• 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 19

Poetry Reading: Santee Frazier & Franklin K.R. Cline

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

Sherwin Bitsui

Sherwin Bitsui is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Tódích´ii´nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tlizílaaní (Many Goats Clan). He holds an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program and a BA from University of Arizona in Tucson. His recent honors include a 2011 Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a 2011 Native Arts & Culture Foundation Arts Fellowship. He is also the recipient of 2010 PEN Open Book Award, and an American Book Award for his second book of poems, Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009). Bitsui has published his poems in Narrative, Black Renaissance Noir, American Poet, The Iowa Review, LIT, and elsewhere.

Selected Poems

from 
Flood Song


Sherwin Bitsui

 

With a gaping mouth,
I sought an image to describe the knot in my chest,
the car door jammed -
        the land divided into two new car scents.


**


We row toward the oar wet with deer blood
and onward to the edge that must be crossed
with crosses hammered into it.

I see their footprints in fresh snow.

The soft spot of their childhood heads
pushed branchless into the parched earth.

Gray amnesia swirling after songbirds in its dome.

The distance they traveled
chipped down to a few powdery beginnings
in the arroyo with flies buzzing out of it.