Julie Schoessow acknowledged Saturday that the pomp and circumstance that stopped traffic at the corner of North Main Street and West Sherman Avenue likely would have embarrassed her stepmother.
“She really would,” Schoessow said. “She liked the literary attention that she got from the literary world. But she was really her own person. A private person.”
However, her stepmother just happens to have been the late Lorine Niedecker, prolific “Poet of Place” who resided on Blackhawk Island west of Fort Atkinson. And the city she called home has been displaying her work with pride in very public ways.
Niedecker’s poetry inspired a first “poetry wall” in 2009, and the second was dedicated Saturday as part of the Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival and the Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce’s Friends and Family weekend.
The wall was dedicated in an afternoon celebration, with members of the Friends of Lorine Niedecker, mural artist Jeremy Guzzo Pinc [MFA ’20], Schoessow and many other Niedecker fans and community supporters in attendance. It was one of many poetry events Saturday, which included a poetry seminar at Dwight Foster Public Library, street poet Paul Wiegel creating spontaneous poems in addition to the dedication.