• Address 720 East Locust Street | Milwaukee, WI 53212
  • Phone 414.263.5001
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mon
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm, Closed Mon
Event Calendar
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readings & workshops
November 19

Poetry Reading: Santee Frazier & Franklin K.R. Cline

readings & workshops
November 21

Offsite Talk: Native American Identity & the Politics of the Poetic Image 

readings & workshops
December 3

Ultimate Truth Poetry Reading and Book Release

readings & workshops
December 6

Heddy Keith author of Through it All

readings & workshops
December 9

Poetry Reading: Tonya M. Foster & Samiya Bashir

performances
December 10

Alternating Currents Live presents Nicole Mitchell Quartet

special events
January 27 -28

24th Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit

Archived readings & workshops
Oct 7 Wednesday, October 7
10:00am, $10 | FREE for those who pledge a reader for $35 or more

Join Cowfeather Press and Woodland Pattern Book Center to celebrate new work by Wisconsin based poets Rubén Medina, Wendy Vardaman & Sarah Busse (Sarah Sadie)


 

Rubén Medina was born in Mexico City in 1955. He is a poet, translator, academic, editor, and one of the founders of Infrarrealism. He has lived in the US since 1978 and received an NEA in poetry in 1981. In poetry he has published Báilame este viento, Mariana (1980), Amor de lejos...Fools’ Love (1986), the first edition of Nomadic Nation / Nación nómada (2010), and poems in numerous anthologies in the US, Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. In the area of research his works include: Autor, autoridad y autorización: escritura y poética de Octavio Paz (1999) and Genealogías del presente y del pasado: Literatura y cine meXicanos (2010). In collaboration with John Burns, he translated a major anthology of Beat poetry: Una pandilla de salvajes improvisando a las puertas del infierno (2012). Recently he edited Perros habitados por las voces del desierto. Poesía infrarrealista entre dos siglos (2014). Since 1991 he has taught at UW–Madison.

 

Wendy Vardaman is the author of Obstructed View (Fireweed Press 2009) and Reliquary of Debt (Lit Fest Press 2015), the co-editor of four anthologies, and a board member for the Council for Wisconsin Writers. With husband, Thomas DuBois, she has three adult children and has never owned a car.

 

Sarah Busse (Sarah Sadie) is the author of Somewhere Piano (Mayapple Press, 2012) and Do-It-Yourself Paper Airplanes (Five Oaks Press, 2015). She writes for the Patheos Pagan channel at patheos.com and teaches at the Loft and the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

Together, Vardaman and Busse co-edited the anthologies Echolocations, Poets Map Madison and Local Ground(s)—Midwest Poetics, and founded Cowfeather Press. They currently share the Madison Poet Laureate position (2012-2015).

 

 

Cowfeather Press, founded by Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman in 2011, is a two-woman volunteer operation committed to developing a place for poetry in civic discourse, everyday life, and ritual, as well as to expanding and connecting communities of poets and readers. At Cowfeather Press, we believe poetry matters, and we reach towards an aesthetic that represents the diversity of the Midwest. We encourage conversations on the page, stage, screen, and in other public spaces which embrace, challenge, and explore both our differences and our common humanity.


 

Blue Flame, Blue Wave

 

My home was a shallow Cambrian sea.

Now, it’s a grit of sand, smoke from a forge,

twisted sheets still damp. This is Wisconsin.

If I tell you I still hear the surf will you

believe me, or

believe the

easy glosses, home and love,

I live how restless walls can be,

how trembly mornings before

the flare and catch, pitched

on the cliffedge

of trust, of the truest

words I ever wrote: everything

happens at once. But closer to the bone:

arrangement wedded to accident, another way

to say, I said then, doorway, escape.

 

          —Sarah Sadie, from Do-It-Yourself Paper Airplanes          

 

 

(Madison. Reliquary. St. Monica’s Day)

 

Half-way tempted minutes after you leave

to sweep up the trimmings from your last

haircut

off the bathroom floor, the sink, the countertop, and save

them in some sacred box—the way I’ve saved

each lost tooth, last

bits of blood still clinging to their worn roots—

I brush my hand across fogged glass, remove

 

the curled lock pasted there, scrap-booked valentine,

yellow-edged, from someone who no longer calls,

transport this last

of you that’s left on the end of one

processional fingertip, careful not to let it drop until

I reach its final resting place—the trash.

 

          —Wendy Vardaman, from Reliquary of Debt (Lit Fest Press 2015)          

 

 

MAPA DEL DíA

 

I am in all the places I

      want to be

 

Camino por las

calles de Madison

mirando

en el horizonte

las montañas

de Oaxaca

and the clouds

playing tricks

on my gaze

 

Respiro

el olor de las jacarandas

y sudores

del DF

telling me

of secrets

wars

and public

pleasures

 

I find pieces of the moon

on my nails

murmurándome

de encuentros

en La Habana

Jalapa

y calle Dolores

 

Escucho

el gemido del mar

del golfo

y del pacífico

en un solo

y enorme latido

 

I feel Winter’s air

of Minnesota

bringing me

mañanitas

frías

en Tijuana

 

Me voy a dormir

en el centro

de Monte Albán

bajo las estrellas

de octubre

and I wake up

on a bus ride

to Querétaro

in the middle

of January

or at the edge

of Lake Mendota

en una noche

de mayo

 

I am in all the places I

      want to be

 

Mi cuerpo

es un país

sin fronteras

 

Aquí y aquí

 

Estratégicamente viviendo

Tacticly speaking


          —Rubén Medina, from Nomadic Nation/Nación nómada (Cowfeather Press, 2015)