Open House Celebrates The Coop

Write On, Door County will hold its second annual open house on May 30, 1 – 4 pm, at their home at 4177 Juddville Road, Fish Creek. Live music, readings by Door County writers, activities for kids and family, and paella round out the afternoon. The highlight of the day will be a celebration of the literary legacy of Norbert Blei and a dedication of The Coop, the writing studio where he worked in Ellison Bay. The event is free and open to the public.

The schedule for the afternoon includes:

• 1 – 2 pm, music by Pete Thelen and Jay Whitney, followed by an open mic reading. Readers are limited to three minutes and the number of readers will be limited. Readers can sign up starting at 1 pm.

• 2 – 3 pm, music and readings by Al DeGenova on saxophone and Charlie Rossiter on percussion. Their set will be followed by readings from contributors to Soundings, an anthology of Door County poetry, edited by the Door County Poetry Collective.

• 3 – 4 pm, music by Jeanne Kuhns and Small Forest, followed by readings from Norb Blei’s work by some of the Door County personalities he profiled. Scheduled to read are Lars Johnson, Susan O’Leary, Chick Peterson, Phil Sweet, and Kaaren Weiss. A dedication of the Coop will follow the readings. The afternoon concludes with music by Mark Raddatz.

John Nelson, publisher of Door Guide Publishing, will serve as emcee for the afternoon.

Born and raised in Chicago, Blei moved in 1968 with his then-wife and two children to Ellison Bay, where he lived his passion and joy as a writer, teacher and artist. He was writer-in-residence at The Clearing Folk School, a position he held for 40 years; edited a Door County arts newspaper; and was editor and publisher of CROSS+ROADS PRESS, which was devoted to emerging and accomplished poets, short story writers, essayists, novelists, artists, and photographers.

With the help of a neighbor, Blei converted an old chicken coop into his writing studio. Surrounded by stacks of books, newspapers, and notebooks, he wrote at his table, first on a typewriter, then on a computer, composing the profiles that would be included in such books as Door Way and Meditations on a Small Lake.

Blei passed away on April 23, 2013. The Coop was moved to the Write On property on Aug. 26, 2014. It will be used as it was intended – as an inspirational place set in nature in which writers can work on their craft.

For more information, call 920.868.1457 or email [email protected].