• 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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readings & workshops
July 20

Book Launch: Draw Write Here! Volume III, Issue 1

readings & workshops
July 22

Sunday Summer Story Series!

readings & workshops
July 29

Poetry Reading: Tongo Eisen-Martin

readings & workshops
July 29

Sunday Summer Story Series!

July 30 - Aug 10

Woodland Pattern Annual Inventory - STORE CLOSED

readings & workshops
August 14

Offsite Reading: Poetry in the Park - Juneau Park

performances
August 16

Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

Amaud Jamaul Johnson

Amaud Jamaul Johnson's first collection,Red Summer (Tupelo, 2006) was selected by Carl Phillips as winner of The Dorset Prize. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University and a graduate of the Cave Canem workshop, he holds degrees from Howard University and Cornell University. His poems have appeared, and or forthcoming in Quarterly West, Shenandoah, New England Review,The Virginia Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, and West Branch. He teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Selected Poems

Burlesque


Amaud Jamaul Johnson

 

Watch the fire undress him,
how flame fingers each button,
rolls back his collar, unzips him
without sweet talk or mystery.

See how the skin begins to gather
at his ankles, how it slips into
the embers, how it shimmers
beneath him, unshapen, iridescent,

as candlelight on a dark negligee.
Come, look at him, at all his goods,
how his whole body becomes song,
an aria of light, a psalm's kaleidoscope.

Listen as he lets loose an opus,
night's national anthem, the tune
you can't name, but can't stop humming.
There, he burns brilliant as a blue note.