, looking out at them through the window and pointing. A small line of customers are standing at the counter looking out at them too. The sign on the window keeps blinking in orange and blue neon Try the Lottery. It’s Your Lucky Day! His mother is still talking. He left us with nothing, she says. We don’t have any money. We don’t have a car. We’re freezing our asses off at this gas station and we don’t even have a place to stay.

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I had to borrow this phone from some guy... From many blocks away, the boy can hear the Doppler wail of a siren and gradually a connection forms in his brain. Standing there in the fluorescent lights and snow falling lightly in the gathered darkness, with a stranger’s dog at his side, the realization rises up inside of him like a snake. Like a storm cloud. A thought that makes him turn suddenly to see who spoke it into his ear. But there’s no one. Just the distant siren and his mother still talking on the phone. You’ve got to come and get us, she says, you’ve got to help us out. She’s pacing a three-step course back and forth and back and forth, the bruise on her cheek grim and gray in the harsh store lights. She crushes the stub-end of the cigarette against the concrete wall, her red-rimmed eyes wild with desperation. Inside the store, they’re looking past him and gesturing, and when he turns he can see flashing lights coming up the highway. Sirens getting louder. Without thinking, he backs into some shadows a few feet away. The dog following. He stoops down there and reties his shoes, eyes glancing back and forth around him. Without thinking, he stands up and shuffles around the corner of the building and across some snow-covered grass to a high wooden fence that’s hiding a dumpster. He crouches there beside the fence and the beautiful snow is falling gently and a small breeze is rising up, whispering in the juvenile oaks. Behind the fence and the dumpster is a frozen field and then a small wooded hillside that dives down into a shallow ravine. The dog is already scouting it, begging him to follow. Below the ravine is an even larger woods, and somehow the boy can sense a path waiting there for him in the darkness. A path that might lead down to the river and across it and into some land beyond. Without thinking, he takes it. Z


read WI { Book Reviews } New & RECENT Releases

January 2014 Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine by Erika Janik Beacon Press FEBRUARY 2014 Civil Rights Activism in Milwaukee: South Side Struggles in the ’60s and ’70s By Paul H. Geenen History Press Bark: Stories by Lorrie Moore Knopf The Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin by Marc Simon Rodriguez The University of North Carolina Press MARCH 2014 Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler Thomas Dunne Books The Sleeve Waves: Poems by Angela Sorby The University of Wisconsin Press APRIL 2014 Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way by Bill Berry Wisconsin Historical Society Press The Bingo Queens of Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin by Mike Hoeft Wisconsin Historical Society Press Did we miss something? E-mail jsmith@wisconsinacademy.org with other current or forthcoming titles from Wisconsin authors.

Inside us sits the perfect house. Lights burn. Milk flows. A mother and a father love us and each other, tuck us into warm beds. Full of yearning, these poems seem to ask, How can we find the equivalent of these things in our lives today? Of course, the answer to this question isn’t in the book. A poet, and Elbe is an excellent one, knows better. Instead, Elbe provides touchstones. The real poem is what the reader makes of these for themselves. Looking back on this excellent collection, we exit the city with a selection from the title poem, “The Map of What Happened”: Look, it wasn’t only death that pushed me down, scraped my shins, and tore my sleeve. It was the bridge from there to here, the hum of its metal, how the girl who needed to cross couldn’t trust it would hold the weight of her grief or her love, until one day I recklessly took up my own life and hopped a bus North, laden with proof I belonged to myself. That leaves us with just the city, Chicago, whose “name begins with a whisper/ and ends with ‘go’.” And we feel like we do, thanks to Susan Elbe’s new collection of poems.

Wisconsin Supper Clubs:

An Old-Fashioned Experience by Ron Faiola Agate Midway, 224 pages, $35.00

Reviewed by Erika Janik A brandy old fashioned. Friday night fish fry. Saturday prime rib. They are to Wisconsin what mom, apple pie, and baseball are to America. And there’s perhaps no better place to experience this trifecta of Wisconsinness than the place the New York Times called a “curious genre … particular to the state”: The supper club. Milwaukee filmmaker Ron Faiola’s book Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience takes us on a tour of fifty supper clubs around the state. The book follows his popular 2011 documentary of the same name, which focused on fourteen storied dining establishments from around the state. While Wisconsin is not the only state with supper clubs, we have more—and more distinctive ones—than any other place. For this book, Faiola put 5,000 miles on his car, collecting stories and taking photographs—and likely put on a few pounds, too, as he enjoyed the generous portions for which supper clubs are famous. The book chapters correspond to regions of the state, and Faiola profiles each supper club individually within the chapters.

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read WI 5Q { Angela Sorby - Poet } Angela Sorby is the author of three poetry collections: Distance Learning (1998); Bird Skin Coat (2009); and The Sleeve Waves (2014), winner of the 2014 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin Press. Among her recent honors are a Midwest Book Award, the Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award, the Brittingham Prize, and a Fulbright scholarship to China. Sorby teaches creative writing at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and she took a break from her busy schedule to answer five questions for Wisconsin People & Ideas. First off, congratulations on your collection The Sleeve Waves winning the Felix Pollak poetry prize. To borrow a musical term, I feel that there is lot of riffing going in these poems, like there are these intense clusters of meaning and sound punctuating the rhythm of your verse. What role does music play in your writing or process?

seem slow and repetitive at times—sitting in a circle, reading poem after poem— but after a few weeks people begin to find their own voices. This is an intimate process that involves a lot of practice and a lot of risk. And then suddenly, at least a few times every semester, someone writes a poem that blows everybody away. When it happens, everyone can tell—but how it happens remains a mystery. I am more pragmatic than romantic most of the time, but the creative process always feels a little magical. Faculty members are supposed to list pedagogical objectives on their syllabi, specifying exactly what students can expect to learn, but that’s not how poetry happens. The best poetry comes unexpectedly, from unexpected places.

I have an uncanny ability to remember song lyrics—a skill that takes up all the brain space other people devote to useful knowledge. If you can’t remember the lyrics to “Hotel California” or “Good King Wenceslas,” I’m your gal. This neurological glitch has an upside, though, because it helps me write poetry. My poems are composed of audible patterns, like songs, and as I compose them I read them aloud to myself. In structure and effect, my favorite poems tend to be lyric fugues, closer to songs than they are to prose narratives. That said, there is a huge difference between poetry and song lyrics. When I see Bob Dylan songs included in a poetry anthology it makes me crazy, because it’s like putting a cat in the dog circus.

You were awarded a Fulbright scholarship to spend a semester teaching American literature in China. Can you tell us about your curriculum? I taught two graduate courses in China, and I also had weekly coffee chats with a subset of particularly enthusiastic students. They were, or at least politely pretended to be, fascinated by my (tame) “wild” experiences as an American high school student. Their own teen years had been defined by a standardized-test-based curriculum with little room for self-expression or experimentation. At the same time, they were incredibly hard workers with a deep and detailed knowledge of their country’s past.

In addition to being a published author and poet, you are a literary scholar and associate professor of English at Marquette University. What is it you enjoy about teaching? I love teaching creative writing because the workshop method allows for a very non-hierarchical class structure. It can

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I remember I taught one class on Billy Collins’s poem, “Reading an Anthology of Chinese Poems of the Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire the Length and Clarity of Their Titles.” Everyone laughed because, as they pointed out, Sung Dynasty poems do not have titles. First lines must thus function as titles, which accounts for their perceived length. And—speaking of poems with first lines as titles—I also flew around the mainland giving lectures on Emily Dickinson. My Chinese professor-hosts ran the gamut from smug Stalinists to chain-smoking dissidents, but everyone responded to Emily Dickinson. Graduate school taught me to distrust the concept of universality, but I must say Dickinson comes close— and she especially resonates with readers who feel confined by strict social and linguistic codes. You recently published (along with University of North Carolina–Greensboro American Literature scholar Karen Kilcup) the comprehensive and much lauded collection, Over the River and Through the Wood: An Anthology of NineteenthCentury American Children’s Poetry. What is so compelling about poetry from the golden age of children’s verse? Certain nineteenth-century American poems—“A Visit from St. Nicholas,” “Mary’s Lamb”—remain among the bestremembered texts in the language. But while I was researching my critical book (Schoolroom Poets), I kept encountering delightful verses that languished in obscu-


read WI { Book Reviews } rity. For instance, here’s one from 1890 by Laura Richards: The owl and the eel and the warming-pan, They went to call on the soap-fat man. The soap-fat man he was not within: He’d gone for a ride on his rolling-pin. So they all came back by the way of the town, And turned the meeting-house upside down. Karen and I spent many years combing through old books and magazines, and I’m afraid we developed an addiction. The collection would have been 1,000 pages long if our editors at Hopkins had not intervened. To what degree does your life in Milwaukee inspire or influence your work? Are there other Wisconsin poets you admire? Fifteen years ago, when I applied for the Marquette job, I’d never actually been to Wisconsin. My whole extended family is from Seattle. However, one of my grandfathers was born in Beloit and left for the West Coast during the Depression, to pick apples. He was a rabid Green Bay fan and, after he died, we positioned his false teeth on the television during Packers games. So in a way, moving here was like—to misquote a John Denver song that I can’t shake— “coming home to a place I’d never been before.” I’ve been busy raising three kids in Bay View, and seldom venture beyond Puddler’s Hall, but I do admire the work of many Wisconsin poets from afar. The late Lorine Niedecker was phenomenal and I think Rebecca Dunham is an heir to her creative lineage. I’m also constantly amazed by the pro-poetry energy pouring out of Madison from folks like Susan Elbe, Sarah Busse, and Wendy Vardaman. And I also admire Ron Wallace and Mark Kraushaar, who understand that poetry doesn’t have to be dead serious to be serious. Z

The book begins with a brief history of the supper club. Many began as dance halls, taverns, and roadhouses in the early 20th century. During Prohibition, some became speakeasies and offered customers easy access to gambling and girls along with verboten beer and booze. The 1950s and 1960s were the supper club’s golden age, says Faiola, when they became destinations for drinks, food, and entertainment. With little, if any, competition from chain restaurants, these family-owned establishments became integral to their communities. Family is an overriding theme of the book. Many families have owned their restaurants for years or bought them from a family in the business for decades. Husbands, wives, parents, grandparents, and children often work together; or in the case of Cecil’s Washington Inn, remain haunted by the ghost of an alcoholic brother of a former owner. Some supper clubs even have living quarters on the premises. Taxidermy also looms large. The Elias Inn in Watertown has a caribou, antelope, moose, buffalo, and a bear said to be “on loan” from a friend. If racks are more your thing, Bonduel’s Antlers Supper Club has more than two hundred deer antlers around the bar, plus the requisite stuffed bear and big-horn sheep. Faiola never states his methodology for choosing which supper clubs to visit. But, a list of “Supper Club Selection” criteria (see page 13) provided by his friends help define what constitutes a Wisconsin-style club and provide some context for the profiles that follow. The list will elicit knowing nods and laughs from anyone who has dined at a supper club. Among the highlights: “Christmas lights strung across log structures year-round,” “Jell-O served as a salad option,” and my favorite, “no cappuccino, ever.” The trump card comes in the form of the cloying strains of “The Girl from Ipanema” played by a trio in the bar. While Faiola is not a food writer per se, he does include a “My Take” column at the end of many profiles. These aren’t reviews so much as notes on attractions spotted while on the road (Neillsville’s Chatty Belle, the world’s largest talking cow, for instance), snapshots of the people behind the business, and what he ate. It’s not all relish trays, prime rib, surf-andturf, and ice cream drinks, though. Faiola finds supper clubs serving turtle, frog legs, and Door County-style lobster boil with the same fiery, kerosenefueled finish. Several supper clubs also claim to have invented the fried cheese curd, including Rocky’s in Stoddard. Faiola is generally pleased with everything he eats. Chapters could have benefitted from a map for each geographical region or at least a list of street addresses within the chapter rather than grouping them all at the end, particularly since Faiola mentions that many supper clubs are hard to find. Too, many of the photographs look somewhat dated and the food is oddly lighted and appears somewhat unappetizing. The inclusion of the seating capacity of every supper club is also far less interesting than the stories of the people and history behind the establishments. Still, Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience is an entertaining look at our state’s supper club culture and history, and will likely leave many readers planning a trip to experience some (or all) of these unique Wisconsin treasures. Z

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POETRY

From New and Emerging Wisconsin Poets, Selected by Editor Jason A. Smith

Osmazome
 briefcases into the dinosaur, counterfactual jackals slavering centipedes in stone: that’s a fine spelunking! way to beak the ink face, gerrymander. to press always fibers between plate glass, a way to break snakeskin boots in! swiftly, madeleine, that’s an unzippered djinn to catnap in: way to steal the kill from the pride, everyone horny or breaking even, wearing keffiyehs and berets and bandoliers, kneading flour into tortillas. encamped in the catskills and adirondacks, preliminary terms in revolt against pedants and idolaters, shalalala lalala la la la interrupted by the cobra bite wind. to drag meat through dirt, madeleine, that will suffice. to work with small brushes, the reflection on the window sill, gag reel blathering on like a gatling gun. the strokes which paint the albino tiger as pink penguin, caribou as cognac, cedar as guile: if sensation could be any more tall and robust; if the tooth could be claw, why not barb at tail’s end or horn upon snout, why not geraniums and bruises? wouldn’t that make each burr-cuffed beard a lovely manticore? denouement: even with the successes in duluth, how pierced by shame the face of the countdown artist crossing the bridge. how the lure jerks and jeers. wouldn’t reading slough a skin childlike against the flint? that is coming into the civility of a better heart, traffic lights turning. how like piety, satire unplugged from withered share as reports of drought rumble in: sheet metal wobbling torsos out, a lung under yes signifying the beast. document for document, terracotta removed from the caverns as blood locust replace the rain, rock filling with fossilized kisses. that’s as brief as disclosure could sheer the electoral dress, to be the bridle in everyone’s mouth shape as they are pushed into shape under the desk: dirtbikes racing among the cedars, the goatpath etched into thermopylae, salamander crawling piebald out a sensation called uncarved marble. —Jeremy Behreandt, Madison

Jeremy Behreandt Jeremy Behreandt was raised in Park Falls, Wisconsin, and currently resides in Madison. He received his BA in creative writing at UW–Eau Claire. His poetry has appeared in Conium Review, Mad Rush, and New Gnus.

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Joshua Gottlieb-Miller Joshua Gottlieb Miller is the Northern Regional Coordinator for the Writing Center at Madison College, a grocer, and a volunteer with the Writers in Prisons Project at Oakhill Correctional Institution. Recently, he was a MacDowell Fellow. His poems have appeared in Blackbird, The Indiana Review, The Journal, Linebreak, and Third Coast. Gottlieb-Miller lives in Madison.

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C. Kubasta A Wisconsin native, C. Kubasta received an MFA in poetry from The University of Notre Dame. Her chapbook, A Lovely Box, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013. Her poems and translations have appeared in The Notre Dame Review, So To Speak, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Stand, and Verse Wisconsin. Kubasta currently teaches English and Gender Studies at Marian University, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She lives with her partner John, cat Cliff, and dog Ursula.


read WI Fat As wealth reassures conservationists the paper mills will continue— his neighbors spread like so many leaves on the branches of his property lines. One million acres. At best, a long-term asset. Green spruce and fir trees, stark maples and birch,

salmon rivers he purchased.

Lakes small-mouthed. At worst, forestland if sustainably managed.

He works to make an order here,

It is not the look but the act of overflowing that attracts: this falling out of an XXL shirt, over the edge of the Rascal scooter at Piggly Wiggly, this turning a corner into the snack aisle, bearing the impossible burden of the body, how fat folds conceal a rib cage identical to the cage inside the U.S. president since no one’s exempt from the urge to enlarge into eternity,

but better, an order that belongs to him: as becoming single-minded, autumn has dominion

like the heads at Mt. Rushmore, or the Statue of Liberty,

over fruitful spring.

to extend the self beyond its airplane seat,

Only very slowly the trees gallop from the helicopter

into the space of strangers, into discomfiting touching,

sweeping overhead his land. Unashamed, useful, as far as, from above, the eye can see, the ground the helicopter covers with naked ease. —Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, Madison

to gorge on sleeve after sleeve of cookies, each stamped OREO, starting and ending with the same letter O, seductive and circular as the wheels Ezekiel saw and instantly craved so intensely he thought they were part of his soul. —Angela Sorby, Milwaukee From The Sleeve Waves by Angela Sorby. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. © 2014 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved. Available from local and online booksellers or from www.uwpress.wisc.edu.

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read WI Discourse of Discourses

For Tom

Griselda waits. Child eater. Good wife. The stories we are told as children leave mute tethers, limning the interior of grey matter, the hollowed synapse. I remember Thumbelina: I too was small; prey-mate to mouse, mole. I remember Bluebeard: I too was curious; opening doors, drawers, finding books my mother thought well-hidden. The bloodied key—the golden finger. If history is some human-centered past, seen from the vantage point of future, here named present, then it can be the study of change over time. But it cannot be inhabited, except in the half-ghosts of memory. At three, we learn sugar-cakes and sweet milk. At fourteen, we know disobedience and deceit. Desire cannot be stilled. * Like that long poem, tapeworm, segments, unending mutations — until eventually you lost more than half, down the rabbit hole of forgotten saves, last update unknown. Some reconstructed beauty, love maps and lost memories, Circassian memories measured out of unearthed skulls, misunderstood marbles whitewashed by time, disastrous sanding ruining all of Elgin’s ill-gotten treasure. By your own account “Overwritten, / Underwritten.” You, prey to history: discourse of discourses. We misremember ourselves. It’s the misremembered self we seek, like reading old encyclopedias, hopelessly out of date, yet true. —C. Kubasta, Oshkosh

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read WI Clone doesn’t get any sleep clone keeps a diary clone writes in code clone taunts me We’d moved halfway across the country, clone says, my wife and I, I hadn’t yet been fired and she undiagnosed, after I walked her to work I wandered past the lake, a marching band at practice, drums in the wind and I know this is stupid but marshes waving to the beat you know that feeling where everything you read is about you? your wife driving at night, she needs glasses, you’re drunk, two hills, improper to say one hides the other if both in sight, the first reveals the second relieved—clone goes on like this, plays solitary, reads my palm—and it was like that: a marching band playing for me, we had argued in the car, one of us didn’t trust the other, (were you the one who didn’t trust?), blind blessing of the lake, we couldn’t believe our luck; the deer leapt straight into the air above us, like in a cartoon: a fish escaping his fate by impersonating an insurance salesman clone tells the truth— born special, I can fly, but only as fast as I walk, run or swim like you like that you are writing your own story, forgetting other people in it, you will never really know them (you are them) there is one thing each loves more than survival, what won’t you try to save them from? —Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, Madison

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds wild with solemn eyes, the subject liquefies into predicates. it is luck prints, the coroner said, of octopus. lapping silk off linoleum, her leopard necklace jangling on the floor, leopard mother said, if you lace up your skin with targets, they will not know where to aim. fletch your arrows, don’t drown the mogwai,

cackled white crows atop suspicious thrones, and sometimes you spoke for lacan in how in heath, in pitch, you purpled your hands. semi-automatics, the news said, centralization of speed into cloverleaf. hence, we must be brief: banana slugs with hello kitty parachutes sink, a rescue mission, soft as sand into dark. —Jeremy Behreandt, Madison W i s c o n s in

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2012–2013 ANNUAL REPORT

THE WISCONSIN ACADEMY LOOKS Back on 2012–2013 Welcome to our 2012–2013 Annual Report. Every year we like to highlight our contributions to Wisconsin thought and culture—and take a moment to thank the people who make our work possible. During the past year, the Wisconsin Academy provided inspiration, sparked creativity, shared knowledge, and built connections across the sciences, arts, and letters. With the support of our donors, members, and friends, we made a difference in Wisconsin. Thank you.

WISCONSIN ACADEMy TALKS & INITIATIVES

EXPLORING SOLUTIONS

In 2012 we announced two collaborative investigations of major issues our state faces, and began an exploration of potential solutions through our renewed Waters of Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s Climate and Energy Future Initiatives. This past spring, these growing investigations took off throughout the state. Between January and June 2013, more than 900 people participated in Initiative forums in Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Ashland. They dug into challenges, such as the phosphorus pollution that causes excessive algae in our lakes, and explored innovative approaches toward cleaner, sustainable energy here in Wisconsin, and beyond. Between our Initiative forums and our Academy Evenings talks on diverse topics like the emerging science of regenerative medicine, the value of rural arts, and the politics of social media, we’re having conversations that define who we are as a people in Wisconsin and help move us forward.

James Watrous Gallery

SHOWCASING VITAL SKiLLS

Our James Watrous Gallery successfully mounted six captivating exhibitions, and offered numerous gallery talks and special opportunities for guests to interact with featured Wisconsin artists. We were pleased to see the familiar faces of our regular gallery visitors as well as new friends and special guests like local Girl Scout Troops, senior groups, and art enthusiasts from as far away as Germany. We hope you too were able to visit often throughout the year. One of our standout 2013 exhibitions, Vital Skills, offered a close look at the people keeping hand skills alive in Wisconsin by preserving traditional crafts from harness-making and decoy carving to blacksmithing, papermaking, weaving, and more. Vital Skills explored how these traditional skills help support local communities by reducing reliance on mass-produced goods while preserving Wisconsin’s cultural heritage for the future.

Wisconsin People & Ideas

SHARING IDEAS

Wisconsin People & Ideas—the only magazine that examines contemporary Wisconsin thought and culture through the lens of the sciences, arts, and letters—published for the first time ever a special double Spring/Summer issue that focused on our water and climate/energy initiatives. But it wasn’t all charts and graphs (though, there were some good ones in there). Milwaukee photographer Kevin Miyazaki examined our ongoing relationship with Lake Michigan in a photo essay entitled Perimeter. Thoughtful editorials and essays, as well as award-winning poetry and fiction from new and established Wisconsin writers, made this double issue one for the record books. Other issues from last year featured articles about Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland, statewide SPARK! art programs that help people with age-related dementia, as well as frac sand mining and what it means for western Wisconsin.

WisCONSIN ACADEMY FELLOWS & POET LaureATE

SUPPORTING THE ARTS

The Wisconsin Academy Fellows are a distinguished assembly of the best and brightest our state has to offer. Fellows are elected for their high levels of accomplishment in their fields as well as a lifelong commitment to intellectual discourse and public service. Due to the change of our Fellows induction ceremony to spring, there was not a Fellows component in fiscal year 2012–13. We are pleased to report; our new class of Fellows will be honored in spring 2014. This year, the Poet Laureate Commission entered its second year of stewardship by the Wisconsin Academy. Current Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland has been very busy, making on the average one appearance per week. Visiting every corner of the state, Garland presents to audiences that range from 5 to 650 people. Garland’s commitment to poetry— and the arts in general—fuels his desire to share his time and craft. Wisconsin Academy staff and members appreciate his contributions.

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters is an independent 501(c)(3) dedicated to connecting Wisconsin people and ideas for a better world. For a full version of our 2012–2013 annual report, visit wisconsinacademy.org/2013report.


2012–2013 ANNUAL REPORT

In appreciation of our 2012–2013 DONORS AND SPONSORS Thank you to all our generous donors for your support of our 2012-2013 season programming. We are pleased to acknowledge those individuals and organizations that gave cash or in-kind contributions of $100 or more to support the operations of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters or specifically to one of our many meaningful programs.

Contributions of $10,000 & above Anonymous Tom & Renee Boldt The Brico Fund Good for Business The Great Performance Fund at the Madison Community Foundation John Huston Design The Joyce Foundation Ruth DeYoung Kohler Madison Community Foundation *Estate of Nancy Rae Noeske Park Printing Solutions Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation Wisconsin Academy Foundation Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Contributions of $5,000 to $9,999 Anonymous Dane Arts DoubleTree Hotel The Evjue Foundation Great Performance Endowment Fund Walter A. & Dorothy Jones Frautschi Charitable Unitrust Dan & Roberta Gelatt Sheldon & Marianne Lubar Charitable Fund of the Lubar Family Foundation *John W. Thompson UW–Eau Claire UW–Madison UW–Milwaukee

Contributions of $2,500 to $4,999 Alliant Energy Foundation Richard & Ann Burgess Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy The Chipstone Foundation Ron & Dorothy Daggett Endowment Fund at the Madison Community Foundation W. Jerome Frautschi

Morgridge Institute for Research Millard & Barbara Susman Tom Wolfe & Pat Powers

Contributions of $1,000 to $2,499 John H. Ashley Helen Bader Foundation O.C. & Pat Boldt Marian & Jack Bolz Mark J. Bradley Mark & Ann Bradley Fund within the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin Patricia Brady Mary Burke Carroll University Center for Water Policy CraftOptics Mary Lynne Donohue Susan Earley & Harry Miles Fund Eric Englund Judy & Gordon Faulkner John J. Frautschi Family Foundation Robert E. Gard Wisconsin Idea Foundation Claire H. Hackmann Terry L. Haller Fund Carroll Heideman Jesse & Nancy Ishikawa JayKay Foundation Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Jack Kussmaul Katharine Lyall Stephen D. Morton Dr. James W. & Professor Joy Perry Power2Give–Dane County Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren St. Mary’s Hospital Millie & Irv Shain Tim & Pat Size James & Jinny Swartout UW Colleges Gerald D. Viste Linda Ware Wisconsin Arts Board Wisconsin Humanities Council

Contributions of $500 to $999 Anonymous Anne Bolz through the Madison Community Foundation Terry Brown Douglas & Sherry Cave *Betty & Corkey Custer William & Lynne Eich Robert M. Goodman Madison Arts Commission The Nature Conservancy Pamela Ploetz Kelly Parks Snider & John Snider Michael J. Spector

Contributions of $250 to $499 Charles & Mary Anderson Jerold W. Apps Michael Briselli Susan & Richard Davidson Greg & MaryAnn Dombrowski Jay & Mary Gallagher Joseph Heim Bonnie & Duane Hendrickson Herbert H. Kohl Charities Sara Krebsbach & Glenn Reinl Maury Laws James T. Lundberg Don Nichols Andrew Richards Allen M. Young

Contributions of $100 to $249 Anonymous Shirley & Seymour Abrahamson Julius & Hildegard Adler Alice & Richard Appen Alfred Bader Dennis & Naomi Bahcall Tino Balio Leonard Berkowitz Fred J. Berman Rev Trust A. Beyer-Mears Thomas J. Bliffert Barbara Brown Lee Barbara Buenger

Mary Jane Bumby Jeffrey Calder Arnold & Donna Chandler R. Alta Charo Greg Conniff Dan & Pat Cornwell James & Nancy Dast Donald David Larry & Kathy Dickerson Patrick & Lloyd Eagan Herman Felstehausen Jane & Patrick Fitzgibbons Deirdre W. Garton Gathering Waters Conservancy Reed & Ellie Hall L. Jane Hamblen John C. Harmon II Sue & Steve Hawk John Hawley Paul & Philia Hayes James V. Howard Phyllis Huffman Bruce Jacobs Molly & Bob Jahn Thomas Jerow Barbara Johnson Edith Cavey Johnson Donna Katen-Bahensky Sally Kefer Dorothy J. Klinefelter Dr. Kenneth W. Korb David & Paula Kraemer Bill Kraus & Toni Sikes James Laudon Roma Lenehan Jay & Janet Loewi Ronald S. Luskin & M. Therese Ruzicka Stewart Macaulay Mary Jo McBrearty Howard & Nancy Mead Midwest Environmental Advocates Tom & Nancy Mohs Charles & Carolyn Mowbray John & Kristina Murphy Marilyn Nelson Peter Ostlind Paul Pagel Ann F. Peckham Edward J. & Dianne L. Peters John Peters James R. Peterson

Tom & Teresa Pleger Karen O. Pope Christopher Queram John R. Race Tim & Kris Riley Richard Roe Janet R. Ross John Rothschild Kathleen & Dennis Sampson Dietram Scheufele Carol & Dean Schroeder Roy A. Shaver Peter & Carrie Sherrill Miriam Simmons & James Cain John Sims Roy & Mary Thilly Olive Thomson Sally Tolan, in honor of Nancy & Bob Burkert Carol Toussaint Kerry A. Trask Maxine Triff Sal & Judy Troia Stu & Marilyn Urban UW Center for Limnology UW Extension Peg & Ron Wallace Frank & Mariana Weinhold Lee Weiss Paul H. Williams Helen L. Wineke Alan & Beth Wolf M. Crawford Young

*ENDOWMENT GIFTS directed to the Wisconsin Academy Foundation help to ensure the future success of the Academy’s mission to connect Wisconsin people and ideas for a better world.


2012–2013 ANNUAL REPORT

COMMUNITY PARTNERS, VOLUNTEERS, AND PRESENTERS Thank you to the multitudes of individuals and organizations that support the Wisconsin Academy and its programs with the invaluable dedication of time, talent, or services. Your commitment to our mission makes all the difference.

James Watrous Gallery

Marilyn Essex & Michael Skindrud Terry Evans Judi & David Flatt Marshall Flax Andy Gronik Caren Heft Angela Johnson Jamie Johnson Lyn Korenic Jim Lorman Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Annette Mahler McPherson Eye Research Institute Ann Morse Dennis & Bea Nolan Ruth Olson Anne Pryor Matthew Rarey Shiela Reaves Bas Rokers Rodney Schreiner Robert Schulz Gail Stirr Sustain Dane David Travis UW–Madison Center for Upper Midwestern Cultures Ryan Weisenfeld Wisconsin Historical Museum

Exhibiting Artists Bob Bartelme Greg Conniff Mike Coughlin Nova Czarnecki Greg David Benjamyn Deneen Max Doering Tracy Drier Patrick Farrell Lisa Frank Willem Gebben Mary Hark “Little” John Holzwart Greg Hunt Greg Johnson Bill & Donna Kallner Toby Kaufmann-Buhler Heidi Lasher-Oakes Tom Linfield Wence Martinez Lon Michels Trent Miller Eric Moebius Daniel John O’Neal Livija Patikne (1911–2001) Sam Rust Gaylord Schanilec Mary Lou Schneider Bob Siegel Philip Simeon Jarrod & April Stone-Dahl Alisa Toninato Jeff Trapp Tong Khai Vang

Wisconsin People & Ideas

Program Partners, Speakers, and Volunteers Andy Adams Tom Bamberger Chuck Bauer & Chuck Beckwith Walter Blackwell Mark Blank Barbara Blodi Debra Brehmer James Brozek Paul & Barbara Douglas

Writers and Contributors Emily Auerbach Harvey Black Kim Blaeser Brenda Bredahl Deborah Brehmer Patricia Briggs Phil Busse Richard Carter & Carolyn Kenney-Carter Cathryn Cofell Greg Conniff Sharon Dunwoody

Emily Eggleston Dave Eliot Susan Firer Joan Fischer Charlotte Frascona Max Garland Daniel Goscha Jen & Dave Gustafson Nik Hawkins Laura Heisler Buddy Huffaker Karla Huston Erika Janik Angela Johnson Janet Kelly Michael Kriesel Kathy Kuntz Gina LaLiberte T.J. Lambert Susan Lampert Smith Laura Lane Jean Lang John Lehman Brad Lichtenstein Mary “Casey” Martin Nick Meyer Daniel Miller Donna Neuwirth Mike & Marcie O’Connor Tom Pamperin Susan Paull Emily Pfotenhauer Jeffrey Potter Kate Prengaman Margaret Rozga Robert Russell Dietram Scheufele Victoria Statz David Steingass Jim Stevens Anne Strainchamps Robert Vaughan Bob Wake Program Partners Abella Studios Shake Rag Alley School for Arts and Crafts Wisconsin Book Festival

Wisconsin Initiatives Speakers Tim Bate Kenn Buelow Jad Daley Tom Eggert Kevin Fermanich Jerry Greenberg Bud Harris Vicky Harris John Imes Maria Janowiak Peter Kilde Val Klump Bob Krumenaker Pat Leavenworth John Magnuson Melissa Malott Keith Marquardt Stephen McCarthy Curt Meine Sonya Newenhouse Sandra Postel John & Dorothy Priske Paul Robbins Kevin Shafer Erick Shambarger Jim St. Arnold Troy Streckenbach Paul Strong Chris Swanston David Taylor Roy Thilly Jeffrey Thompson Joe Tomandl Tracy Valenta Kimberlee Wright Program Partners Apostle Island National Lakeshore Discovery World Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Northland College The Trust for Public Lands UW–Green Bay

UW–Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences

Academy Evening Talks Speakers Lynn Allen-Hoffman Michael Dombeck Dayton Duncan Sharon Dunwoody Lewis Friedland Joan Gorman Kathy Kuntz Mitch Menchaca Larry Nesper Donna Neuwirth Penelope Niven Jay Salinas Dietram Scheufele Timothy Smeeding Kelly Parks Snider Tappan Wilder Michael Xenos Program Partners Isthmus Publishing Company Janesville Performing Arts Center Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Stratatech UW–Whitewater Wisconsin Public Radio Wisconsin Public Television

Volunteers, Interns, & Gallery Attendants Evan Cohen Ashley Cook Emily Eggleston Katie Ginther Emelia Haglund Anna Laube Bronte Mansfield Jerry Marra Margaret Petri Hillary Sprecher Aubrey Watson

Your support elevates us all... Whether you donated time and services or provided us with $10 to $10,000 for program support this year, your gift to the Wisconsin Academy went toward making our state a more culturally, environmentally, and intellectually rich place to live. As you can see, you aren’t alone. But even with all this support, we still need your help. Please help us ensure a better, smarter Wisconsin in 2014 by volunteering or sending us a tax-deductible gift at www.wisconsinacademy.org/give today or call 608-263-1692. Thank you.


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C o m i n g

The Photography of Witness Thursday, March 27, 7–8:30 pm Wisconsin Studio, 3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison

Photographers Michael Kienitz, Kevin Miyazaki, and Craig Schreiner discuss how photographic images can be used to record personal narrative, document conflict, capture a cultural landscape, and share the human experience. This panel discussion is free and open to the public with advance registration. Visit wisconsinacademy.org to register and reserve a seat.

t h i s

S p r i n g

Camp Home: Documenting the Japanese American Internment Camps Thursday, April 3, 7–8:30 pm Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 W. Mifflin Street, Madison

Photographer Kevin Miyazaki and UW–Milwaukee historian Jasmine Alinder will share their investigations of the camps where Japanese Americans were forcibly held during World War II. Co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Free and open to the public with advance registration. Visit wisconsinacademy.org to register and reserve a seat.

Donald Friedlich: Organic Matter Dianne Soffa: Storm Candy Side-by-side solo exhibitions On view May 13–June 29, 2014 Opening reception Friday, May 16, 5:30– 7:30 pm, with artists’ talks at 6:30 pm

Donald Friedlich is internationally recognized for his elegant and innovative jewelry, which combines cast and cold-worked glass with gold. Inspired by memories of Midwestern childhood summers, Dianne Soffa’s abstract color field paintings have luscious surfaces, luminous color, and a rich emotional core. This exhibition and all related events are free and open to the public. Donald Friedlich, Translucence Series Brooch, 2009. Fused glass, 22k gold, sterling, 2 7/8 x 2 5/8 x 3/8 in. Photo credit: James Beards. Dianne Soffa, Aphrodite Meets Ferrari (detail), 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 6 x 6 in.

Visit www.wisconsinacademy.org for more details

Wisconsin People & Ideas – Winter 2014  

Everything you want to know about Wisco: Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland on the state of the arts in Wisconsin. The life and images of...

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