Margaret Rozga's Articles About Poetry BayView Compass

Oct 02, 2020

My Country Tis of Thee       September 2, 2020  BayView Compass

Interviewing people about their favorite poems, my project as Wisconsin Poet Laureate, often leads to surprising discoveries. I’ve learned about poets I hadn’t known and about poems I didn’t know by poets I thought I knew well. A new kind of surprise awaited me when I asked Clayborn Benson, founding director of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum, about his favorite. He named a writer I certainly knew, W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois, the first African American to earn a PhD at Harvard, the Atlanta University professor of sociology, history and economics, also earned a place in history as a cofounder of the NAACP. Was he also a poet? ...


Lost A Verse     August 9, 2020   BayView Compass

How to build community is a question that has long been one of my central concerns. Sometimes it comes with an answer so simple that it’s not obvious until someone brings it to life. One of those answers is Play Music on the Porch Day, a summer celebration scheduled each year for the last Saturday in August, 

An afternoon featuring live music brings neighbors out of their homes and into the common purpose of enjoying upbeat sounds and the friendly presence of neighbors. One year my upstairs neighbors and I cohosted such a gathering. For the last two years, three neighbors down our block have welcomed everyone nearby and those who happened by...


Notes to Myself and the Undefeated     July 1, 2020  BayView Compass

Poetry, what do you have to offer? Here we are, heading into midsummer 2020 not only still facing the dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also still struggling with the ongoing disease of racism, seeking ways to move forward toward a more equitable society. As Wisconsin Poet Laureate, I sometimes ask and sometimes am asked what poetry offers on such topics.  

Sometimes I’m fortunate to find others who offer examples of poems that bolster the spirit. Kate Archer Kent is such a person. As host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Morning Show, she sometimes invites artists, including poets, to on-air discussions of their work and its relevance to a wide range of listeners...