• 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
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performances
October 22

Alternating Currents Live: Tom Rainey & Devin Drobka Percussion Duo

readings & workshops
October 25

Poetry Reading: Stephen Anderson & Erik Richardson

readings & workshops
October 26

Urban Echo Poets

special events
November 3

Join us on Friday, November 3rd for our 37th Annual Anniversary Gala!

 

Archived readings & workshops
Oct 8 Saturday, October 8
5:30pm, RECEPTION & PROGRAM: $80 INDIVIDUAL | $150 COUPLE; PROGRAM ONLY: $25 ADVANCE | $30 DOOR

Join us for a poetry reading with Craig Santos Perez and Garrett Caples, guest curated by Brenda Cárdenas

 

Dr. Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamorro from the Pacific Island of Guam. He is the co-editor of two anthologies of Pacific literature, co-founder of Ala Press, and the author of three books of poetry, most recently from unincorporated territory [guma’], which received the American Book Award in 2015. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the U of San Francisco, and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the U of California, Berkeley. He is an associate professor in the English department and affiliate faculty with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the Indigenous Politics Program at the U of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, where he teaches courses in Pacific Literature, Food Writing, and Eco-Poetry.  

 

 

 

 

Garrett Caples is the author of three full-length poetry collections, including the brand-new Power Ballads (Wave Books, 2016). He has also written a book of essays, Retrievals (Wave, 2014), and a pamphlet, Quintessence of the Minor: Symbolist Poetry in English (Wave, 2010). He co-edited Incidents of Travel in Poetry: New and Selected Poems by Frank Lima (City Lights, 2016), Particulars of Place by Richard O. Moore (Omnidawn, 2015), and Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (California, 2013). A freelance writer, he is also an editor at City Lights, where he curates the Spotlight poetry series. He lives in San Francisco.

 

 

 

Those registered for Craig Santos Perez's workshop, The Poetics of Food, Culture, and the Environment, will receive free admission to this reading. 

 

Join us on Thursday, October 6 at 6 PM for an informal discussion of Craig Santos Perez's poetry led by UWM Professor, and 2010-2012 Milwaukee Poet Laureate, Brenda Cárdenas. This discussion is FREE and open to the public. No prior knowledge of Craig Santos Perez's writing is necessary. 

 


Thanksgiving in the Anthropocene, 2015

 

Thank you, instant mashed potatoes, your bland taste

makes me feel like an average American. Thank you,

 

incarcerated Americans, for filling the labor shortage

and packing potatoes in Idaho. Thank you, canned

 

cranberry sauce, for your gelatinous curves. Thank you,

Ojibwe tribe in Wisconsin, your lake is now polluted

 

with phosphate-laden discharge from nearby cranberry

bogs. Thank you, crisp green beans, you are my excuse

 

for eating dessert later. Thank you, indigenous migrant

workers, for picking the beans in Mexico’s farm belt,

 

may your children survive the journey. Thank you, NAFTA,

for making life so cheap. Thank you, Butterball Turkey,

 

for the word, butterball, which I repeat all day butterball,

butterball, butterball because it helps me swallow the bones

 

of genocide. Thank you, dark meat for being so juicy

(no offense, dry and fragile white meat, you matter too).

 

Thank you, 90 million factory farmed turkeys, for giving

your lives this holiday season. Thank you, factory farm

 

workers, for clipping turkey toes and beaks so they don’t scratch

and peck each other in overcrowded, dark sheds. Thank you,

 

genetic engineering and antibiotics, for accelerating

their growth. Thank you, stunning tank, for immobilizing

 

most of the turkeys hanging upside down by crippled legs.

Thank you, stainless steel knives, for your sharpened

 

edge and thirst for throat. Thank you, de-feathering

tank, for your scalding-hot water, for finally killing the last

 

still conscious turkeys. Thank you, turkey tails, for feeding

Pacific Islanders all year round. Thank you, empire of

 

slaughter, for never wasting your fatty leftovers. Thank you,

tryptophan, for the promise of an afternoon nap—

I really need it. Thank you, store bought stuffing,

for your ambiguously ethnic flavor, you remind me

 

that I’m not an average American. Thank you, gravy,

for being hot-off-the-boat and the most beautiful

 

brown. Thank you, dear readers, for joining me at the table

of this poem. Please hold hands, bow your heads, and repeat

 

after me: “Let us bless the hands that harvest and butcher

our food, bless the hands that drive delivery trucks

 

and stock grocery shelves, bless the hands that cooked

and paid for this meal, bless the hands that bind

 

our hands and force feed our endless mouth.

May we forgive each other and be forgiven.

 

—Craig Santos Perez

 

 

 

AVID DIVA

 

avid diva, visit me

dispense divine advice

o radiant deviant

 

evidence of violence

rivets my vivid dive

addictive desire violates me

 

drives my rivers

in reverse, revives

my velvet revolution

 

revs my vacuum cleaner

that died, veils my veins

with unbelievable sleeves

 

divides evening into

eternities laced with

invisible sleep

 

my valves go viral

my values on vacation

my vultures counterclockwise

 

they prey on my vices

the liver rippers! the wind

invents voices on the wing

 

to whisper livid

prayers above my

vibrating window

 

listen, avid diva

i have a hive nearby

i invite you to

 

a hovel i’ve chosen

close to the oval of love

run up my vacant stairs

 

invade my ventilation

shaft and fill my vats

with quivering liquid

 

video my elvis selves

in silver levis swiveling

vote in my next erection

 

save me, avid diva

in advance of the broken

arm, advocate for the victim

 

who avoids your eyes

to envision the void

devour his heart

 

provoke my vital signs

i survived just in time

for your give it to me

 

leaving me heaving in

tears of repulsive beauty

i’m not vegas or jesus

 

i’m recovering

belief in the everyday

rave against time

 

days i want to live, days

i want to die, days i’m

the luckiest man alive

 

—Garrett Caples


 


Made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts.