27th Annual (Virtual) Poetry Marathon & Benefit

JANUARY 30th & 31st, 2021 | 10 am-10 pm (both days)

Presented by WISCONSIN'S OWN LIBRARY, a unique collection of Wisconsin authors and illustrators owned by the THE GENERAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S CLUBS—WISCONSIN, with funding provided by the Gwendolyn M. Schultz Charitable Trust.

This year's Marathon is also made possible by DEWITT LLC, SAINT JOHN'S ON THE LAKE, and JUNEAU PARK FRIENDS.


For the past 26 years we’ve held the Marathon on the last Saturday of January. This year, we’re unable to safely host the Marathon in person at the book center. While we will miss the opportunity to connect directly with our community of poets as we have for nearly three decades, we are excited to expand the event to include over 250 participants from Milwaukee, the Midwest, across the U.S., and abroad, and to feature not only poetry, but also improvisational music and experimental film. This Marathon, like all of our Poetry Marathons past, is both a tribute to and a showcase of Woodland Pattern's vast community, and a celebration of the many individual creative practices that compose and enrich it. 

In addition to being an incredible event and a Woodland Pattern tradition, the Poetry Marathon is a fundraiser. For years, funds raised through the Marathon have kept Woodland Pattern going strong, fueling our operations and making possible all of our programming for the year ahead. While this year's event is being presented free to the public, a suggested ticket donation of $10 is appreciated by audience members who are in a position to give. 


The deadline for poets to submit videos has passed. If you are registered to participate in the Marathon, but have not yet submitted your video please do so now! THANK YOU for being part of this year's event! 


This year's Marathon will presented virtually via Crowdcast, where you will be able to chat, say hello, and cheer poets on! (You can also hide the chat feature at any time if you find it distracting.) You will not need to download a platform or enter a code to attend, but you will need to register.

The Poetry Marathon will also be simulcast live through our Youtube channel. A direct link to the Youtube broadcast is coming soon.


Click the link below to sponsor a reader now. You can make your donation on the behalf of a particular poet, or if you’re unsure who to sponsor, consider a “Pledge a Reader” donation. If you prefer, you can also give us a call at 414-263-5001 to sponsor a reader, or send a check donation to: Woodland Pattern, 720 E Locust St, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Please be sure to include the reader's name, if relevant.

SCHEDULE (all times are Central)

SATURDAY, Jan. 30th 

10-11 am YOUTH HOUR, sponsored by Mary & Ned Witte, Diane Bezella, Pizza Shuttle, and Shorewood High

Sofia Hansen Cardona, Noa Biener, Isabella Glenn, Alexzandria Harmon, Henry Heyden, Aveon Hudson, Niles Janzen, Atahlia Lopez-Johnson, Graydin Lohre, Gerardo Medina Jr., & Persia Wright 

11 am-12 pm COMMUNITY HOUR, sponsored by Louisa Loveridge Gallas

11-11:15 / Still Waters Collective's Pentastic Open Mic The Retreat's Harambee Poetry Slam Feature: Laniece McGee, Analysis the Poet, & others 

11:15-12 / Judith Harway, Renee Glembin, Reggie Finlayson, Sharon Daly, Angela Sorby, Peter Whalen, Sue Blaustein, Jenny Benjamin, Anne Koller, Patricia Clark, & Eloisa Gómez

12-1 pm COMMUNITY HOUR, sponsored by Cornell College MFA in Creative Writing

Martha Kaplan, Kathryn Gahl, Ed Makowski, Kathrine Yets, Parker Weaver, Jayne Marek, Jim Landwehr, Barbara Wuest, Courtney Raatz, Terimarie Degree, Peter Blewett, Bailey Flannery, Ted Dargis, Grzegorz Wróblewski, & Sarah Rosenblatt

1-2 pm WEDNESDAY WRITERS, sponsored by Janine Arseneau 

Suzanne Rosenblatt, Judit Gomez, Barbara Leigh, Maria Elena Scott, Daniel O'Keefe, Janine Arseneau, Darlene Rzezotarski, Virginia Small, & Susan Winecki

2-3 pm WISCONSIN FELLOWSHIP OF POETS, sponsored by Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

Lisa Vihos, Ronnie Hess, Scott Lowery, Elisabeth Harrahy, Mark Zimmermann, Sylvia Cavanaugh, Sheryl Slocum, Nathan Reid, Angela Voras-Hills, & Maryann Hurtt 

3-4 pm POETS FROM SAINT JOHN’S ON THE LAKE, sponsored by Saint John’s on the Lake

Kent Mayfield, Sandy Duffy, Jana Troutman-Miller, Barbara Byer, Nick Pabst, John Schmitt, Virginia Chappell, Alex Molnar, Pat Busalacchi, Bernice Popelka, & Elliot Lipchik 


4-5 pm A TRIBUTE TO SALLY TOLAN, sponsored by Tom Tolan & family

Readings from the life’s work of the late Milwaukee poet Sally Tolan, 1927-2020, by Tom Tolan, Sandy Tolan, Yam Tolan, Mary Tolan, Kathleen Tolan, Sandra Maier, Paraska Tolan-Szkilnik, & John Tolan

5-6 pm WISCONSIN POETS LAUREATE, sponsored by Riverwest Realty 

Nick Demske, Abayomi Animashaun, Jodi Vander Molen, Vida Cross, BJ Hollars, Ed Werstein, Margaret Rozga, Angela Trudell Vasquez, Esteban Colon, & Dasha Kelly Hamilton 

6-10 pm WOODLAND PATTERN 40TH ANNIVERSARY HOURS, sponsored by LiveWriters, Greg Flegel & Rich Greene, Scott Gelzer & Sherry Goldsmith, Colectivo Coffee, and Anne Kingsbury & Karl Gartung. Featuring poetry, improvisational music, short films, & archival footage

6-7 / Susan Firer, Portia Cobb, Rick Ollman, Janet Jennerjohn, Paul Druecke, Bryon Cherry, Zack Pieper, Freesia McKee, Mike Michaels, Ae Hee Lee, RS Deeren, & Bob Hanson & Karen Ingvoldstad

7-8 / Takahiro Suzuki, Karl Gartung, Jacqueline Lalley, Greg Flegel, Jen Benka, Ching-In Chen, Franklin K.R. Cline, John Koethe, Sam Pekarske, Brenda Cárdenas, & Roberton Harrison

8-9 / Peter Burzynski, Stacy Szymaszek, Chuck Stebelton, Tyrone Williams, David Wilk, Maureen Owen, Nikki Wallschlaeger, Elizabeth Robinson, Diane Glancy, Joe McPhee, & The Transatlantic Bridge #2.1 (Dan Bitney, Rob Frye, JayVe Montgomery, Olivia Scemama, Simon Sieger)

9-10 / CAConrad, Joshua Beckman, TC Tolbert, Janelle VanderKelen, Nikki Wallschlaeger, Jennifer Scapettone, Anselm Berrigan, Ed Roberson, Duriel E. Harris, Ruth B8r Ginsburg, Eileen Myles, & Kati Katchever


SUNDAY, Jan. 31st

10-11 am RIVERWEST CURRENTS, sponsored by Riverwest Currents and dedicated to the poet Antler

Vince Bushell, Harvey Taylor & Susie Krause, Thomas Treder, Ellen Warren, Desmond Bone, Mooney J. Jadrich, & Shell Bells

11 am-12 pm UNTOLD STORIES + RACINE/KENOSHA FEATURE, sponsored by Lotus Legal Clinic 

11-11:30 / Laurel Blackstone, R.C. Nichole, Deborah Estrada-Carson, Hannah Lenzo, Pita, EnerJ, Jamie Lovely, Liz Luckett, & Austin Reece

11:30-12 / Stephen Kalmar II, Debra Hall, Jean Preston, Rachel Wiedower, Carol Lee Saffiotti-Hughes, Joseph Engel, & Nick Ramsey

12-1 pm COMMUNITY HOUR, sponsored by AllWriters' Workplace & Workshop

Robin Lane & Paul McComas, Robb Astor, Lindsay Tigue, Jesse DeLong, Garin Cycholl, Liandra Skenadore, Kathie Giorgio, Lisa Krawczyk, Tate Lewis-Carroll, Tim Kloss, Stephen Anderson, & Sarah Moore, & Steve Pump

1-2 pm WHOSE LANGUAGE YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND by Kim Kielhofner, sponsored by WE Energies Foundation

Named after a novel by the late Austrian writer Marianne Fritz (1948-2007), Whose Language You Don’t Understand (2018) is a video cycle exploring the limits of language. Fritz spent most of her life, over 30 years, working on a cycle of dense and complex novels she called “The Fortress,” consisting of over 10,000 pages—and still unfinished at the time of her death. Her project is an unusual and astonishing one that challenges the conventions of writing and reading. In Fritz’s work, writing sustains a reality. Writing becomes a movement into an alternative world, and readership offers radical possibilities.

2-3 pm GENRE: URBAN ARTS, sponsored by Anonymous on behalf of Teens Grow Greens & Girls on the Run

2-2:50 / Nakeysha Roberts Washington, Aysheh Manaei, Samihah Pargas, Lyn Patterson, Colleen Rowe, Anita Holloway, Marcus Emel, Shaunteri Skinner, Dana Kaleta, & Ananda Deacon

2:50 / To have an existential crisis (2016) by Anouk Chambaz—Despair and questions in a robot living in Steinfort, Luxembourg.

3-4 pm QUEER HOUR + IN-NA-PO (INDIGENOUS NATIONS POETS), sponsored by The Queer Curatorial Fund of the UWM Department of Film, Video, Animation, & New Genres and Scott Gelzer & Sherry Goldsmith

3-3:30 / Jennifer Morales, Siwar Massanat, Elizabeth Hoover, CJ Scruton, franciszka voeltz, Canese Jarboe, & Jenni Moody 

3:30-4 / Kimberly Blaeser, Margaret Noodin, Craig Santos Perez, Jake Skeets, & LeAnne Howe


4-5 pm LATINX POETS FEATURE, sponsored by Erick “CK” Ledesma & Howard Leu

José Felipe Alvergue, Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara, Matthew Gutierrez, Rosa Alcalá, Daniel Borzutzky, Jose-Luis Moctezuma, alida cardós whaley, Carmen Murguia, José Manuela García Oquendo, Urayoán Noel, & Marili Pizarro

5-6 pm OSCAR PRESENTS, sponsored by Ed & Brooke Krishok

Andy Gricevich, Lauren Russell, Mike Hauser, Richard Meier, Timothy Yu, Steve Timm, Jordan Dunn, Lewis Freedman, Stacy Blint, & Abraham Smith

6-10 pm SMALL PRESS FEATURE with CHAX PRESS, CANARIUM BOOKS, UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE, BELLADONNA*, FATHOM BOOKS, PITYMILK PRESS, & VEGETARIAN ALCOHOLIC PRESSsponsored by Reuter & AssociatesThe New Order of Saint Agatha, Karen Campbell & Kevin Ronnie, FATHOM BooksOutpost Natural Foods, Polonez, & Mobile Car Care

6-7 (Chax Press) / David Weiss, Andrew Levy, Maryrose Larkin, Steven Salmoni, Michael Gottlieb, Simon Pettet, Eli Goldblatt, Saba Syed Razvi, Sarah Rosenthal, & Charles Alexander

7-7:30 (Canarium Books) / Ishmael Klein, Darcie Dennigan, Paul Killebrew, Suzanne Buffam, & giovanni singleton

7:30-8 (Ugly Duckling Presse) / Jean Day, Anna Gurton-Wachter, Sawako Nakayasu, Jennifer Nelson, Corina Copp, & Rachel Levitsky

8-8:30 (Belladonna*) Krystal Languell, Gabrielle Civil, Maxe Crandall, Kimberly Alidio, Ashna Ali, & Becca Klaver

8:30-9 (FATHOM Books) / Joseph Spece, Stephanie Adams-Santos, Eric Westerlind, Marissa Bognanno, & Youna Kwak

9-9:15 (Pitymilk Press) / Edie Roberts & Chelsea Tadeyeske

9-15-10 (Vegetarian Alchoholic Press) / Janelle Cordero, Al Russell, Gina Tron, Denise Jarrott, Sierra Nicole-Qualles, Lauren Turner, Kelsey Marie Harris, & Travis Tate

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