Door County's favorite poet.

July Musings by Donna Johnson


I recently had the honor of speaking with one of Door County’s treasures, Barbara Larsen of Sister Bay. I have admired Barbara and her poetry ever since I first heard her read one of her poems at an open mic at the Dickinson Poetry Series. I later attended the Dickinson Poetry Series when Barbara was the featured reader.

She has been inspired by the beauty in nature around her home on a bluff over-looking the Green Bay waters for 30 years. Her journal entries and later poetry have a strong philosophical bent. Poet’s Nest is her eighth book to be published and includes journal entries in her own hand and her rich poetry. She has won a number of awards, including the Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Jade Ring Prize for Excellence in Poetry. Active in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets for many years, she is also a member of the Wallace Group critiquing circle. She was appointed the Door County Poet Laureate for 2011-2012, where she was tasked with building a larger audience for the appreciation of poetry as well as encouraging area poets through various activities. She has encouraged many poets through her workshops at Bjorklunden and The Clearing, as well as by example.



Go now

to the shore

breathe water-washed air

dance on sand

let your spirit soar with gulls

Find magic in the woods

in meadow in the marsh

take on strength of reed

delight in sudden mushrooms

Be overwhelmed by stars

become the rising moon

freed from clouds

the owl’s call

Climb ancient rock

enter the colors of sunset

shape memories

hold them in the palm of your heart

~ Barbara Larsen

(First published in Poet’s Nest)

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