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Arts in Milwaukee

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Freesia McKee

  • Literature
I am a Literary Professional

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artist bio

Freesia McKee is one of Milwaukee's most distinctive emerging creative voices.
Freesia's relentless drive to write on diverse topics and her community-oriented advocacy has yielded bright recognition and broad publication.

Freesia's written work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Gertrude, Painted Bride Quarterly, Verse Wisconsin, Burdock 13, the Outrider Review, Stone Highway Review, The Boiler Journal, the Undergraduate Journal of Service-Learning and Community-based Research, Food Politic, and other venues. Freesia's controversial article in Food Politic yielded over 4,000 likes on Facebook with an impact reverberating across the country.

Locally, Freesia has read her poetry alongside Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland, Dasha Kelly, Charlie Rossiter, Angie Trudell Vasquez, Anja Notanja Sieger, and many others. Freesia has been a featured poet at Linneman's Poet's Mondays and a participant in Woodland Pattern's annual Poetry Marathon. Freesia is co-coordinator of a writing group, MARNwriters, at the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network. She also volunteers with cream city review and other community organizations.

Freesia is a graduate of Warren Wilson College with a degree in Gender & Women's Studies and a minor in Creative Writing.

*Photo credit: Scott Enk

artist statement

Big Name

Certain kinds
of writers say

the book works
its way up, not you

but I know there is no real way
to dig but through, like a dog.

“I am working on a book,”
she says for us to say. I wonder how

that feels: I’m obsessed with a parallel person
who wouldn’t still have six messy piles

of old crossed papers and nothing up
on our short orange walls. “Everyone has

a book in them,” someone else says. Somewhere,
I guess, but most of these weeks swallow down

like a quick late lunch before I remember
I still have to dig out my name with my hands.

This parallel person would
know when to fight to the nail:

she would grow steel
paws to dig stones

beneath our days
already wolfed down.