2020 Readers

Barrett Westberg – Let Go of the Reins

Barrett is a poet who likes writing poetry in the form of poems. He’s going to read one poetically for you today.


Cindy Voorhies – The Two Dollar Cat

This is Cindy’s first submission to A Picture and a Thousand Words. Thanks to a gentle nudge from Judy Bridges, founder of Redbird and The Clearing Women Writers Retreat, Cindy discovered P1K and Kim Suhr’s Red Oak Studio. The Tuesday roundtable group helped immensely with Cindy’s first draft of this piece, as well as bolstering her confidence to finally hit the submit button before the deadline.


Jan Wilberg – Taco Night at the Chinese Restaurant

Jan writes personal essays, memoir, and social commentary on her blog Red’s Wrap. Several of her essays have been featured on WUWM’s Lake Effect and she has had essays published in the New York Times, Newsweek, and several anthologies. She is the 2019 winner of the Wisconsin Writers Association humor writing award. Jan is a very big fan of and frequent participant in Red Oak Writing.


Julie Offutt – Tampon Annie

Julie is a Milwaukee based writer with a love for fiction about the darker side of human behavior and our dual capacity for evil and good, the complexities of love and hate, obsession and grief, jealousy and rage, the female psyche. Her characters are at once scrutinized but then rewarded for their recklessness. 

Her work has appeared in irreverent birthday cards and Pink Panther Magazine.


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Kim Suhr – Musings on the Conversation Between the Funeral Ladies as They Strung Beads for the Bereaved

Kim is author of the Nothing to Lose (Cornerstone Press, 2018), Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom (2012) and co-author of the as-told-to memoir, Ramon: An Immigrant’s Journey. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Solstice Program at Pine Manor College where she was the Dennis Lehane Fellow in 2013. Her writing has appeared in various publications. Kim is Director of Red Oak Writing where she leads Writers’ Roundtable critique groups, provides manuscript critiques  and coaching, and leads the summer Creative Writing Camps for youth. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys gardening, time outdoors with her family and being a fan-girl for her almost grown children in their various pursuits.

Kim Suhr (she), Director

Red Oak Writing, llc




Judy Bridges – Her Name is Rosemary

Judy Bridges is the founder of Redbird Studio and author of the acclaimed guidebook, Shut Up & Write. After 25 years helping others to write well and get published, Judy is once again picking up the pen. “Her Name is Rosemary” responds to the hazy mood set by this photo of Arlington Cemetery. 



Jackie Breezer – Treehugger 

Jackie Breezer is an engineer by training, with a BS and MS from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. She discovered her love of writing while composing her Master’s thesis, and took up writing in her spare time. Over the years she has written poetry, essays, and a novel, none of which have yet to see the light of day. She left corporate America last year to take a sabbatical and venture into finding a new path for sharing her ideas. This is her first writing submission, and she is bravely making her debut reading here tonight. Her stories bring to light her unique way of seeing the world with a sense of wonder and magic.



Stephen Jansen – The Reefer and the Brush

Stephen Jansen is the author of “The Reefer and the Brush”.  Steve has twice been selected for a public reading for Milwaukee’s ‘A Picture and a Thousand Words’ writing contest. He lives in Milwaukee with his cat and enjoys writing songs for his start up alternative rock band (Virgin Ambition).


Darlene Junker The Arrival                                                                

Darlene taught middle school in the Milwaukee Public Schools for thirty-six years.  She earned an Interior Design degree after retirement.  She has enjoyed a lifetime study of writing, piano, and guitar  Her current literary works in progress include a children’s series featuring rescued animals, a young adult novel about an emancipated foster child, a compilation of interviews from those who have lost young people to suicide, and a compilation of essays and poems to encourage and advise new adults.  


Shannon Alexander – photo contributor