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Monday, April 26, 2010

Amy Lou Jenkins’ ‘Five Seasons’

Plus: Richard Cutler’s memoir and a poetry reading

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The enchantment of our natural surroundings grows stronger in spring, when the sight of flowers blooming, the sound of birds returning north and the smell of greening lawns and gardens heighten the senses. Amy Lou Jenkins, author of the upcoming Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting, is helping to cultivate Milwaukee’s interest in the beauty of nature by offering weekly workshops focused on nonfiction writings about place, environment, agriculture and green living. Budding penmen are invited to unearth their creativity by attending Jenkins’ weekly seminars. Two local businesses will welcome these limited-space workshops during the month of May. The Urban Ecology Center will host courses on Mondays (May 3-24) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and the Wauwatosa Public Library is scheduled to hold classes on Tuesdays (May 4-25) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Workshop participants will be invited to perform original pieces in conjunction with Jenkins’ book-launch parties May 24 at the Urban Ecology Center and May 25 at the Wauwatosa Public Library.

Memoirs continue to fascinate serious scholars, book club devotees and general bookworms alike. Milwaukee is home to numerous authors whose incredible life stories have turned into worthy tomes. The latest, Richard Cutler, chronicles his time as a lawyer, entrepreneur and community service leader in I Came, I Saw, I Wrote. Cutler, who was instrumental in shaping the growth of metropolitan Milwaukee, also worked as a spy for the U.S. Army, led local planning for safe land use and water issues, and helped to bring the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee, where they later became our Milwaukee Brewers. Cutler’s life has been dedicated to fair business practices and public service. To top it off, I Came, I Saw, I Wrote establishes him as a legitimate author as well. Cutler will share his story at Boswell Book Co. on Thursday, April 29, at 7 p.m.

Since 1996, April has been dubbed “National Poetry Month” as part of an effort to promote poetry books and performances. But that doesn’t mean your love for lyrical beauty can’t extend into other months. Oconomowoc’s Books & Co. kicks off the new month with its “Community Poetry Reading.” On Saturday, May 1, at 7 p.m., Books & Co. encourages neighborhood residents to display their original works or recite famous ballads. Registration for those reciting poetry is requested.

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