Poetry in the Park: Sass Denny, Paul Druecke, Ed Roberson, & Nikki Wallschlaeger

Bring your blankets and chairs, snacks and drinks, and friends, and join us at the Solomon Juneau statue for this beloved summer reading series, now entering its eighth year. Poetry in the Park takes place in Juneau Park on the second Tuesday of June, July, August, and September, with rain dates scheduled on the second Wednesday of each month. This season’s events are made possible with support from Juneau Park Friends, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Village Church. 

Sass Denny is an Oneida/Ojibwe writer and graduate student in Creative Writing at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She is Poetry Editor for Cream City Review

Paul Druecke is a writer and artist. His ongoing project America Pastime was recommended by the New York Times (2021). His work with public inscription was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and featured in Blackwell and Wiley’s Companion to Public Art (2016). He has published two books, Life and Death on the Bluffs (2014) and The Last Days of John Budgen Jr. (2010). Druecke’s interdisciplinary projects explore the fault lines of social convention.

Ed Roberson is the author of twelve books of poetry, most recently MPH and Other Road Poems (Verge Books, 2021) and Asked What Has Changed (Wesleyan University Press, 2021). A former special programs administrator at Rutgers University’s Cook Campus, Roberson has lived in Chicago since 2004 and is an emeritus professor in Northwestern University’s MFA creative writing program. He has also held posts at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Cave Canem retreat for Black writers. His honors include the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, and the African American Literature and Culture Association’s Stephen Henderson Critics Award. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Roberson has worked as a limnologist’s assistant (conducting research on inland and coastal fresh water systems in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and in Bermuda), as a diver for the Pittsburgh Aquazoo, in an advertising graphics agency, and in the Pittsburgh steel mills.

Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work has been featured in The Nation, BrickAmerican Poetry ReviewWitnessKenyon ReviewPoetry, and others. She is the author of the full-length collections Waterbaby (Copper Canyon Press, 2021), Houses (Horseless Press, 2015), and Crawlspace (Bloof Books, 2017), as well as the graphic book I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (2019), also from Bloof Books. She is also the author of an artist book called Operation USA through the Baltimore-based book arts group Container, a project acquired by Woodland Pattern.