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Upcoming EVENTS

Reading: Wisconsin Wednesdays with Traci Brimhall & Lauren Russell

Wednesday, Oct. 28 | 7 pm CDT | Free

This edition of Wisconsin Wednesdays features UW Alumnae Traci Brimhall and Lauren Russell in celebration of their respective new poetry collections, Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod and Descent

Traci Brimhall is the author of four poetry collections: Come the Slumberless from the Land of Nod (Copper Canyon); Saudade (Copper Canyon); Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton), winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. She’s received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the National Endowment for the Arts. She’s the Director of Creative Writing at Kansas State University and lives in Manhattan, KS.

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Lauren Russell is the author of Descent and What’s Hanging on the Hush (Ahsahta Press, 2017). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cave Canem, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and residencies from the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and City of Asylum/Passa Porta. She was assistant director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh from 2016 to 2020. Beginning in the fall of 2020, she joins the faculty of Michigan State University as an assistant professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and director of the Center for Poetry there.

Community Group: Readshop 

Sat. Oct. 31 | 12:15–1:30 pm CT | $Give What You Can

Led by poet and Woodland Pattern co-founder Karl Gartung, Readshops are community sessions dedicated to exploring poetry texts from the 20th century that are often labeled "difficult." Participants take turns reading the poetry aloud, discussing it as questions arise—on the spot, as deeply as needed. No preparation is needed; the only prerequisite is curiosity.

The group is currently reading Nathaniel Mackey’s From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate. This volume collects the first three installments―Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus’s Run, and Atet A.D.―of Mackey’s genre-defying work of fiction. A project that began over thirty years ago, From a Broken Bottle is an epistolary novel that unfolds through N.’s intricate letters to the mysterious Angel of Dust. Unexpected, profound happenings take place as N. delves into music and art and the goings-on of his transmorphic Los Angeles-based jazz ensemble, in which he is a composer and instrumentalist. This triple-set book opens in July 1978 with a dream of a haunting Archie Shepp solo, and closes in September 1982 in a parallactic studio recording session on a glass-bottomed boat borne aloft by the music. 

To join this group or learn more, contact Education Director Alexa Nutile below. 

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Workshop: Write on Through: Poetry in Troubled Times with Heid E. Erdrich

Sunday, Nov. 8 | 2-4:30 pm CDT | $35 ($30 Members)

A generative writing workshop meant to look at poetry as an outlet in troubled times and to encourage writers to create drafts of poems from the political to the personal and both. There will be time for writing from prompts, sharing work, discussion, and we will read or listen to texts by other Native poets. 

Presented in partnership with In-Na-Po (Indigenous Nations’ Poets), and with the Milwaukee Native American Literary Cooperative. This workshop is part of our series Native Writers in the 21st Century, which is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Heid E. Erdrich grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. She is the author of seven collections of poetry and is the editor of the 2018 anthology New Poets of Native Nations from Graywolf Press. Among other honors, she has received fellowships and awards for her writing from Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, Loft Literary Center, First People’s Fund, and has twice won a Minnesota Book Award for poetry. An interdisciplinary artist, Heid also works as a visual arts curator and collaborator, and as an educator, teaching in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing Program of Augsburg University. In 2019 she served as Distinguished Visiting Professor in Liberal Arts at University of Minnesota Morris and in 2021 she will serve as the Glasgow Visiting Professor at Washington and Lee. Her forthcoming poetry/mixed genre collection is Verb Animate, from Tinderbox Editions in 2021. Little Big Bully, from Penguin Editions in 2020 is Heid's National Poetry Series award winning collection. 

Attention Youth Artists! 

The Academy of American Poets is inviting high-school students to submit artwork to be considered for the official National Poetry Month poster, which will be sent to 100,000 schools, libraries, bookstores, and families nationwide; the winning student will also receive $1,000 in cash and prizes. To boot, this year will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of National Poetry Month, now the largest literary celebration in the world! The deadline to submit is October 30, 2020.

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Featured Video: ONE POEM: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives 


On August 18, 2020, the founding members of the Poetry Coalition, a national alliance of more than 25 organizations (including Woodland Pattern), presented a live broadcast ONE POEM: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives via Crowdcast. Please consider giving to organizations and efforts working against injustice, including those recommended by the founding members of the Poetry Coalition here.

The poets featured were Prisca Afantchao, Sojourner Ahebee, Kazim Ali, Kimberly Blaeser, Jericho Brown, Meera Dasgupta, Kwame Dawes, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Safia Elhillo, Martín Espada, Sesshu Foster, Kimberly Jae, Raina J. León, Mwatabu Okantah, Arsimmer McCoy, Alberto Ríos, Terisa Siagatonu, Matthew Thompson, Emma Trelles, Nikki Wallschlaeger (reading on behalf of Woodland Pattern), Monica Youn, and avery r. young.

Interview with Anne Waldman

On June 28th, Anne Waldman spoke with us on Riverwest Radio WXRW about her latest album Sciamachy, which Patti Smith has hailed as “exquisitely potent, a psychic shield for our times.” In keeping with Waldman’s life-long ethos of cross-disciplinary collaboration, Sciamachy features Laurie Anderson on electric violin, Deb Googe (of My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream) on baritone bass, free jazz legend William Parker on n’goni, Guro Moe and Hävard Skaset (of the Norweigan hardcore group MoE) on electric bass and guitar, Waldman’s son Ambrose Bye on synthesizer, and her nephew Devin Brahja Waldman on saxophone, drums and production. Copies of Sciamachy are available at Woodland Pattern.

Anne Waldman—poet, performer, professor, editor, literary curator, cultural activist—is the author of over 50 books. Growing up in the counter-cultural mecca of downtown Manhattan in the ’50s and ’60s, she went on to co-found the Poetry Project in New York’s East Village, booking poetry readings for luminaries such as William Burroughs, Cecil Taylor, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Eileen Myles, and countless others. In 1974 she co-founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics with Allen Ginsberg in Boulder, Colorado; and in 1975 she toured with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue. In the decades following, Waldman went on to headline poetry festivals throughout five continents, receive numerous awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship, and teach thousands of poetry students all over the world.

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Woodland Pattern & COVID-19 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we have closed our doors for the first time in four decades. During this hiatus from our physical space, we are working to facilitate remote projects and welcome your input and participation. 

While we're closed, we hope you will join us for online book discussions, writing groups, workshops, live poetry performances, and other events. We also invite you to sign up for our newsletter to receive Prompts Against Anxiety—weekly exercises that promote at-home creativity, personal fortitude, and solidarity with others. 

Please take a look around on our new website to take advantage of the various resources here, including activity books available for download from Cosecha Creative Space and recordings from recent online events. Be sure to check out Tropical Lung: Tec Alliance—a new exhibition of works on paper by Roberto Harrision—and read our statement on racial justice, where you can also find links to anti-racism organizations and educational materials. 


We acknowledge that in Milwaukee we live and work on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homelands along the southwest shores of Michigami, part of North America’s largest system of freshwater lakes, where the Milwaukee, Menominee, and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present. 

We further acknowledge the grave evil colonialism introduced to these lands ​through genocide as well as slavery, and also via racist and xenophobic ​beliefs, laws​, and practices that continue to inflict harm upon Black, Brown, and Indigenous lives. We honor those who have lived—and do live, now—at these intersections of identity and experience, and are committed to the active dismantling of white supremacy.

Read our statement on racial justice

720 E. Locust Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414 263 5001

Hours: Tues–Fri | 11-8pm

Sat & Sun | 12–5 pm | Closed Mon

Contactless pick-up: Wed–Fri | 2–6 pm, Sat | 2–5 pm


Building Accessibility: Despite the age of our physical location, and attendant limitations to access, Woodland Pattern is committed to making its programs and facilities available for as many as possible. Please call for more information.

Events Accessibility: Woodland Pattern is in the process of obtaining captioning services for its online events and can provide ASL interpretation for live events. Please contact us with accommodation requests and questions.

© Woodland Pattern 2020