Thank you for an incredible Poetry Marathon! 

On January 30th and 31st of 2021, people joined us from all over for 24 hours of poetry. If you missed out, the whole event is now available for viewing on our site. 

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Upcoming online EVENTS

Screening: aCinema presents And the land breathes back—
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still from Solastalgic Soliloquy by Ayla Dmyterko

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still from Âh by S. Buse Yildirim

Featuring film and video works by Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Nishat Hossain, S. Buse Yildirim, Ayla Dmyterko, Lindsey Arturo, Rachel Elizabeth Lane, and Capucine Lageat & Antoine Perroteau

Fri. Mar. 5 | 7 pm CST | $Give What You Can

The films will be accessible through aCinema’s website (acinema.space), and will be available throughout the month of March.

A conversation and Q & A with aCinema co-curators, Janelle VanderKelen and Takahiro Suzuki, will take place via Zoom on Fri., Mar. 5 at 7 pm CST.

For an immersive experience between film and Q & A, it’s best to start watching no later than 5:30 pm CST on Fri., Mar. 5.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Lindsey Arturo is an internet-based filmmaker who spent the summer of 2020 staring at waterfalls in order to avoid computer screens.

Wura-Natasha Ogunji is a visual artist and performer. Her works include drawings hand-stitched into tracing paper, videos, and public performances. Her work is deeply inspired by the daily interactions and frequencies that occur in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, from the epic to the intimate. Recent exhibitions include City Prince/sses at Palais de Tokyo; A Slice through the World: Contemporary Artists’ Drawings at Modern Art Oxford; and Every Mask I Ever Loved at ifa-Galerie, Berlin. She was an Artist-Curator for the 33rd São Paulo Bienal where her large-scale performance Days of Being Free premiered. She has also exhibited at: the inaugural Lagos Biennial; Kochi-Muziris Biennale; 1:54, London & New York; Seattle Art Museum; Brooklyn Art Museum; and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Ogunji is a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and has received grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Dallas Museum of Art; and the Idea Fund. She currently resides in Lagos where she is founder/curator of the experimental art space The Treehouse.

Capucine Lageat and Antoine Perroteau obtained their masters degree collectively at the School of Fine Arts in Nantes in the Experiences and Practices of Art Extended to Cinema departement in 2018. They compose links between still images and moving images through films and photographs. Their practice focuses on the memory of places; they thus question the perception of space, with regard to its design, proposing a critical approach to social space and suggesting its possibility of popular appropriation. Their experiments lead them to creating topographical documentations, recomposing images by multiple points of view, updating archives by superimposition. In particular, they have documented deindustrialized territories in England, Wallonia, and the Parisian suburbs, questioning the invisibilization of fragmented social classes, and during a stay in Beijing they illustrated the reality of architectures that are both neglected and coveted. Their research is leading them to the construction of polyptych images, trying to build a new vision of space through multiple images.

Nishat Hossain is an internationally recognized artist who has presented her work at numerous venues including the Museum of Modern Art NY, Anthology Film Archives, San Francisco Cinematheque, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, and Bryn Mawr College.

S. Buse Yildirim is a curator and filmmaker based in Istanbul. She is currently in charge of artistic & cultural management of Kundura Stage and Cinema in Beykoz Kundura, and has also initiated there the oral history and visual archive project Kundura Hafiza, which is turning into an upcoming documentation/memory centre right now. Yildirim creates her own audio-visual projects and helps other artists produce works under Lita, a house of production that she founded. After recently completing an MA degree in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universität in Berlin, she is shaping her art practice using ethnographic methods, while carrying on curating and managing at Beykoz Kundura.

Rachel Elizabeth Lane is an artist based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her background in studio art, film production, and teaching has provided her opportunities to connect and grow with others through creative communication. She earned her BA in studio art from the University of Virginia, where she concentrated her art practice in cinematography and new media. She received her MFA in film, video, animation and new genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she had the opportunity to teach film production courses after graduating. Lane is passionate about creating content that she hopes will inspire positive growth and individual empowerment. Her most recent creative pursuits navigate play structures as springboards to re-contextualize narratives and exercise creative expression.

Ayla Dmyterko is a Ukrainian-Canadian artist based in Glasgow, Scotland. Her research-led practice encompasses moving image, dance, textiles, painting, sculpture and text. Her work was recently featured in KAJET Journal (Romania), MAP Magazine, CCA (UK) and at Projet Pangée (Montréal, Canada). Working across multiple media, Dmyterko reactivates and re-embodies cultural memory in response to contemporary ecological concerns surrounding colonialism, patriarchy, and capitalism—interweaving lived experiences, the impacts of imperial dominance, ancestral histories and mythologies to embrace what is fragmented, connective, multiple, porous, and in flux.

Community Group: Readshop 

Sat. Mar. 13  | 12:15–1:30 pm CST | $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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“It is burning. / It is dreaming. / It is waking up.”: Poetry & Environmental Justice

Presented with the Poetry Coalition as part of shared programming around a theme of social importance, and also as part of The First Function of Poetry: A Social Justice Series. “It is burning. / It is dreaming. / It is waking up.” comes from Linda Hogan’s poem “Map.”

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Discussion + Q & A: Poetry and the Climate Crisis

Thurs. Mar. 18 | 7 pm CDT | $Give What You Can

Ahead of their Friday reading, Dr. Craig Santos Perez, Mona Lisa Saloy, and Brian Teare will discuss issues surrounding the climate crisis, and their intersection with writing and creative practice.

Poetry Reading: Dr. Craig Santos Perez, Mona Lisa Saloy, and Brian Teare

Fri. Mar. 19 | 7 pm CDT | $Give What You Can

Poetry Reading with Dr. Craig Santos Perez, author of Habitat Threshold (Omnidawn, 2020), Mona Lisa Saloy, author of Second Line Home (Truman State University Press, 2014), and Brian Teare, author of Doomstead Days (Nightboat Books, 2019).

Dr. Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guam. He is the author of five books of poetry and the co-editor of five anthologies focused on Indigenous literature, geopoetics, and eco-literature. He has received the American Book Award, Pen Center USA/Poetry Society of America Literary Prize, and the Hawaii Literary Arts Council Award, as well as fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is a professor in the English department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Mona Lisa Saloy is a poet, folklorist, educator, and scholar, and an award-winning author of contemporary Creole culture in poems about Black New Orleans before and after Katrina. As a folklorist, Saloy documents sidewalk songs, jump-rope rhymes, and clap-hand games to discuss the importance of play. As a poet, her first book, Red Beans & Ricely Yours, won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award and tied for a third. She's written on the significance of the Black Beat poets, on the African American Toasting Tradition, on Black and Creole talk, and on keeping Creole after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Her latest collection of poems, Second Line Home, captures day-to-day New Orleans speech, contemplates family dynamics, and celebrates New Orleans, all in a way everyday people can enjoy.

A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, Brian Teare is the author of six critically acclaimed books, including Companion Grasses (Omnidawn, 2013), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, and The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven (Ahsahta, 2015). His most recent book, Doomstead Days, was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle, Kingsley Tufts, and Lambda Literary Awards. He’s also published eight chapbooks, including Paradise Was Typeset, SORE EROS, and Headlands Quadrats. His honors include the Four Quartets Prize, Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle Awards, and fellowships from the NEA, the Pew Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the MacDowell Colony. After over a decade of teaching and writing in the San Francisco Bay Area, and eight years in Philadelphia, he’s now an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, and lives in Charlottesville, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.

The Freedom in the Constraint: A Workshop with TC Tolbert

Sat. Mar. 20 + Sun. Mar. 21 | 2–5 pm CDT each day

$100 General | $90 Members of WP and Educators | Scholarships available**

Participants will receive instructions for access when they register for the workshop. This workshop will take place virtually. If you are an educator and wish to receive the discount, please give us a call!

Living in quarantine, practicing social distancing, working from home, learning remotely: in a pandemic (if not all the time), the constraints of daily life are all too loud and overbearing. But poetry has long been a teacher for how to find freedom, even expansion, within constraint. 

In this course, we will examine and experiment with both traditional received poetic forms and more contemporary (emerging) constraints in order to radically expand and deepen our perception of (the always) available poetic material. Participants will also be introduced to the tools of Compositional Improvisation* as a method for arriving newly at the page. 

We will use text, movement, sound, and experiences in our own bodies to follow personal and collective impulses. We will discuss and practice emerging forms and what it means to create as individuals and as a distant but connected ensemble. By moving away from what we already know into a place of experiment (where learning happens!), this course will help students attend to what arrives, trust their own voices, and understand more fully the poetic impact of their choices. No movement experience necessary. Expect to write, stretch, laugh, and be moved. All are welcomed and encouraged!

*Building on the chance, (Soma)tic, conceptual, and collaborative techniques of poets, dancers, and musicians from the last 60 years, Compositional Improvisation explores intersections of text, body, architecture, space, collaboration, and attention in order to expand the range of what is possible for composition. 

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(photo credit: Mamta Popat)

TC Tolbert identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, mover, and poet. And, s/he’s a human in love with humans doing human things. S/he is author of Gephyromania (Ahsahta Press, 2014), five chapbooks, and co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2013). TC was recently awarded an Academy of American Poets’ Laureate Fellowship for his work with trans, non-binary, and queer folks as Tucson’s Poet Laureate. www.tctolbert.com

**A limited number of scholarships are available. Writers who are low-income and/or of marginalized identities are particularly encouraged to apply. Scholarship application deadline is Friday, March 19.

Reading: Through This Door: Wisconsin in Poems

Thurs. Mar. 25 | 7 pm CDT | $Give What You Can

Join us for a reading in celebration of Through This Door: Wisconsin in Poems (Art Night Books, 2020)! Hosted by editors Margaret Rozga and Angela Trudell Vasquez, and featuring readings from Vida Cross, Reggie Finlayson, Ronnie Hess, Karla Huston, Dana Maya, Karen Middleton, Nancy Rafal, Tracey Sperko, and Mark Zimmermann

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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.

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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  recordings from recent online events. Be sure to also check out ongoing visual art exhibitions and read our statement on racial justice, where you can also find links to anti-racism organizations and educational materials. 


Ordering Books in a Pandemic 

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 able to offer captioning services for its online events and with advanced notice can provide ASL interpretation for live events. Please contact us with accommodation requests and questions.

© Woodland Pattern 2020