• 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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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

Antler

Antler's epic poem Factory was published in 1980 as #38 in the City Lights Pocket Poet Series, it was heralded by Allen Ginsberg as "the most enlightening and magnanimous American poem I've seen of '60s and '70s decades." Of Antler's book Last Words, published by Ballantine in 1986, Ginsberg said: "More fineness than I thought probable to see again in my lifetime from younger solitary unknown self-inspirer US poet." Antler: The Selected Poems was published in 2000. His latest book is Touch Each Other (2013). He won the 1987 Witter Bynner Prize awarded annually "to an outstanding younger poet" by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the 1985 Walt Whitman Award, given annually to an author "whose contribution best reveals the continuing presence of Walt Whitman in American poetry." Antler's poems have appeared in numerous periodicals, including New Directions Journal, Whole Earth Review, Utne Reader, Exquisite Corpse, Kenyon Review, New York Quarterly, Wilderness and The Sun. His poems have also appeared in over 150 anthologies, including Erotic by Nature, Son of the Male Muse, Earth Prayers, The Journey Home: The Literature of Wisconsin through Four Centuries, and American Poets Say Goodbye to the 20th Century. He has performed his poetry across America and beyond. He was chosen to be Milwaukee's second Poet Laureate for 2002-2003. More Antler info.

Selected Poems

Atheist Blows Up Baby Jesus

Walking through sleepy Christmas-Eve Milwaukee,
        go by house where no one's home but
Outdoor life-size inflatable Nativity Scene is illuminated,
Inflated Mary & Joseph, inflated Wise Men and inflated gifts,
       inflated shepherds, farm animals and stable,
              inflated angels with inflated wings and halos,
inflated Star of Bethlehem, inflated manger
        but baby Jesus is deflated!
So I spoke to the deflated baby Jesus
I might be an atheist agnostic nature worshipper not a Christian
       yet I would kneel and blow up and re-inflate you
             and patch the leak or re-plug the air spigot
       for doesn't baby Jesus say as much about love
              without speaking
       than all the words Christ said?
Kneeling down discovering spigot open
I gently blow air inside Jesus—
       cold winter Wisconsin fresh air
               inhaled into my lungs and exhaled into Jesus—
Hoping no neighbor calls police or shoots me!
I'm not a terrorist who explodes Nativity Scenes
        but an atheist who blows up deflated Christ-child.
Now you look like a baby again, Jesus—
        your eyes of wonder and wisdom gaze up at me.
Here, let me tuck you in, little one.
It's okay your mother and father and the rest
       don't acknowledge me or thank me.
Even you remain silent looking up at me.
I understand, little one.
We're all looking down at you
       with love.