Wallace Poetry Group

The birth of the Wallace Group occurred about ten years ago after an annual Door County Poets’ Retreat. At a number of poet circles, I noticed that poems written by members of a Fond du Lac poets’ group had improved dramatically from previous years. When pressed for an explanation, they told us that members of their group were working on their writing skills using the book Writing Poems by Robert Wallace. They were so enthused that the late Harriet Murphy and I decided to purchase and study the book together, meeting weekly to discuss it.

Judy Roy and June Nirschl heard about our plan and asked if they could join, followed by other poets. Soon the group had eight members and called itself the Wallace Group. We meet monthly to discuss the book and work on exercises at the back of each chapter. We feel that we have grown in our writing skills. Critiquing each other’s work is still the essential part of our meetings.

The Wallace Group feels a commitment to spread interest in poetry throughout Door County. A grant from the PAA/Wisconsin Arts Board allowed us to have a quotation by Ellen Kort, then Poet Laureate of Wisconsin, painted on a wall of the new Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Library.

Judy Roy invited the Trillium Quilt Guild to join with us in a show called “Telling Stories with Quilts and Words” in 2007. It proved popular and traveled to a number of venues.

Each year we sponsor a poetry/art show at the Meadows gallery at Scandia in May. A theme is chosen and poems written about accompanying pictures. This year’s theme is old Door County schools. A reading and tea will be held on May 19 at the Meadows. The public is invited to come.

A number of Wallace members have published books available at local book stores and other shops. Also, watch for their poems in the Pulse on occasion.

Wherever poets gather, you will find Wallacers represented.