• 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

Jim Stevens

Jim Stevens is a poet of Seneca and German heritage. He grew up around Milwaukee, graduating from University of Iowa Writers Workshop. He taught English at UW-La Crosse and then lived for many years in Madison, where he was active in literary circles, teaching through UW-Extension and working for a number of publishing houses. He is the editor of the three- volume The Journey Home: The Literature of Wisconsin through Four Centuries(1989). He moved to Wisconsin Indian Country in 1998, where he edited a Native literary magazine through Oneida Nation Arts Program and conducted writing workshops in Native communities throughout Wisconsin. In 2012, he was co-chair with Kimberly Blaeser of Returning the Gift Conference, a national Native writer's conference held in Milwaukee. In 2013, his collection of poetry The Book of Big Dog Town was published by Fireweed Press. The collection focuses on his forty-year experience with the thousand-year-old Wisconsin sacred site known as Aztalan.

Selected Poems

Coming Through the Music


Jim Stevens

 

I would like to be at the very height of a round hill
Where I am turning intricate lines on a raw brass cornet
Pretty soon I hear Bird Man the tenor saxophonist

We can see each other so clearly across the way
On the other hill at the zenith of the yellow dog sun
Through a broad silver mist covering the low fields

The blues with its unique verbiage is leaping the spaces
It is known to us that we are on two special worlds
So we meet in the center and we dance with the wind

We are making in the world the first paths of being
Closely now we speak of the isles and broadleaf forests
A call and response is bursting forth in hornlike flowers

The people awaken into a world of mysterious songs
Strings of mythologies begin to live in true nature
They are telling of creator twins who roam the earth

The ones who play with the harmonic orbs of the hills
First Brother who falls from the deepest of skies
Second Brother who emerges from the pulsing sea

Raw Brass and Bird Man do not slow their music
The meandering rivers are carrying an endless story
A first thought does not ever become old in the world