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  • 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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special events
April 21

Join us for the 13th annual RIVERWEST FOLLIES variety show

performances
April 22

ACL presents Renee Baker Quartet, Visual Dark Scratch Suite

exhibitions
April 22

Woman: Frailty Thy Name, works by Renee Baker

readings & workshops
April 25

Reading: Toni Jensen

readings & workshops
April 26

Four Milwaukee Poets: Alix Anne Shaw with Annie Grizzle, Sam Pekarske & Bethany Price

readings & workshops
April 28

Wisconsin Reads: Reading with Louise Erdrich (video streamed to Woodland Pattern)

readings & workshops
May 2

Poetry Reading: Rena Priest and Denise Low

readings & workshops
May 2

Craft Talk with Denise Low at UWM

readings & workshops
May 10

Birds in Poetry at Urban Ecology Center

performances
May 13

Alternating Currents Live presents: The Transatlantic Bridge #11

readings & workshops
May 16

Kundiman Midwest Chapbook Series Noel Pabillo Mariano

performances
May 17

Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

readings & workshops
May 24

Poetry Reading: Urban Echo Poets

performances
June 3

ACL presents: Tom Hamilton & City of Vorticity

C.S. Giscombe

C. S. Giscombe was born in Dayton, Ohio. His poetry books are Prairie Style, Two Sections from Practical Geography, Giscome Road, Here, At Large, and Postcards; his prose book—about Canada—is Into and Out of Dislocation.Prairie Style was awarded an American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation; Giscome Road won the Carl Sandburg Prize, given by the Chicago Public Library. C. S. Giscombe's writing has also won him fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, and the Canadian Embassy. He has worked as a taxi driver, as a hospital orderly, as a railroad brakeman, and for years edited a national literary magazine (Epoch, at Cornell University). His writing has appeared in several anthologies—the Best American Poetry series, the Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry, Telling It Slant: Avant-Garde Poetics of the 1990s, Bluesprint: Black British Columbia Literature and Orature, Lyrical Postmodernisms, etc. He is a long-distance cyclist. He teaches poetry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Selected Poems

from Prairie Style


C.S. Giscombe

 

The Old Northwest
The dear old Northwest, laced up at the wrist like Frankenstein, and shambling like him too, the old Northwest. (The name applied to that monster, in those movies themselves he was nameless and unnamed; and he never spoke, he was truly simple. What was said later, say two big girls hulking around after you, that that was the name they looked like. And you the singular passion—a blunt argument—that ranged around the dear old Northwest.)

Some questions push or shove like they were magic or like they thought they were. The monster's based on something looking enough like anybody to be a reference—you see him when you fear yourself and give him ways to talk, what he'd say if he could pick up a horn and have something to say; or make up stories and tell them in his voice because voice comes to that, voice goes to that. 


Canadian Nights
You said, "the transition is happiness." I'd wanted to drive out to the end of the continent and I have. Erotic certainty might be the way to a city at the border—an irreversible value, the shape of essay and desolation. How complete does the transition need to be? The joke I was always trying to tell wasn't really about Canada but about the "extent of overlapping." It's been mackerel skies all day. As you know, I'm still a nature boy. Looking back I wanted—I want—to equal the whole prairie.
for Barry McKinnon