• Address 720 East Locust Street | Milwaukee, WI 53212
  • Phone 414.263.5001
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mon
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm, Closed Mon
Event Calendar
special events
April 21

Join us for the 13th annual RIVERWEST FOLLIES variety show

April 22

ACL presents Renee Baker Quartet, Visual Dark Scratch Suite

April 22

Woman: Frailty Thy Name, works by Renee Baker

readings & workshops
April 25

Reading: Toni Jensen

readings & workshops
April 26

Four Milwaukee Poets: Alix Anne Shaw with Annie Grizzle, Sam Pekarske & Bethany Price

readings & workshops
April 28

Wisconsin Reads: Reading with Louise Erdrich (video streamed to Woodland Pattern)

readings & workshops
May 2

Poetry Reading: Rena Priest and Denise Low

readings & workshops
May 2

Craft Talk with Denise Low at UWM

readings & workshops
May 10

Birds in Poetry at Urban Ecology Center

May 13

Alternating Currents Live presents: The Transatlantic Bridge #11

readings & workshops
May 16

Kundiman Midwest Chapbook Series Noel Pabillo Mariano

May 17

Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

readings & workshops
May 24

Poetry Reading: Urban Echo Poets

June 3

ACL presents: Tom Hamilton & City of Vorticity

Archived readings & workshops
Apr 28 Thursday, April 28
7:00pm, $6 members | $7 students/seniors | $8 general

Join us for a celebration of recent publications by poets Dawn Tefft & Caitlin Scarano! 



Dawn Tefft's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Fence, Denver Quarterly, Witness, Sentence and H_ngm_n. She is the author of Fist (Dancing Girl Press), The Walking Dead: A Lyric (Finishing Line Press), and Field Trip to My Mother and Other Exotic Locations (Mudlark). You can find some of her nonfiction at PopMatters, Truthout, and Woodland Pattern's blog. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from UW-Milwaukee and works as a higher ed union organizer in Chicago.




Caitlin Scarano is a poet in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee PhD creative writing program. She was the winner of the2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize, Conium Review's 2015 Flash Fiction Contest, and a finalist for the 2016 DISQUIET Literary Prize in Poetry. She has two poetry chapbooks: The White Dog Year (dancing girl press, 2015) and The Salt and Shadow Coiled (Zoo Cake Press, 2015). Her recent work can be found in Granta, Crazyhorse, and Ninth Letter.



When Your Brother, Who Is in Jail Again

        —a poem written from myself to myself


when your brother calls to say his fists are turning into thieves

            and your niece is a sweet collection of thrushes and wrens


                                                 you should take notes so that you can understand the curve

                                                                                                                                     of his reasoning


you must accept that indeed you come from a long line of wounds


                                     return to your village and open up The Book of the Mumbling Dead


reading is                            

your last good way of saying your name without it hurting


           your name: all the flowers that are edible


                                               after all you come from a line of chefs


                                                                                          open to the page lined with

                                                                      there are always

                                                                      already and only

                                                                      three true outcomes:


           the fox to the hare, the splinter to the sea, and the unsure thing


eventually you will understand the voices of the sand in the rocks

and theorize houses as an attraction of bricks


                                                                                there are so many things that don't make sense


                                      like the timid girls wandering onto the private beach

like your body, irresolute and shaped by food


                     if you can accept your deceased

                                pulling their chairs up to your table to eat

                                                        if you can accept the rain as just another pattern happening


                     you can begin to indent your belief


after all you come from the sea



—Dawn Tefft, first published in BlazeVOX


The Boar I Bled


During the rawest year, I live inside the ribcage of an elk, eat

fish from a jar and drink stale snow I saved


from the winter before. I don't make notches

in trees. I do not believe the moon follows me. In the fall, a boy


rides by on his best stick horse. He's coming from a war and has white

knight inclinations but I smell


of wood smoke and lye and don't even own an ivory dresses. I do not

braid my hair or sing to misty-eyed animals at the window.


I don't even have a window.


I drained the gentleness from myself as if bleeding a boar.

Instead of saving each other, me and the boy get drunk


on sour dandelion wine and stories of our fathers. We marvel

at sounds but rarely speak a common language.


When the fire lowers to nothing but embers, he whistles

& he and the night and the bodiless horse are gone. I count


the places he found on me, my body smoldering, my hunger

renewed and thrashing.


In the morning, I try turning myself inside out

but he hasn't left any grape seeds or sons behind. Listen:


you don't need something to remember someone by. The sky can cut

open her own underbelly and snow will follow.


—Caitlin Scarano