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Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Thursday, October 19 - 5:30 PM
Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Christine Swanberg’s books include TONIGHT ON THIS LATE ROAD (Erie St., 1984), INVISIBLE STRING (Erie St., 1990), BREAD UPON THE WATERS (UW:Whitewater, 1990), SLOW MIRACLE (Lake Shore, 1992), THE TENDERNESS OF MEMORY (Plainview Press, 1995), THE RED LACQUER ROOM (Chiron Press, 2001) and WHO WALKS AMONG THE TREES WITH CHARITY(Wind Publications, KY, 2005) and THE ALLELUIA TREE (Puddin’head Press, IL). 

Hundreds of her poems have appeared in many journals such as SPOON RIVER, THE AVOCET, WIND, LOUISVILLE and many others. Recently GARDEN BLESSINGS, BACK TO JOY,  GRATITUDE PRAYERS AND POEMS, and EARTH BLESSINGS (June Cotner Anthologies) have included Christine’s poems as well as SOUNDINGS: POETRY OF DOOR COUNTY. An interview appears in POET’S MARKET 2008.  Christine is a writing teacher for museums, churches, arts councils, and women’s organizations. Recent essays appear in WOMEN ON POETRY and WRITING AFTER RETIREMENT. In Rockford she has won the Mayor’s Art (Lawrence Gloyd) Award for Education,  a YWCA Leader Luncheon Award for the Arts, and the Womanspirit Award at Womanspace.

She has given readings and workshops throughout the USA, most recently Palm Beach Community Center, FL;  Sedona, AZ;  Poetry Rendezvous in Taos, NM;  Door Country, Dickenson Series; The Clearing, Door Country, WI; and many others. Recently two of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes by CHIRON.

Hummingbird Whisperer

Glory be to the fierce little warriors

who return to my garden every year.

Come, enjoy, drink the various nectars,

tiny bold ones. You without any fear.

Teach me to cultivate fervor and focus.  

Stay in our shared secret sanctuary

created for you with bergamot and phlox, 

fuchsia and the feeder hung on the tree

you visit each morning. Hello! Goodbye! 

Who could be freer? Fast as a torpedo

when I'm digging, spading, you catch my eye.

Graceful as the wind--glanced from my window.

You share delight with your earthbound sister. 

You've made me a hummingbird whisperer.

Cristina M. R. Norcross lives in Wisconsin with her husband, their 2 sons, and a cat who loves to sleep on her warm, humming computer.  She is the founding editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review, and the author of 7 poetry collections.  Her most recent books include Amnesia and Awakenings (Local Gems Press, 2016), and Still Life Stories (Aldrich Press, 2016).  Her works have been published, or are forthcoming, in: The Toronto Quarterly, Your Daily Poem, Lime Hawk, The Poetry Storehouse, Right Hand Pointing, and Pirene’s Fountain, among others.  Cristina’s work also appears in numerous anthologies.  She is the co-founder of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day.  Find out more about this poet at:  www.cristinanorcross.com

The Last Party

(for Josie)

It all begins to fade

in the land of forget-me-not years.

One moment I am dropping a slice of lemon into my tea –

the next moment

the back of my bed raises

with the click of a magic button.

Crosswords are my saving grace.

All of the clues –

a familiar comfort.

I wonder who keeps filling them in?

She should be more considerate and use a pencil.

There is a woman who comes and points

to pictures on my dresser.

Sometimes I am good at the guessing game –

sometimes not.

She is kind though and brings me a new nightgown

with each visit.

In times of joyful suspension,

the room is filled

with people I have not seen in years.

Gertrude’s fur wrap was always too showy,

but it looks good on her now.

Bill is busy serving cocktails,

while they set up another Canasta game.

It is a party of laughter and noise.

You should come –

before it all disappears.

Jon Kerstetter

Saturday, October 21
1:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Jon Kerstetter

The Crossing: A Doctor-Soldier's Story

Every juncture in Jon Kerstetter's life has been marked by a crossing from one world into another: from civilian to doctor to soldier; between healing and waging war; and between compassion and hatred of the enemy. When an injury led to a stroke that ended his careers as a doctor and a soldier, he faced the most difficult crossing of all, a recovery that proved as shattering as war itself.

Crossings is a memoir of an improbable, powerfully drawn life, one that began in poverty on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin but grew by force of will to encompass a remarkable medical practice. Trained as an emergency physician, Kerstetter's thirst for intensity led him to volunteer in war-torn Rwanda, Kosovo, and Bosnia, and to join the Army National Guard. His three tours in the Iraq War marked the height of the American struggle there. The story of his work in theater, which involved everything from saving soldiers' lives to organizing the joint U.S.-Iraqi forensics team tasked with identifying the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons, is a bracing, unprecedented evocation of a doctor's life at war.
But war was only the start of Kerstetter's struggle. The stroke he suffered upon returning from Iraq led to serious cognitive and physical disabilities. His years-long recovery, impeded by near-unbearable pain and complicated by PTSD, meant overcoming the perceived limits of his body and mind and re-- imagining his own capacity for renewal and change. It led him not only to writing as a vocation but to a deeper understanding of how healing means accepting a new identity, and how that acceptance must be fought for with as much tenacity as any battlefield victory.

Jon Kerstetter received his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota and his MFA degree from Ashland University in Ohio. He practiced emergency medicine and military medicine, serving as a combat physician and flight surgeon for the US Army National Guard and completing three combat tours in Iraq. He has also taught disaster relief and practiced emergency medicine in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Honduras.

NaNoWriMo Kick Off

Thursday, October 26
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

NaNoWriMo Kick Off

National Novel Writing Month 

Would you like to write a novel?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is a month-long event starting November 1st at midnight in which you—yes, you, that person who has a story in them just waiting to get out—band together with other like-minded individuals to tackle the herculean effort of writing a 50,000 word novel over 30 days.

Except, it’s not actually a herculean feat. It’s possible and doable because we lock our Inner Editors up for the course of November, we marshal our time and word counts, and we just write: we don’t worry about plot-holes or imperfect grammar or if the Spirit of the Continuity Man is ripping his hair out in despair.

We write, and we keep writing, and we do it together as a physical and virtual community because community makes everything better.

So, come and meet other local Wrimos for drinks and nibbles, hear tell the tales of slain NaNo-dragons past, and prepare for the adventure ahead.

If you’d like to get ahead of the writing game, please feel free to visit the NaNoWriMo website (www.nanowrimo.org), and the NaNo in Green Bay Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/nanogreenbay/).

Join fellow writers at Green Bay's oldest indie bookstore and get to know one another while nibbling on snacks, sipping wine and gazing at the shelves of published works by authors who have faced the same daunting challenge of writing a novel by starting at a blank page. Be sure to  make plans with your new friends  to meet back at the Reader's Loft throughout the month of November to work on your novel in its quiet, comforting and inspiring atmosphere surrounded by books. 

Joan Treppa

Saturday, October 28
11:00 AM at The Reader's Loft

Joan Treppa

Reclaiming Lives

by Joan Treppa

Joan Treppa is a citizen advocate for the wrongfully convicted. She focuses her efforts on creating awareness about wrongful convictions and supports the Innocence Project organization. She is a strong voice for five Wisconsin men (and their families) currently fighting for their freedom. Reclaiming Lives is a story about one woman's mission to find justice for six men she believes were wrongfully convicted in 1995. Through the writing of the book, she discovered a connection between her past and what happened to these men, determining why she felt compelled to get involved. Reclaiming Lives is about surpassing limits, taking a stance, and acting on one's intuitions through innovation, creativity and humility, while overcoming the impossible through collaboration. 

Jill Harding

Tuesday, November 14
1:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Jill Harding

Story time for all ages with Jill Harding!
Join us as we celebrate Jill's gorgeous 2nd childrens picture book, Dragon Magic.

Jill Harding is excited to share the release of her new book, Dragonfly Magic, a story about change and transformation. Dragonflies bring sad Elsa magical messages so she can see the world around her in a different light. Woven into this tale are facts about the endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly. The illustrations accompanying the text are Harding’s multi-layered collages, which provide fun hiding places for tiny dragonflies. Set on the beautiful and ever-changing Door County peninsula, readers see that when we take care of nature, it takes care of us.

Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with an art degree, Harding has been interested in combining the written word with visual images. She received her master’s degree in education and taught in Green Bay public schools for 20 years as a classroom teacher and as a gifted student advocate. This journey has brought forth a new calling – writing and illustrating children’s books. Her books can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Harding currently lives in an enchanted meadow on the north end of the Door County peninsula. She also wrote and illustrated The Sign Fairy in 2015, which is now in its second printing. Her books can be found in shops and galleries throughout Door County, at Reader’s Loft in Green Bay and at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee. Also, look for her sign on Garrett Bay Road and help spread some collective good energy.

The Curious Charm of Arthur Pepper

Tuesday, November 14
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

The Curious Charm of Arthur Pepper

A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting

"Phaedra Patrick understands the soul. Eccentric, charming, and wise…The Curious Charms is not just for those who are mourning over love or the past. This book will illuminate your heart." — Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop

Don’t miss this curiously charming debut! In this hauntingly beautiful story of love, loneliness and self-discovery, an endearing widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.

Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.

But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places.

Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters with big hearts and irresistible flaws, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a joyous celebration of life’s infinite possibilities.

Mark Falcone & Nathan Reid

Thursday, November 16 - 5:30 PM
Mark Falcone & Nathan Reid

Mark Falcone & Nathan Reid

Mark is a South Philadelphian, born and raised in Little Italy there. He has a B.A in Philosophy, an M.A. in Education, and Doctor’s degree in Music Composition. He was a teacher of theology, psychology and music on both a secondary and collegiate level and was a member of the Pennsylvania Poetry Society. He is published in numerous anthologies. “Fiery Mouthed Dragon” by Dorrance & Co., Philadelphia, and self-published his second book, “Experience: The doorway to Life" by

Marcon Music Publishing.

Mark has put some poetry of his own and that of Emily Dickenson to music. He is retired and devotes his time to composing music, writing poetry, updating his knowledge of science, spirituality and theology.

He has had companion parrots for the past 45 years and given presentations on parrot intelligence for numerous organizations in Green Bay, Baltimore, Delaware and Philadelphia.

Fate does not belong to the gods.

Pray not faithfully

to the gods of fate,

for fame and

 good fortune.

Bend back the

eternal fleeing

moment of reality

to view

your total self.

The prayer was answered,

before it was begun.

Open your hands


there will be found

the content

of your prayers,


Within your own


does your fate

gently rest.

-- Mark Falcone

Nathan J. Reid is a poet and spoken word artist whose work has appeared in several journals, including the Penguin Review, Fox Cry Review, and Binnacle. He has a background in theatre and regularly performs his poetry at art events throughout Wisconsin. His chapbook, Thoughts on Tonight, was published this year by Finishing Line Press. He currently lives in Madison with his partner, Ashley, and their endless supply of books.  


From a small-town blizzard

are born two angels in the snow

whose powdery irises

bear young witness

to a truth such as this:

Paradise melts at the touch.

Every breath drawn in this town

flies shackled-wing flight

under Sheriff John's throne,

his icy yardstick

bending with command

to score another feathered pair

to force another tasty angel down.

And there is no sound

as snow pushes out

another clipped love.

There is no sound

as two angels watch crystal clumps

paint dying dreams

that keep their brilliant purity

their untouched white

even though pollution

has begun to stain their wings.

When You Wake 

you hear distant rumors about what it will be like

to go to sleep and never wake up

about a time when all vibrations cash in their casino chips, take the red-eye home

when the biggest number is again smaller than the smallest number

when your mind is a wilting flower

and an hour yet pending returns you to the realm that fed you into birth

you hear these things happening someday

but today you breathe fire and music as if fire and music, like yourself,

were somehow separate from this collapsing dream of time trying to remember light

you have always been light

light is the reality beneath the dream

as you are breath you are the nothingness

a photon knows not its own existence

so why fear the wilted flower?

if the color has gone pallid

the leaves too brittle to touch

then cheer the fragrance

it is still so incredible and lovely

From Thoughts on Tonight; Finishing Line Press, 2017

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 25
All Day at The Reader's Loft

Small Business Saturday

Miranda Paul, Max Garland & Gavin Schmitt 

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf

Tuesday, December 12
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf

A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting

Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy is growing up in a devout, tightly knit Muslim family in 1970s Indiana, at the crossroads of bad polyester and Islamic dress codes. Along with her brother Eyad and her African-American friends, Hakim and Hanifa, she bikes the Indianapolis streets exploring the fault-lines between “Muslim” and “American.”

When her picture-perfect marriage goes sour, Khadra flees to Syria and learns how to pray again. On returning to America she works in an eastern state — taking care to stay away from Indiana, where the murder of her friend Tayiba’s sister by Klan violence years before still haunts her. But when her job sends her to cover a national Islamic conference in Indianapolis, she’s back on familiar ground: Attending a concert by her brother’s interfaith band The Clash of Civilizations, dodging questions from the “aunties” and “uncles,” and running into the recently divorced Hakim everywhere.

Beautifully written and featuring an exuberant cast of characters, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf charts the spiritual and social landscape of Muslims in middle America, from five daily prayers to the Indy 500 car race. It is a riveting debut from an important new voice.

The Other Einstein

Tuesday, January 9
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

The Other Einstein

A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting 

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.


Tuesday, February 13
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore


A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting

The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.

 Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.