27th Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit

24 HOURS! 240 POETS!

JANUARY 30 & JANUARY 31, 2021 | 10 AM - 10 PM

Upcoming EVENTS


still from Alejandra Abad's Bodies of Water

Screening: aCinema

Fri., Nov. 6 – Mon., Nov. 30 | $Give What You Can

Screening: aCinema presents Shikata Ga Nai, a curated group program of experimental film and video featuring works by Alejandra Abad, Erin Espelie, Lore Loyens, and Ian Epps.

The films will be accessible through our website starting at 12:00 pm CT on Sun., Nov. 1, and will remain available until Mon., Nov. 30. 


still from Lore Loyens' Dust


still from Erin Espelie's Sea

Wisconsin Wednesdays with Danielle Evans

Wed. Dec. 2 | 7 pm CT | Free and open to the public

Danielle Evans is the author of the story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (Penguin, 2010), winner of the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Hurston-Wright award for fiction, and the Paterson Prize for Fiction, and an honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway award. She is a 2011 National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree and a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Evans has taught creative writing at American University in Washington, DC, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and now teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. Her latest collection of fiction is The Office of Historical Corrections (Penguin, 2020).

Presented by our partners at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Program in Creative Writing and the Wisconsin Book Festival, Wisconsin Wednesdays is a virtual reading and conversations series featuring Wisconsin authors and UW alums who are promoting new books. 

Community Group: Readshop 

Sat. Dec. 12 | 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. 

White Whales, White Males, Whitehead: A lecture with Lisa Jarnot 

Thurs. Dec. 17 | 7 pm CT | $Give What You Can

Presented in partnership with The Bagley Wright Lecture Series.

This lecture, the first in a series of four, explores the doctrine of discovery that haunts American poetry. Lisa Jarnot engages in an autobiographical interrogation of what it means to be a woman in a male-centered experimental tradition, and what it means to have white privilege and write poetry. Several questions arise: What do we keep and what do we reject as we acknowledge the systemic racism and American exceptionalism that pervade even the most benign of bohemian writing communities? Is there something transcendent and healing in the poet’s love of making, knowing, and of forging human connections? How can social reckoning and personal romance co-exist in exploring (and having been influenced by) the writers of the Black Mountain School, the New York School, and the Beat Generation?

Lisa Jarnot was born in Buffalo, NY, and educated at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including A Princess Magic Presto Spell (Flood Editions, 2019), Joie De Vivre: Selected Poems 1992–2012 (City Lights, 2013), Night Scenes (Flood Editions, 2008), Black Dog Songs (Flood Editions, 2003), and Ring of Fire (Salt Modern Poets, 2001). She co-edited An Anthology of New (American) Poets (1997), and her biography of San Francisco poet Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus, was published by the University of California Press in 2012. She has been a visiting professor at Naropa University, Brooklyn College, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, is a homeschooling mom, and is a Masters of Divinity candidate at New York Theological Seminary. 

The Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry supports contemporary poets as they explore in-depth their own thinking on poetry and poetics, and give a series of lectures resulting from these investigations. Lectures are delivered publicly in partnership with institutions nationwide. Find out more about past, present, and future lecturers, and explore the archive at www.bagleywrightlectures.org.

Workshop: Shorthand with Paul Druecke

Sundays, Jan. 10, 17, & 24 | 2—4 pm CT | $100 ($90 Members)

A few compact lines can have the breadth of a novel. Though often decried as the end of literature, today’s trends toward terse messaging, burgeoning palettes of emojis, shrinking attention spans fueled by distracting handheld computers can all be productive points of reference for understanding and capturing the essence of time and place.

During the workshop we will survey inspiring and infamous examples of spare, highly-concentrated writing that achieve maximum effect with minimum material. For example, Jenny Holzer’s prescient aphorism, “Abuse of power comes as no surprise,” has a nuanced tone that both confronts and commiserates with the reader. We will look to Holzer, along with Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, Mary Oliver, Ron Padgett, Aram Saroyan, Audre Lorde, and Morgan Parker as we mine contemporary media landscapes and/or our phones for inspiration. Through sketches, experiments in brevity, and tweet-length searching, we will explore what can be left out as we create micro-masterpieces for the times.


Paul Druecke has published two books with Green Gallery Press, Life and Death on the Bluffs (2014) and The Last Days of John Budgen Jr. (2010). He wrote about America Pastime, a Sisyphean tribute to patterns of convenience and waste, as part of Woodland Pattern’s 2020 series Prompts Against Anxiety. Druecke is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the intersection of poetry, identity, and public history. His work was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and anthologized in the Blackwell Companion to Public Art. His first solo museum exhibition, A Social Event Archive, was hosted by the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2017. His ongoing project Milwaukee Kitchen has been described as “the only surrealist cooking program in the world.”

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.


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 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