Michelle Wildgen

My day jobs are many. I have four professional “selves”: I write fiction, I teach at Madison Writers’ Studio, I’m the executive editor at Tin House Magazine, and I’m also a freelance editor.

I always intended to pursue writing, and when I was in grad school at Sarah Lawrence, one of my former teachers told me about an intern position with the literary magazine Tin House. It was there I discovered I also loved the editing process.

For years I focused on writing and editing, and several years after grad school, I came back to Madison. It wasn’t until a writing workshop at the UW needed a replacement teacher that I started to teach writing and discovered I also enjoyed that. Later, along with Susanna Daniel, I founded the Madison Writers’ Studio. Our goal was to create an intimate setting for writers—both established and aspiring—where they could inspire and encourage each other. Our studio model is similar to that of the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in New York.

Even if I had all the money in the world, I still think I’d have multiple professions—I’d be bored if I only did one thing.

My most memorable caffeine was an enormous—even toxically large–iced coffee from Victor Allen’s that I drank one day at my first job after college. I was incredibly productive for about three hours after consuming it, then basically passed out at my desk. I still love my coffee, though. Every night when I go to bed I think, “Soon, I will wake up and drink coffee.”

My current caffeine of choice is typically straight-up black coffee or coffee with a lot of hot milk. Sometimes I’ll go crazy and have a latte, but I’m not really picky about it.

My favorite place for caffeine is Bradbury’s Coffee. I love to go there on Saturdays with my daughter for crepes.

The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Laurie Colwin, the author of one of my favorite novels, “Happy All the Time.” I actually named my daughter, Holly, after a character in that story. I think Colwin would have been tremendous fun and was surprisingly sad to realize she was already dead by the time I discovered her.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: figuring out which one to tackle! There are so many out there it’s hard to know where to start.