• 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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exhibitions
October 6 -28

Exhibition - Ugly Duckling Presse: 25th Anniversary Celebration

readings & workshops
October 23

OFF-SITE: Creative Writers in Nonprofit Careers: Panel Discussion, Reading, and Reception

readings & workshops
October 25

Poetry Reading: Urban Echo Poets + Open Mic

readings & workshops
October 28

Poetry Reading: Kathleen A. Dale, Louisa Loveridge Gallas, Judith Harway, and Bill Murtaugh

film & video
November 2

Screening: aCinema presents // Retour //

readings & workshops
November 3 -3

Writing is Freedom (a high wire adventure) with elena minor

readings & workshops
November 3

Poetry Reading: elena minor & Paul Martínez Pompa

readings & workshops
November 6

Poetry Reading: Michael Dowdy

readings & workshops
November 6

Offsite Talk: Michael Dowdy @ UW-Milwaukee

special events
November 17

We Exist to Prove the Living Artist: 38th Anniversary Gala

performances
November 18

Concert: Alternating Currents Live presents The Bridge #15

performances
November 22

Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

readings & workshops
November 27

Reading: Theodore Van Alst Jr.

readings & workshops
November 28

Poetry Reading: Krystal Languell & Dominique Salas

readings & workshops
November 30

Poetry Reading: Anna Vitale and Daniel Owen

film & video
December 14

Film Screening: Riverwest Film & Video by Emir Cakaroz

performances
December 20

Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

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