• 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

Tom Pickard

Tom Pickard was born in Newcastle in 1946, left school at 14, and in 1964 co-organized the Morden Tower poetry readings, "a Golden Bloomsday for the revival of British poetry in the 60s". Called "the lyrical post-beat enfant terrible of the alternative poetry scene in 60s/70s UK," he is credited with encouraging the British poet Basil Bunting to begin writing again. Pickard was a great supporter of American experimental poetry, and gained a reputation as something of an ally among such poets as Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, and Charles Olson. Pickard's most recent offerings, Hole in the Wall: New & Selected Poems and The Dark Months of May were published by Flood Editions in 2002 and 2004 respectively. In part a chronicle of misfortune and heartbreak, The Dark Months of May tells of life on the run. With his characteristic bawdiness and sonic aplomb, Pickard seeks refuge in the geography of British border ballads, accompanied by eighteenth-century horse thieves and 'desperate reprobates.'

Selected Poems

In Paradise


Tom Pickard

 

in paradise
I was ordered
to improvise

confident
of my co-operation
they paid in advance

it's the only sweatshop
in town

with a vacancy
 


Front


there is something so familiar
in what is said I stop and listen,
a traveller's monologue of dark moaning trees,
chopped waters,
deserted street corners,
randomly disturbed light,
raised curtains,
doors flung open,
sudden precipitous avenues,
far away dogs brought near
it is insistent
secures my inner ear
we pick up the old conversation
neither of us understands