• 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
readings & workshops
March 22

Community Conversation About The Round House 

special events
March 24

Anne Kingsbury passes the torch to our new directors!

readings & workshops
March 28

Poetry Reading: Sherwin Bitsui & Bojan Louis

readings & workshops
March 29

Urban Echo Poets

readings & workshops
April 4

Creative Open Mic “Show Your Love of the River” Sharing & Member Meeting

film & video
April 6

aCinema Screening

readings & workshops
April 11

Poetry Reading: Luci Tapahonso and Margaret Noodin

readings & workshops
April 14

Kundiman Midwest Chapbook Series: Lo Kwa Mei-en

readings & workshops
April 17

Poetry Reading and Conversation with Roberto Harrison @ Brown Deer Public Library

April 19

Alash Ensemble

April 21

Woman: Frailty Thy Name, works by Renee Baker

April 22

ACL presents Renee Baker Quartet, Visual Dark Scratch Suite

readings & workshops
May 2

Poetry Reading: Rena Priest

May 13

Alternating Currents Live presents The Bridge

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

Barbara Wuest

Barbara Wuest holds an MFA from University of California, Irvine. Her poems have been published in Wisconsin Academy Review, The Paris Review, The Cape Rock, Dogwood, Western Ohio Journal, CrossCurrents, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Laurel Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Oberon and others. She has a chapbook, Among Others, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

Selected Poems

Natural Formation

As a child I watched with all our neighbors as

a warehouse burned large one evening in fall.

Flames climbed up to the sky as if they would

singe the stars and blacken the big round moon.

Fear came alive in my knees, my shoulders, my

hands, and it set up shop in my unshaped mind.

I have it now to use as I might when someone

strikes at an over-burdened nerve, laying me out

so I can't stand up for the fight or the awful fire.



Cool sunny fall is everywhere I look and the last

days of green turn me toward the lost who have

led me back home where ending solemnly begins.

I come to the ghostly door, stop on the bottom

step and gather my past like the long lacy train

of a dress the wearer I serve parades through

the halls of the palace where excess is supreme.

Weakening with each step up to the royal chair

I lose control and tumble like a red-nosed clown.



Rubber Capitol of the World

I was nearly through being seven.
A new playground and more kids than
I had ever stood among.
Something burned all the time.
And the foul smell meant money
was being made by their dads.

My own newly dead, I thought
only of the space on the ground,
the room I had between my feet
and theirs. Often they would
step into the area I'd reserved.

I was not sad. I was not,
not then. Not for anyone.
Akron had a man's sound,
citied and strange. I came
from a town. A soft say
on your lips, someone's name.