Children's book authors Lois Ehlert and Kevin Henkes are up there. So is poet John Koethe.
Respected biographers Margot Peters and David Maraniss are included. So are novelists A. Manette Ansay and Jane Hamilton.
Historians John Gurda and Stephen Ambrose are enshrined. And so are landmark names in Wisconsin literature of all stripes: John Muir, Carl Sandburg, Edna Ferber, Lorine Niedecker, Thornton Wilder and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Now, 140 years after his death, Increase Lapham has been added to the pantheon that is the Wisconsin Writers Hall of Fame at Milwaukee Public Library.
The wall (you can see the actual wall just inside the Wisconsin Avenue entrance of the Central Library) was the brainchild of former library director Kate Huston and was launched in 1997 with the induction of a dozen writers. New additions have been made since, bringing the total to 27, an increase that now includes Lapham (sorry).
Lapham was so honored on Tuesday, Sept. 15 in an induction ceremony that included library board president Gurda and library director Paula Kiely, along with Martha Berglund and Paul Hayes (who themselves surely might find themselves inducted someday), who wrote last year's biography of Lapham, "Studying Wisconsin."
If you missed the event, you can still see one of the members of the wall of fame in person when Maraniss appears at the Central Library to talk about his new book, a look at Detroit in the 1960s called "Once in a Great City," which got a pretty great review in the New York Times Book Review on Sunday.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.