Max Garland was named the 2013–2014 Wisconsin poet laureate by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. His other awards and honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship, a Bush Artist Fellowship and the Arts and Letters Poetry Prize.

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After skimming the Sunday Times, Dad turned to the back of the magazine
and tore out the crossword puzzle for his mother in Wisconsin—

as routine as my calligraphy class on Saturdays, flute practice
exactly twenty minutes on school nights

and astringent twice daily. I loved

These are notes to lightning in my bedroom.
A star forged from linen thread and patches.
Purple, yellow, red like diamond suckers, children

of the star gleam on sweaty nights. The quilt unfolds 
against sheets, moving, warm clouds of Chinook. 
It covers my cuts, my red birch clusters under pine.

Under it your