• 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 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

Kwabena Antoine Nixon

Kwabena Antoine Nixon is a nationally known spoken word artist, writer, educator, organizer, and motivational speaker. Born and raised on Chicago's west side, known in the '80s as the gangbang capital of the world, Kwabena lost his father to street violence at the age of 11. From his early teens, well into his days as a young adult black man, Antoine (as he was known then) struggled like many of that time to find his voice and his purpose. He moved to Milwaukee to escape a lifestyle that many of his closest friends and family had fallen prey to. He found his voice in art. Still looking for his place and purpose, after completing a Rites of Passage program, he made the transformation to Kwabena when a local community elder gave him the name meaning "Inspirator." Since, Kwabena has dedicated his life's work to inspiring, not just a generation, but a movement.

His full-length collection of poetry, I Write What Eye See, was published in 2013.

Selected Poems

Eye Walked With My Father


Kwabena Antoine Nixon

 

Phone screamed like rock star.
I remember scream of phone.
And the moment.  .  .I froze in time.  .  .
That time when, phone rang.
that time
Eye am haunted by ghost of that time.
The past
The last
time Eye saw him.  .  .my father.
My father who was black, like this ink
that sinks into this paper.
Eye do miss him.
Eye do remember him.
Eye do hear him.
Eye do hear him.  .  .when Eye am listening to wind.
Eye do see him.  .  .when Eye am looking into eyes
of burning Sun in.  .  .Morning.
I, grip this ink pen as if it was my fathers
black hand. 
 


Transformations


Kwabena Antoine Nixon

 

The sound of John Coltrane plays on my brain.
The intoxications of alcoholic libations
make mood for this situation
I write without contemplation
I write without discipline
I'm like bad ass children; I know no boundaries
I adhere to know rules
I belong to know schools of fixture of forms
I write way past the margin and destroy the norm
A radical
A delinquent out of sequence
who frequently just wants to create
I'm like a teenage boy when it comes to sex, I can't wait
If the pen skips I would dip the pen into my soul
lay my wrist on the paper, trying to bleed my thoughts.
I would become obsessive and aggressive.
I would strangle the pen trying to squeeze words out
words, words, words poignant poetic potent words
To make syllables of sincerity
like Coltrane plays A love Supreme
A love Supreme A love Supreme
No form yet fixed 
No words but it can be read
Secular but spiritual
I am writing while Coltrane plays