• 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
August 25 - Oct 1

Exhibition: Vicki, with an i, organized by Michelle Grabner

September 21

Formations presents Steve Nelson-Raney & Binder-Mollerskov-Schlei-Westfahl

film & video
September 22

aCinema: // In Silence Arrives the Tempest // Waiting on Paradise //

September 23 -23

Reception: Vicki with an i, organized by Michelle Grabner

readings & workshops
September 28

Poetry Reading: Stacy Blint, Rebecca Eland & Mark Tardi

readings & workshops
September 30

100 Thousand Poets for Change MKE

readings & workshops
October 5

Poetry Reading: Feliz Lucia Molina

October 11

Exhibition: Jen Bervin, Tactile Lanuguage

readings & workshops
October 12

Offsite Event: Justice for All: Selected Writings of Lloyd A. Barbee

readings & workshops
October 13

Poetry Reading: Caitlin Scarano, Paula Carter & Freesia McKee

October 22

Alternating Currents Live: Tom Rainey & Devin Drobka Percussion Duo

readings & workshops
October 26

Urban Echo Poets

special events
November 3

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


readings & workshops
November 8

Poetry Reading: Matt Cook

Merrill Gilfillan

Merrill Gilfillan was born in Ohio in 1945. He Studied literature at the universities of Michigan and Iowa, and published his first book of poetry in 1970. After living in New York City for a number of years he moved to the American West, where he resided for three decades. In addition to fourteen books of poems, he has authored two collections of short stories and five volumes of essays, many of the latter regarding various facets of the American landscape, both natural and cultural. His most recent publications include the poetry collection Red Mavis (Flood Editions, 2014), and a collection of essays The Warbler Road (Flood Editions, 2010). He recently moved to Asheville, North Carolina.

Selected Poems


This is the week the yellow currant blows.
Blows through the yellow downwind house
we had one spring, all the starboard windows
open day and night to let the fragrance in,
the place so full of sweetness
we thought it would explode.


Beehive Tucked In The Bend of A River

Crows have what dogs lost.
This lonely place where the river looks east,
goes west.
But they weren't beehives, they were books,
boxes full of books, a dozen stout tomato crates
with lids taped tight and stacked three high,
painted enamel white. Through the narrow handle slots
we could see a few. Neruda. Virgil. Blake.
All poetry from the looks of it, left carefully behind
to melt away among the wild currants
and buckbrush, revert, already settling,
weathering in. One of them leaked a faint trickle,
something clear and viscous oozing down the side—
a syrup, a resin, or a glue. Oil of opposum?
Hard to say. Maybe a nectar. Orb-weaver lees.
Maybe even a honey.


Fulcrum (Bowl With Wild Plums)

September 14: They say the cliff swallow
is half an inch longer than the violet-green.

Yesterday, north wind on the South Platte,
flickering free-fall olive speckled with citron.

Now south wind over the North Platte,
shimmering chanterelle singe and glow.

Right and left. A dog sniffing flowers
for a change. The colors of the cliff swallow

the very same as the bay-breast's.