Welcome to June

Alliums are beautiful ornamental onions.

An out-of-town visitor recently spent a weekend teaching creative writing at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts’ fifth annual Writing Retreat in Mineral Point. Reflecting upon her time in our nook of the Driftless Area, she noted she’d learned that “Wisconsinites … are fiercely knowledgeable and passionate about their home state.” One of her students gave her some locally foraged mushrooms (morels, yellow oysters and pheasant backs), along with some cooking tips, and another student shared a poem rooted in her love of the Driftless. “Isn’t that a romantic, wistful name?” she asked. We couldn’t agree more, especially as we wander through our local parks and gardens and take in the sights, smells and sounds of spring. (That’s allium — some of the biggest we’ve ever seen — from our garden pictured below.)

Erik Flesch & Sara Lomasz Flesch

New sights and sounds we’re looking forward to this month are those that will present themselves on stages throughout the region as live theater and music return to venues large and small, indoor and outdoor, thanks to the increasing number of people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. You’ll find several live in-person events in this month’s calendar listings. Be sure to check our online calendar at voiceoftherivervalley.com throughout the month for updates.

Whether you enjoy this month’s issue in print or online, we hope you’ll enjoy the voices of Steve Fuller, Doris Green, John Heasley, Jennifer Moore-Kerr, Patrice Peltier, Kathy Steffen and Grace Vosen, and art by Carol Kramer.

We’re grateful as ever to this month’s advertisers (see p. 3) and subscribers — because their financial support make the printing of these pages possible — and to distribution volunteers Joni and Rick Graves, Mark McCauley, Brian Richter and Nick Schweitzer. 

Happy reading,