Michel: A deep bench of writers

Celebrating the magazine's writers and editors
Michel: A deep bench of writers

I’ve lost count of the number of subscribers who say they turn first to John Roach’s column when they receive their copy of Madison Magazine. There’s something about Roach’s style of storytelling that has captivated readers of this magazine for more than 25 years. Maybe it’s his biting humor, touching stories or razor-sharp critiques on anything that gets under his skin that keeps readers wanting more. Whatever it is, I am grateful to former editor Doug Moe – another favorite of readers – for his instinct to put Roach on the back page.

Roach marked his quarter-century milestone with Madison Magazine by publishing a book of selected columns, “While I Have Your Attention,” and we’re delighted to include an excerpt, starting on page 28. In the introduction, former editor Brennan Nardi describes what it was like to edit Roach, and does so in her trademark style that rivals the witticism in the excerpted columns by Roach.

While the release of Roach’s new book is cause for celebration, it also got me thinking about the magazine’s deep bench of writers. I just mentioned Moe and Nardi, each who not only served as the top editor but also continue to write for us monthly. Add to that list former editor Neil Heinen, who currently serves as editorial director and writes his For The Record column each month. And I must give a shout-out to Managing Editor Andrea Behling, an award-winning writer, who wrote this month’s intriguing cover story on Madison-area chefs and knows our city’s food scene inside and out.

Creativity abounds in the November issue, as evidenced by the feature story on the M List. The annual list recognizes innovation in a specific category and this year it’s the arts. M list is the brainchild of Nardi, a forward thinker who has long been plugged into the community. The list is part of her editorial legacy and further distinguishes this publication as the region’s most influential magazine.

I could go on about the talent of Associate Editor Joel Patenaude and Digital Content Editor Maija Inveiss, as well as the works of acclaimed contributors Maggie Ginsberg, Aaron R. Conklin and many others too numerous to mention. But what I can say is that all of our writers know Madison, and their stories and opinion pieces resonate with readers. But it’s Roach whose voice consistently commands attention.

After all, he has The Final Word.