Saturday, December 26, 2009

January 16th Book Signing at Books & Co., Oconomowoc, WI

Here is the article from the Living Lake Country Website about the Books & Co. local author event. I will be there on Sat. Jan. 16, 2010 to sign copies of my books: Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art (2007), The Red Drum (2008) and my latest book Unsung Love Songs (2010).


Local Authors Gather for Book Signing
Writers network, Discuss Their Latest Endeavors


Posted: Dec. 16, 2009

If spending more time curling up with a good book or two is one of your New Year's resolutions, then stopping by Books & Company in Oconomowoc between 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, is a good first step to achieving that goal. The independent bookstore will host seven or more local writers for a book signing, refreshments and a chance to visit with the authors and discuss their works.

Co-owner of Books & Company Lisa Baudoin said the store tries to offer this type of event at least twice a year. "We have a lot of requests by local authors to do book signings and we thought if we grouped them all together they would attract a larger crowd," said Baudoin. "It's also nice because the event gives the authors a chance to network with each other."

Participating writers include Ilona Fridl, author of the book, "Silver Screen Heroes," Mary S. Hanson, author of the non-fiction book, "A Moment In Time," and Ted Iverson, author of the sci-fi novel, "Mission to the Stars."

Jeanette Michalets, author of "Vera Textiles: Add Color to Everyday Fashion" and "Christmas Household Textiles" will also be on hand to discuss her works, along with ekphrastic poet and author Cristina Norcross, who will share her books of poetry, "Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art," "The Red Drum," and advanced copies of "Unsung Love Songs," which will be released in February.

Freelance writer and poet, Liz Rhodebeck whose writings are included in the anthology "Keeping Time: 150 Years of Journal Writing," and Jill Vento, author of the parenting book, "What To Do and How To Do It" will round out the group.

Books & Company is located at 1039 Summit Ave. in Oconomowoc. For more information, call (262) 567-0106 or visit the store's Web site,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On March 11, 2010, I will be teaching a poetry workshop at The Lakes Gallery in North Lake, WI. Come join us!

Ekphrastic Poetry 101
with Cristina M.R. Norcross
Thurs., March 11, 2010 from 7 - 9:30 PM
Workshop with group discussion, writing prompt exercises & feedback sessions.
$20 per person. Registration required @ Lakes Gallery of Fine Art at (262) 966-1804

Ekphrastic poetry is the conversation between two pieces of art. The writer interprets a work of visual art and then creates a narrative in verse form that represents his or her reaction to that painting, photograph, sculpture or other artistic creation.

Cristina resides in the U.S., dividing her time between Wisconsin & New England. She graduated with a B.A. Honors Degree in English Literature from the University of Ottawa, Canada. Cristina lived in London, England for 5 years where she worked in publishing & taught high school level English. She also taught creative writing & language skills at a youth organization & is the author of a grammar usage manual. Ms. Norcross has had over 50 short stories, poems & articles published in literary magazines in England, Wales, The United States, Canada & Algeria. Published books: Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art (2007), The Red Drum (2008), Unsung Love Songs (2010). Visit Ms. Norcross @


***Hope to see you there for interesting discussions with other poets, inspiring exercises and positive feedback in a supportive, literary environment.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Unsung Love Songs by Cristina M. R. Norcross * Book Launch Party * February 6th, 2010

Book Launch Party and Poetry Open Mic at Artavina Gallery for local author Cristina Norcross. Celebrate Unsung Love Songs on Sat., Feb. 6th from 7-9pm!

Local author Cristina Norcross of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin has her third book, Unsung Love Songs, coming out in February 2010. Come join us on Sat., February 6th from 7-9pm at The Artavina Gallery, managed by artist Kathy Boritzke, 378 Main St. in Waukesha, WI. We will be showcasing an evening of poetry, art and live music in an innovative, eclectic gallery setting. We will kick off the evening with live music by Nick Scholz and Shino Ishioka. Intermission will feature the ukulele stylings of special guest, Eric Raskopf. Cristina Norcross will give a reading from her new book, Unsung Love Songs, with a poetry open mic to follow. All are welcome. Get your name on the list to share your love poems. We will also have a fine wine and gourmet chocolate tasting at intermission, so come with eager ears for poetry and taste buds at the ready! To bring greater awareness to heart health this Valentine’s Day, we will be collecting donations for the American Heart Association at this event. ALL proceeds from book sales of Unsung Love Songs at this event will go directly to the AHA. Please come with a heart full of enthusiasm and support.

Cristina Norcross is a freelance writer and poet living in Lake Country with her husband and their two sons. She has had numerous works published in literary magazines in the United States, England, Wales, Canada and Algeria. Ms. Norcross is the author of Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art (2007) and The Red Drum (2008). She is the co-editor of The Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets. This latest collection, Unsung Love Songs, celebrates the quiet, every day moments of love and how the recognition of this deep, abiding calmness can be the heart’s biggest flourish of all.
For more information about this author, please visit her website:

Where’s the love? Bring your poems with the theme of love found, love lost, love regained – love in all of its varied, wondrous forms. Please RSVP to Cristina Norcross at to get your name on the poetry open mic list in advance. The order will be based on the earliest e-mails received, so reserve your spot today!

For more information about this event, please contact Kathy Boritzke at the Artavina Gallery in Waukesha, WI: 328 W Main St.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

"Frames" - new poetry by Cristina M. R. Norcross

Even a house of mortar and brick can have spirit. What would happen if that new house you bought could speak to you? What secrets would it reveal? What stories could the painting you inherited years ago share with you?

Let's see ...


Seeing out from a cave of light,
a cresting spirit rests on all four corners
and waits.

This day cannot contain thriving,
wanting, or persistence.
It ends with a hovering full moon –
low and yellow.

I hang on the wall you never look at,
slightly tilted,
wanting to be touched –
just left of the center that will not hold.

Trace and retrace the hairline fractures on the ceiling.
Someone lived here before.
Shadows of being remain,
as you fill the space with aura and light.

Once this living room swelled with post-dinner conversations,
meandering, bubbling outbursts of shared humor –
shared loss.
Memory thick with images floated high in the air
and lined the walls with a viscosity,
that one person sitting in the corner
just could not bear.

This is your dwelling now.
Fill it.
Shape it.
Stop hiding behind your frame –
so contained.
These eyes are your eyes.
Use them.

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Copyright 2009
(from the collection, Still Life Stories, with Jennifer Peña)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Poetic Captured Reflections at The Griffin Gallery

Gallery Night in Oconomowoc Begins with an Elegant Splash of Fine Art and Poetry

The Poetic Captured Reflections Gallery Show,
with paintings by Holly Kallie
and poetry by Cristina M. R. Norcross will be on display at The Griffin Gallery of Fine Art
( in
 Oconomowoc, WI on Friday, November 6th from
5-9pm. This exhibition begins on Gallery Night and will be on display through the end of Dec. 2009.

Poetic Captured Reflections are comprised of hand-signed, fine art, poetry giclées, created from original artwork by Hollie Kallie and original verse by Cristina M. R. Norcross. Each scene of beauty and form reveals a life beyond our earthly borders, inspiring poetic stories of the soul’s journey. Each giclée is unique, invoking the reader to live more fully in the present moment, by incorporating rich colors, evocative images and poetic narratives.

Holly Kallie (, a founding member of The Griffin Gallery of Fine Art in Oconomowoc, WI, is a self-taught artist who has been drawing and painting all of her life. Her favorite subjects are women and children in settings that include area lakes or the seashore. Ms. Kallie’s artistic intention is to show the similarity and connection between feminine energy and the flowing, reflective surface and depths of the water surrounding them.

Cristina M. R. Norcross ( is a freelance writer and poet living in Wisconsin with her husband and their two sons. She has had over 50 works published in literary magazines in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Algeria. Ms. Norcross is the author of two published books - Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art (2007) and The Red Drum (2008), both available on Ms. Norcross is the co-editor of The Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets.

Holly Kallie and Cristina Norcross have collaborated on this unique collection for the past year to create a beautiful array of soothing images and words. Please join us for a special reception on Nov. 6th to meet the artist and the poet in an elegant, gallery setting.

For more information about this event, please visit the Griffin Gallery website:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lake Country Reporter Feature Article

I am the co-editor of The Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets. We will be having our gallery show and poetry reading event at The Raven Gallery in Pewaukee, WI on Saturday, October 17th, 2009 @ 7pm.

I am pleased to include a link here on this site to the feature article about our project and show, printed in the Sept. 29, 2009 edition of The Lake Country Reporter and The Oconomowoc Focus, as well as the Living Lake Country website:

Ten artists, ten poets - one vision
Lake Country project uncovers talent in our own backyard

We hope you will join us for this exciting evening of music, art and poetry!

Best Wishes,
Cristina M. R. Norcross
Co-editor, The Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Lake Country Project Art Show & Poetry Reading at The Raven Gallery on Sat. October 17th @7pm

Sat. October 17th, 2009 at 7pm - The Lake Country Project Ekphrastic Art Show & Poetry Reading

The Raven Gallery

690 Westfield Way • Pewaukee, WI 53072

10 Artists + 10 Poets = One Vision

On Saturday, October 17th, 2009 at 7pm, The Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets will have its first, fine art show and poetry reading at The Raven Gallery, owned by artist and editor Troy Tatlock, 690 Westfield Way, Pewaukee, WI 53072. We will kick off the evening with live music performed by Nick Scholz and Shino Ishioka, followed by a poetry reading with an intermission. Audience members will have the opportunity to meet our artists and poets to learn more about their work. Our artists include: Barbara Reinhart, Toby Colton, Holly Kallie, Orel Rooney, Anne Raskopf, Heidi Hallett, Dint Sweitzer, Luke Wein, Troy Tatlock, and Judith Reidy. Our poets include: Cristina Norcross, Liz Rhodebeck, Paula Anderson, Khristian Kay, Betty Rose, Sue Huebner, Mike Lane, Fred Kreutz, Abby Lorenz, and Kathleen Carlson. For more information about this event, please direct questions to either Cristina Norcross ( or Liz Rhodebeck (262-695-2761).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Upcoming Poetry Readings - Cristina M. R. Norcross


Sat. Sept. 12th, 2009 at 10:15am / The Women's Center, Jeri Phillips Charity Walk and Poetry Reading (Waukesha, WI)

Sat. Sept. 19th, 2009 at 6:30pm / Waukesha Food Pantry Poetry Reading at Martha Merrell's Bookstore (Waukesha, WI)

Sponsored by the Wasteland Poets

Sat. October 17th, 2009 at 7pm / The Lake Country Project Art Show & Poetry Reading at The Raven Gallery (Pewaukee, WI)

10 artists + 10 poets = 1 Vision

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Singer/Songwriter Meaghan Owens will perform LIVE at the Poetry Open Mic Night at Whelan's Coffee

Meaghan Owens will perform LIVE at the Poetry Open Mic Night at Whelan's Coffee, Sat. July 25th at 7pm, Oconomowoc, WI. (

Meaghan Owens is an Americana songwriter from Wisconsin. Meaghan has released one cd with favorable reviews and airplay in American College/ Indie Radio and European radio. She splits her time between Nashville, Wisconsin, and touring. She is currently co-producing her second cd with Sigmund Snopek III. Meaghan's new album will feature the best Milwaukee and Nashville players including members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Meaghan tours nationally and regularly performs in Songwriter Festivals. Most recently, her song, "Copper Pennies" written for the Steel Bridge Songwriter Festival in Sturgeon Bay, was selected for the festival headquarters website. You can hear her newest song at or go to her myspace to see a complete list of shows:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Poetry Open Mic Night at Whelan's Coffee in Oconomowoc, WI

Hello Fellow Lake Country Poets!

Here are the details for the upcoming Poetry Open Mic Night, Sat. July 25th from 7-9pm, at Whelan's Coffee House in Oconomowoc, to benefit the Oconomowoc Food Pantry!

We will have LIVE music to kick off our evening with the talented musician and songwriter, Meg Owen. The Lake Country Poets will have a featured reading from 7-8pm and the open mic will be from 8-9pm. The open mic is open to all local writers and those who feel the calling of the poetic muse! Come on out and share your verse!

All attending are asked to bring 1 non-perishable/canned food item to donate to the Oconomowoc Food Pantry. Poetry with a purpose!

Poetry Open Mic Night
Saturday, July 25th / 7-9pm

Whelan's Coffee
165 East Wisconsin Ave.

Please feel free to let friends, family and other writers know about this event!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Promoting Your Poetry!

Hello Fellow Poets!

I wanted to share a recent poem called "What the Sea Brings". I wrote this poem while vacationing on Martha's Vineyard and plan to save it for a later collection of water-themed poems. I came up with an idea to create free poetry postcards and spread them around at local bookstores, libraries and coffeehouses as well as to give them out at poetry readings. I thought I would share this poet promo idea with the other writers here, because it's such a great way to get your work out there and in the hands of potential readers. Vista Print has a good deal on oversized postcards that you can customize with designs and your poem on the back! Make sure you list your name, copyright date, and your writer's website address (if you have one) or an e-mail address where readers can contact you. Give it a try!

Spread poetry widely and often!

What the Sea Brings

Water secrets,
spread from depths of salty blue -
the sea washes clean
sandy edges and pebbled worlds.

Each wave laps
against the shore with pause -
the heartbeat of the land -
a reminder of stillness.

Boats in the harbor exchange glances,
conversing over sails -
voyages to the center of time.

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Copyright 2009

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Author of:
Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art (2006, 2007)
The Red Drum (Pub. Date Nov. 2008)


Regular guest appearing on "The Sound of Ink" at The SpeakEasy Cafe on Blog Talk Radio:
Thursdays @ 6pm Central/ 7pm Eastern

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Father's Day Poem


I am a storyteller because of your stories.
Sharing with me the fabric of our family,
characters come to life.
I imagine my grandfather and great grandfather
teaching you how to build train layouts
or how to play stick ball.
A rich history unfolds with each re-telling
of tradition and anecdote.

I may pretend to know each line,
but secretly I want to hear how the story ends
over and over,
until I commit my ancestors to memory –
the kind of knowing that comes
from faces being painted on a wall.

The mystery of life is happening right now,
in this swirl within a salt pond
, you said.
We knelt by the edge of this tiny, aquatic universe
and shared a moment of awe for what God creates –
for how small we are in comparison
to the expansiveness of nature.

As I look at my sons,
I wonder what stories I will tell them about you,
to ensure that memory holds the key
to the wonder that is you –
my father.

You take pride in your projects,
regardless of the outcome.
You show me the miracle of small things every day.
Your eyes light up when you see me,
and you still pat me on the head.
I remember how you used to call me,
Little Person.
I still beam and glow.

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Copyright 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Listen Up & Tune In to The SpeakEasy Cafe Open Mic Poetry Show - "Sound of Ink"

If you love to write/hear poetry, check out The SpeakEasy Cafe's "Sound of Ink" Open Mic Poetry night on Blog Talk Radio every Thursday Night at 6pm Central Time / 7pm Eastern Time:

I plan on becoming a regular contributor to this poetry open mic on the radio!

This week was my first appearance. If you missed the show, just download the free podcast from iTunes for Thursday, May 14th, 2009!

If you fast forward to approx. 8 min. 30 sec., I chat with the show's host and read my poem "One Story" (inspired by the film Synecdoche, New York by Charlie Kaufman) until minute 12:12.

Thank you for reading and listening!

Here is the poem, "One Story"

One Story

There are nearly thirteen million people in the world. None of those people is an extra. They're all the leads of their own stories.

~Charlie Kaufman, from his film, Synecdoche, New York

Playing the lead in a haystack,
existing side-by-side in our solitary lives,
solace comes when we join these needles together –
the thread of life.

Jumping into character,
taking leave of the present world –
who wears your clothes when you sleep?

I am just a forgotten pebble –
a spark of granite daring to glint.
You see me walking down the street –
out of focus lines of arms and legs –
a disappearing narrative.

The screens keep getting wider –
a stage full of leading ladies and leading men.
They all spin in circles –
red curtains flying.

The cleaner, unheard,
leaves all untouched except the dust.
The man attached to his phone,
alone on the airport walkway –
his family waits.
The actress learns her lines on a threadbare couch,
sitting on hope.
We are all One Story.

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Copyright 2009

Friday, May 01, 2009

A Mother's Day Poem - PASS IT ON!

Mother’s Day
(for my mother)

Anticipating needs,
in tune with moods –
even from across the ocean.
The road to home begins
with the memory of a mother’s welcome.

When you walked with unstable gait,
she held one finger for reassurance –
two fingers for balance.

With blue spotlights shining
on a stage of dancers in pink tulle,
her applause filled the room –
her pride lifting your arms even higher.

The science project that refused to spin,
sent her on a late night, craft store expedition.
The satin ribbon still sits in a box of reflection.

Walking down the aisle, you notice perfection –
a mother’s precise planning.
Smiles appear –
framed by white flowers and ribbons on pews.
Platters arrive with culinary concoctions for every palate.
Boxes and boutique bags are whisked away and stored,
as your car travels to the first night’s chateau –
a trip with your honey to the moon.

On this day of mothers,
all standing in a row of love,
let the thank you from your lips
reach the patient ears
of the woman listening
for all of these years.

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Copyright 2009

FREE POEMS! I will be giving away free, signed copies of this Mother's Day poem, printed on parchment paper at the upcoming Aprons in the Wind show, Sat. May 9th, 2009 at The Lakes Gallery in North Lake, Wisconsin. Local businesses will also have copies to give out Mother's Day week-end, as a special promotion to give poetry as a gift! The two fine art/poetry giclee collections in collaboration with artists Anne Wall and Holly Kallie will be on exhibit (May 1- June 2) at The Lakes Gallery as well!

Distribute Widely! If you would like to have this special poem to give to your mother, just e-mail me, and I will send you a copy to print out! I will also have this poem on the Home Page of my website. Pass on the link!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Exhibition of Art and Poetry

"She Slept Like a Log" Painting by Holly Kallie, Copyright 2008

The water’s current is a lullaby.
The air brushes her hair in sleep.
The wood’s grain welcomes floating dreams ~
exquisite balance.

Excerpted from “All is in Balance”
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Copyright 2008

"Awaken the Senses" Painting by Anne Wall, Copyright 2005

Petals of self unfurl,
like a rose uncovering the world.
Senses find space to roam
in a cavernous mind.

Excerpted from “Awaken the Senses”
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Copyright 2008

An Exhibition of Art and Poetry to be Featured at the Upcoming Aprons in the Wind Show at The Lakes Gallery, North Lake, WI

Lovingly woven within intricate stitching, the history of steamy kitchens and bubbling pots evokes the scene of hearth and home that a mother creates. The symbol of an apron waving in the wind brings back memories of nurturance floating in the air. In honor of Mother's Day (May 10th) and National Wear Your Apron Day (May 11th), artist Teri Peterson, owner of the The Lakes Gallery ( in North Lake, Wisconsin will be hosting Aprons in the Wind (May 8th-11th), an apron event of vast fabric proportions, as a tribute to women everywhere.

The Lakes Gallery of Fine Art LLC is housed within an historic 1906 Garden Tudor home set against an idyllic, pastoral setting. The Lakes Gallery is also home to Teri Peterson’s new business, Revival Consignment ( The gallery features 3 rooms of artwork from over 20 artists and intermingles with consigned women's clothing and accessories, as well as artisan jewelry and handmade clothing.

Aprons in the Wind invites you to dedicate a fabric apron to your mother, grandmother, sister, or any special woman in your life.  In tribute, these colorful aprons will be displayed on a clothes line that will span the outdoor property of the gallery on Mother's Day weekend and the following Monday (May 8th -11th). The Aprons in the Wind exhibit will be on display sunrise to sunset. The aprons will become a permanent part of the exhibit, displayed every Mother's Day weekend. There is no limit to the number of aprons for dedication.

For more information, as well as the mailing address where aprons can be sent for the event, please visit The Lakes Gallery website: You will even find a link to a pattern for how to sew your very own apron out of 1 yard of fabric!

As an added feature, The Lakes Gallery will be presenting a special, limited engagement exhibition (May 1st – June 1st) of the collaborative, ekphrastic works of artists Holly Kallie and Anne Wall with poet Cristina M. R. Norcross. The two collections, Poetic Captured Reflections and Soulful Inspirations, are comprised of hand-signed, fine art, poetry giclées, created from original artwork by each artist and original verse by the author. Each scene of beauty and form reveals a life beyond our earthly borders, inspiring poetic stories of the soul’s journey. Each giclée is unique, invoking the reader to live more fully in the present moment, by incorporating rich colors, evocative images and poetic narratives. These giclées are available for purchase through The Lakes Gallery and make a wonderfully thoughtful Mother’s Day gift to be cherished and appreciated.
Anne Wall and Holly Kallie are both members of The Griffin Gallery in Oconomowoc, WI (

Anne Wall (Soulful Inspirations) ( is an artist, athlete and sports marketing consultant known internationally for her work in brand protection. She holds a BS in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from Medill at Northwestern University. While traveling and participating in a variety of sports, Wall has captured the spirit of outdoor adventures and the beauty of nature through her enduring works of art.

Holly Kallie (Poetic Captured Reflections) (, a founding member of The Griffin Gallery of Fine Art in Oconomowoc, WI, is a self-taught artist who has been drawing and painting all of her life.  Her favorite subjects are women and children in settings that include area lakes or the seashore. Ms. Kallie’s artistic intention is to show the similarity and connection between feminine energy and the flowing, reflective surface and depths of the water surrounding them.

Cristina M. R. Norcross ( is a freelance writer and poet living in Wisconsin with over 50 published works in literary magazines in the United States, England, Wales, Canada and Algeria.  Ms. Norcross is the author of two published books - Land & Sea: Poetry Inspired by Art (2007) and The Red Drum (2008), both available on  She is currently the co-editor for The Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets, and her upcoming book, Living Nature’s Moments, is in collaboration with Fine Art photographer Pat Bashford.  

Within the many-layered hues of an image, lives a hidden world of story and verse. Likewise, vivid memories can come to life by examining a single thread. Aprons, art and poetry align together to create a special weekend. Please join us for an exciting event and a unique exhibit celebrating the human spirit. What better way to honor Mother’s Day than to attend a show of loving tributes at the Aprons in the Wind event, exclusively at The Lakes Gallery in North Lake.

Contact details: Teri Peterson, The Lakes Gallery of Fine Art, N76 W31428 County Road, V.V.
Hartland, WI 53029, Tel. (262) 966-1804, Website:

Where else can you find this beautiful artwork and poetry on display?

The Soulful Inspirations and Poetic Captured Reflections collections are currently on display as part of a special engagement at The Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine ( located at 1166 Quail Court, Suite 210, Pewaukee, WI 53072, Tel. 262 695 9744.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets - CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets


We are seeking to help promote the creative works of visual artists and writers in the Lake Country community by creating a project of collaborative, ekphrastic art (Ekphrasis: poetry inspired by art - the conversation between two mediums of art). We will organize visual artists and poets into compatible pairs. Each creative pair will have 2-3 months to work together to create 1 painting and 1 poem. The artist and poet can come up with a theme together, the painter may offer up an original work for the poet to write about, or the poet may have a poem they wish to offer for inspiration to the artist.

There is a two-part scope to the Lake Country Project for Artists and Poets, which will be co-facilitated in partnership with PAAC (The Pewaukee Area Arts Council). There will be art shows and poetry readings at several venues, starting fall 2009, featuring the completed ekphrastic works of each artistic team. There is also a proposed anthology of Lake Country Artists and Poets (publication date still to be determined) offering the opportunity for wide exposure for all contributors.

Liz Rhodebeck and Cristina Norcross will be co-editors of the book project and judges for the poetry submissions. Troy Tatlock will be the art advisor for judging art submissions.

Call for Submissions: January 12th – March 23, 2009

Editorial Reading Period: all candidates will be notified by May 1st, 2009 about final selections for the project.

Those who either live or work in Lake Country are welcome to submit. Lake Country is defined by communities which feed into the following high school districts:

Arrowhead HS
Kettle Moraine HS
Pewaukee HS
Oconomowoc HS

Visit the PAAC website for full details and guidelines:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The 15th Annual Poetry Marathon at Woodland Pattern Book Center

I had the great honor of participating in the 15th Annual Poetry Marathon at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this past Saturday, January 31, 2009. The poetry readings ran from 10am until 1am the next day. This was truly a wonderful, literary experience. I want to thank our hosts at Woodland Pattern, the people who sponsored my time slot of 11am-12noon, as well as the local businesses who sponsored each hour of the marathon. This was my first time reading at this event. I explained to the audience that I was a recent transplant from New Hampshire. I felt very welcome in this supportive environment of very talented writers and appreciative listeners. What a wonderful crowd! I only wish I could have stayed to listen to all of the hours of performances. In the evening, they even had an hour devoted to songwriters and musicians who took turns with poets, and I think they had some collaborative efforts between writers and musicians.

The talent in that room was mind blowing! Each poet read an average of 4 poems, some just had one long spectacular poem to share. I was one of only two female poets during this hour. The rest were male poets who were all so clever and humorous in their styles. Our last poet even used props. The applause in that one room sounded like hundreds, because of the sincere appreciation of the audience. I felt very lucky to be surrounded by such fine writers. There is so much creative, synergistic energy when a group of poets get together.

Thank you to Woodland Pattern and thank you to my fellow poets for a wonderful day! I hope to return next year with a new set of poetic offerings to share.

If you happen to be in Milwaukee, Woodland Pattern Book Center now carries several copies of my latest poetry book, The Red Drum. Go in and have a browse at this amazing independent bookstore. You will find yourself gazing at the shelves in wonder at their thoughtful selections.

Thank you to Woodland Pattern for supporting local writers!

Keep Reading!
Cristina M. R. Norcross

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Reminder for Writers to be in the Flow

There is no greater feeling as a writer than to be in the flow of the creative process. It is that time when the clock on the wall (or the digital time in the upper right hand corner of your computer) no longer exists. You are so focused on your passionate journey through the worlds of fiction, that it is as if you are swimming underwater for miles and miles without ever needing to come up for air.

Sometimes, we need to warm up our brains and hearts to get to this desired entry to the flow of writing, but once we are there nothing short of being short-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction will cause us to take our eyes off the page. What takes the writer’s intensity away from the act of writing after a project is complete, and necessarily so, is the need to market, publicize and sell the book that took two years to write. Finding balance between selling books and writing books can be quite frustrating, and it can cause a certain literary malaise to fall like a curtain.

I have yet to find the balance between promoting books and the process of writing a new poetry collection. To be honest, I find it difficult to find the juggler’s balance between being a writer, mother, wife, chauffeur, cleaner, cook, folder of laundry, events organizer, editor, and daydreamer. What makes me think I can fulfill the roles within the scope of being an author too?

While it may take me the rest of my life to figure out this question that many women writers before me have faced and which all writers endure, one thing remains certain – with an eye for creation, a vision firmly set on the new world created through the interplay of words, I can help others heal, find joy, and reflect on this wondrous life. This is the reason why I write – to be a light for my own dreams and to shine a halo of inspiration over the many journeys my readers take every day. If I can stay true to this purpose, I will never lose sight of why I write in the first place – not to sell books, but to create them. (Of course, feel free to buy my books, like The Red Drum that just came out in November!!! Excuse the plug – it was a moment of weakness.) I write because I cannot imagine a life without writing and the surprise of the discovered, beautiful expression that ensues from playing with the roll of words on the tongue.

Keep writing and reading. Stay in the flow and your heart will lead you to yet another undiscovered land, where life holds truth in the center of an outstretched palm.

Peace & Poetry,
Cristina M. R. Norcross
Author of: Land & Sea (2007) AND The Red Drum (2008)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Kindred spirits mix mediums to celebrate life"

The Paintings & Poetry Event made front page news!

Check out this wonderful article by Living Lake Country reporter Paige Smaga! Click on the headline below:

Kindred spirits mix mediums to celebrate life

And don't forget to come out to this exciting, fun charity event featuring the oil paintings of Anne Raskopf, poetry by Cristina M. R. Norcross, Liz Rhodebeck, Mary Jo Balistreri and Charles P. Ries at The Lakes Gallery of Fine Art in North Lake, WI.

January 17th 2009 / at The Lakes Gallery of Fine Art

Free Event!
Door Prizes!

Donations collected for The American Heart Association and the rebuilding of The Merton Town Hall Library

Paintings and Poetry for a good cause!