In celebration of National Poetry Month, we have teamed up with four Milwaukee poet-curators—Mauricio Kilwein Guevara, Parker Weaver, Sue Blaustein, and Elias Sepulveda—to help us showcase some of the incredible talent found in our home city. Starting on Saturday, April 3rd for the duration of the month of April, we will be presenting 28 Milwaukee poets, posting poems and videos daily to social media, with weekly roundups sent via email and available on our website.

Poets will include: Peter Blewett, Brenda Cárdenas, Bryon Cherry, Su Cho, Terimarie Degree, Sashene Feather Denny, Juan Cortez, Allison Friske, Mads Friske, Nejla Ghane, Sofia Gonzalez, Roberto Harrison, Kiara Honeysucker, Janet Jennerjohn, Krishna Kanhai, Thomas Krajna, Michaela Lacy, Ae Hee Lee, Seanyen Lee, Siwar Masannat, Alea McHatten, Ridire Quinn, Isabella Rose, Brian Skelton, Chuck Stebelton, Monica Thomas, Joyce Williams, and Mario Willis.


MZF is an annual celebration of zine makers, small press publishers, and the culture of accessible, DIY publishing. This year on April 17th and 18th Milwaukee Zine Fest goes virtual and curbside with special online sales hosted by Woodland Pattern Book Center, online programming, and free take-and-make zine kits from Milwaukee Public Library. This season the fest features vendors from across the country beaming right into your computer screen. Online fest sales and related events will launch April 17th for one weekend only. 

Upcoming online EVENTS

Saint John’s on the Lake and Woodland Pattern Celebrate National Poetry Month—April 14-17, 2021

All programs will be virtually presented either via Zoom or Crowdcast. Links coming soon! 


(photo credit: TJ Lambert/Stages Photography)

Poetry Reading with Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Poet Laureate of Milwaukee and Wisconsin

Wed. Apr. 14 | 3 pm CT | Open to the public

Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist, and creative change agent, applying the creative process to facilitate dialogues around human and social wellness. She is the author of two novels, three poetry collections, four spoken word albums, and one collection of personal vignettes. She has taught at colleges, conferences, and classrooms and curated fellowships for emerging leaders. An Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy, Dasha has facilitated community building initiatives in Botswana, Toronto, Mauritius, and Beirut. Her touring production, Makin’ Cake, uniquely engages communities in a forward dialogue on race, class, and equity. Dasha is a national Rubinger Fellow and, concurrently, Poet Laureate for the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin.

This event is being hosted on Zoom by Saint John's on the Lake. You will need a passcode to enter.

Meeting ID: 966 5206 8283

Passcode: 18001

Poetry Reading with Bryon Cherry, Sam Pekarske, and Matthew James Gutierrez, introduced by Dasha Kelly Hamilton

Thu. Apr. 15 | 3 pm CT | Open to the public

Bryon Cherry is a poet and musician. He is the author of a chapbook of poetry, Funeral Journey (The Quail Press), and a full-length collection of poems, Ruins, Ruminations, and Rituals (Anarcho Welfare Press), both published in 2019. His work has also been featured in Return to the Gathering Place of the Waters anthology (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press) as well as in South Florida Poetry Journal. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he is of and shaped by his evolving home city. He is guided by what he considers to be magical forces—listening and love. 

Sam Pekarske is a Milwaukee native who doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon; it shows in her work, which often deals with the perks and problems that come with life in this city. Before the pandemic, she ran several reading series and an open mic as a way to give other poets a platform to share their work. Respectively, her work has made its way through journals and anthologies, but the brunt of it can be found in her collection Alms for the Bored (Vegetarian  Alcoholic Press, 2018). These days, she sits on the board of Woodland Pattern Book Center, writes about office furniture, and enjoys the city scenery of her hometown. 

Matthew James Gutierrez is the author of a bilingual poetry book entitled Notes I Wrote Along The Way. He obtained a bachelor’s in science and a master’s in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). As an undergraduate, he studied creative writing, focusing on fiction and poetry, and took courses on screenplay and television writing at UCLA.

Poetry Reading from residents at Saint John’s on the Lake

Featuring Tom Basting, Art Beaudry, Virginia Chappell, Pat Busalacchi, Richard Bradley, Barbara Byer, Juanita Mast, Dan McCarty, Alex Molnar, Nick Pabst, John Schmitt, Dick Spalding, John Stewig, and Dr. Frank Wilson.

This program will be available online on Friday, April 16th at the link below. 

Walt Whitman and the Current American Moment, a talk and Q & A with Angela Sorby

Fri. Apr. 16 | 3 pm CT | Open to the public

Professor Angela Sorby’s area of specialization is American poetry: reading it, interpreting it, and writing it. She is especially interested in how poetry engages with readers beyond the academy. Current projects include “Chapter and Verse,” for the Cambridge History of Children’s Literature; a study of Viking artifacts in nineteenth-century poetry for a volume titled From Iceland to the Americas; and a newly edited collection (with Sandra Lee Kleppe) on poetry and sustainability in higher education.   

Recent books include Over the River and Through the Wood: An Anthology of Nineteenth Century American Children’s Poetry, co-edited with Karen Kilcup (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013, a Choice Outstanding Academic Book); Bird Skin Coat: Poems (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, winner of the Brittingham Prize and the Midwest Book Award); The Sleeve Waves: Poems (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize); and a collection co-edited with Sandra Kleppe, Poetry and Pedagogy Across the Lifespan (Palgrave, 2018).

This event is being hosted on Zoom by Saint John's on the Lake. You will need a passcode to enter.

Meeting ID: 951 4085 9237

Passcode: 18001

Reading with the Wednesday Writers

Sat. Apr. 17 | 3 pm CT | Open to the public

Members of this Woodland Pattern writing group will give a public performance of works developed during their weekly meetings. This group grew out of a series of memoir and poetry workshops led by writers-in-residence Maureen Owen and Jack Collom in 2009; it has continued because the members are devoted to the process of sharing their stories and reflections, and honing their writing skills. 

Featuring readings by Lolly Rzezotarski, Raquel Lauritzen, Barbara LeighMaria Elena Scott, Janine Arseneau, Virginia SmallSusan Winecki, Suzanne Rosenblatt, and Karen Haley.


Keynote reading + Q & A with Juan Felipe Herrera

Sat. Apr. 17 | 7 pm CT | Open to the public

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Every Day We Get More Illegal; Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. His book Jabberwalking, a children’s book focused on turning your wonder at the world around you into weird, wild, incandescent poetry, came out in 2018. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and Indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

Community Group: Readshop 

Sat. Apr. 17 | 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. 

Wisconsin Wednesdays: 2021 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows

Wed. Apr. 21 | 7 pm CDT | Free and open to the public

Reading with Emma Binder, Jari Bradley, Sasha Debevec-McKenney, Victoria C. Flanagan, Sandra Hong, and Taylor Koekkoek: The 2020–21 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows in Fiction and Poetry. Part of Wisconsin Wednesdays.

Presented by our partners at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Program in Creative Writing and the Wisconsin Book Festival.

Meshkwadoonigaade: The Exchange

Thurs. Apr. 29 | 7 pm CDT | $Give What You Can

Join Margaret Noodin and Andrea Carlson for a reading and discussion centered on zenibaakewin, the art of ribbon work, and the way modern Anishinaabe art and language echoes generations of exchange.

Margaret Noodin received an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. She is Professor of English and American Indian studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she also serves as the Associate Dean of the Humanities and Director of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature, Weweni and What the Chickadee Knows (Wayne State University Press) which are both bilingual collections of poetry in Anishinaabemowin and English. To hear her work, visit www.ojibwe.net.

Andrea Carlson is Ojibwe, working as a visual artist in Chicago, Illinois. Through painting and drawing, Carlson cites entangled cultural narratives and questions institutional authority over objects based on the merit of possession and display. Her work has been acquired by institutions such as the British Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. Carlson was a 2008 McKnight Fellow, a 2017 Joan Mitchell Foundation fellowship, and a 2020 3Arts grant recipient.

Screening: aCinema presents Biopoiesis


still from Ostera by Mary Elizabeth Evans


still from Between Wind and Water by Isabelle Hayeur


still from Are You Tired of Forever by Caitlin Craggs


still courtesy of Carolyn Lambert

Biopoiesis, featuring video works by Caitlin Craggs, Mary Elizabeth Evans, Isabelle Hayeur, and Carolyn Lambert. 

The films are accessible through aCinema’s website and will be available throughout the month of April. 

Caitlin Craggs is an animator, eater, multidisciplinary artiste, and sometime-educator living in Brooklyn. She directs “bona fide weird” animation for music videos, documentary film, and TV. Her work has been supported by Sundance Institute, the Princess Grace Foundation, and SPACE at Ryder Farm, and has screened in festivals ‘round the globe. She currently teaches at Pratt Institute and The New School.

Mary Evans is an artist and intuitive whose work focuses on communications with the spirit realm. With a focus on craft and D.I.Y. practices, she explores ideas of consciousness and spirituality through interdisciplinary practice. Most known for her work in modern new age, Evans has self-published six tarot and oracle card decks under the moniker Spirit Speak. These works have recently been acknowledged by The Whitney Museum, Vogue, and Oprah Magazine. Evans graduated in 2012 from The Evergreen State College with a BFA in Printmaking and is currently an MFA candidate at The University of Oregon.

Carolyn Lambert is an artist working in video, photography, installation, and performance. Her work engages with the vulnerability of living in a time of environmental turmoil and mass extinction. Lambert has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Drawing Center, Eyebeam, and SculptureCenter (New York) and La Mirage (Montreal). Recent screenings of her work have occurred at the European Media Art Festival in Osnabrück (Germany), Bomb Factory (UK), and MUMOK (Vienna, AU). She is based in Tennessee.

Isabelle Hayeur is known for her photographs and experimental videos. Her work is situated within a critical approach to the environment, urban development, and social conditions. She has participated in exhibitions at venues such as the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts (North Adams), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin), Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa), and Bruce Silverstein Gallery (New York). Her artworks can be found in numerous public and private collections.


Zenbaakewin (Ribbonwork): A Workshop with Margaret Noodin

Sun. May 2 | 1–4 pm CDT | $35 General ($30 Members of WP) | Scholarships available

A limited number of scholarships are available for this workshop. Writers who are low-income and/or of marginalized identities are particularly encouraged to apply. Deadline to apply is Friday, April 30.

This workshop will offer an opportunity to read the select poems and images together and discuss ways culture can be embedded in material and lyrical arts. We will take time to draft something of our own and then share our work. The last part of the workshop will be the exchange of a song in Ojibwe, something to learn and teach others later.

Margaret Noodin received an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. She is Professor of English and American Indian studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she also serves as the Associate Dean of the Humanities and Director of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature, Weweni, and What the Chickadee Knows (Wayne State University Press) which are both bilingual collections of poetry in Anishinaabemowin and English. To hear her work, visit www.ojibwe.net.

Screening: aCinema's May Program

Fri. May 7 | 7 pm CDT | $Give What You Can

A curated group program including film and video works by Léwuga Benson and Kelechi Agwuncha.


still from Time To Leave by Léwuga Benson

The films will be accessible through aCinema’s website, and will be available throughout the month of May.  

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

For an immersive experience between film and Q & A, it’s best to start watching no later than 5:30 pm CDT on Fri. May 7.

Poetry, Resilience, & Refugee Experience

Part of The First Function of Poetry: A Social Justice Series


Wed. May 19 | 7 pm CDT | $Give What You Can

Discussion + Q & A: Poetry and Refugee Communities

Ahead of their Thursday reading, Dunya Mikhail, Mai Der Vang, and Monica Sok will discuss the ways in which writing and creative practice can address and articulate the experiences of diasporic and refugee communities.

Poetry Reading: Dunya Mikhail, Monica Sok, and Mai Der Vang

Wed. May 20 | 7 pm CDT | $Give What You Can

Dunya Mikhail was born in Iraq in 1965 and came to the United States in 1996. Her books include In Her Feminine Sign; The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq (2018), which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Literature in Translation; The Iraqi Nights (2014), Diary of A Wave Outside the Sea (2009); and The War Works Hard (2005), all published by New Directions. With them, she also edited a pamphlet of Iraqi poetry titled 15 Iraqi Poets. Her honors include the Kresge Fellowship, the Arab American Book Award, and the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. The War Works Hard was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and named one of the New York Public Library’s Twenty-Five Books to Remember from 2005. She is the co-founder of Mesopotamian Forum for Art and Culture in Michigan. She currently works as an Arabic special lecturer at Oakland University in Michigan.

Monica Sok is the author of A Nail the Evening Hangs On (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Kundiman, MacDowell, National Endowment for the Arts, and others. Sok teaches poetry at Stanford University and the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants. She lives in Oakland, California.

Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award in Poetry, and a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She was also the co-editor of the anthology How Do I Begin? A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Heyday, 2011). She has been an assistant professor in the Creative Writing MFA Program at Fresno State University since 2019.

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. 

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 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