Submissions open for Milwaukee's first Youth Poet Laureate competition!

Submissions open from December 1, 2022 through February 15, 2023. The Milwaukee Youth Poet Laureate will receive a $500 scholarship, a paid summer internship with Woodland Pattern, a week-long membership with a former youth poet laureate from elsewhere in the country, and opportunities to perform around the city and to compete regionally and nationally.

Interested students are also invited to join us for one or two FREE workshops in February! Click below to register and learn more.

Open to high school juniors enrolled in a Milwaukee County school or who are residents of Milwaukee County.

Reading Group: Ping Pong Book Club

Wed. Feb. 8 | 6-7 pm CST | Open to the public

Promotional banner with bright yellow background, brightly colored illustration of two clowns at a ping pong table with eight books floating around them, with text in bold sans-serif black font that reads
Workshop: Milwaukee Youth Poet Laureate—Manuscript Editing + CV

Thurs. Feb. 14 | 9 pm CST | $Give What You Can

Full details: Writing Workshop Monday, December 5, 2022 @ 4 pm Editing and CV Workshop Thursday, February 2, 2022 @ 4 pmFree workshops for Milwaukee Youth!
Community Group: Readshop 

Wed. Feb. 1 | 6-7:15 pm CST | $Give What You Can

Promotional banner with cover of In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country by Etel Adnan in the center, an extreme close up of cover detail in the background,
Concert: Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

Featuring Ben Malone (Set 1) and Michael Bettine/GONGTOPIA (Set 2)


Thurs. Thurs. 16 | 7 pm CST | $10

Promotional banner with bright yellow and green background, pink, mustard, light blue, dark red, and lavender text that reads
Exhibition Reception: A pile on the floor! Works by Nina Ghanbarzadeh

Fri. Feb. 17 | 5-8 pm CST | Open to the public

Poetry Reading: Claire Hong in response to Sarah Zapata's a resilience of things not seen

At the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (608 New York Ave., Sheboygan, WI 53081)

Thurs. Feb. 23 | 6-7:30 pm CST | $Give What You Can

Promotional banner, left side has Claire Hong's author portrait, the right side has an installation view of Sarah Zapata's exhibition at JMKAC
Say hello to Antonio & Bre!

Antonio Vargas-Nieto joins Woodland Pattern as a Poetry Coalition Fellow, and Bre Legan has been selected as our first-ever Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellow.

We are pleased to announce that Antonio Vargas-Nieto will be working with Woodland Pattern over the next ten months as a Poetry Coalition Fellow, during which time he will play a major role in helping us launch a nationally affiliated Milwaukee Youth Poet Laureate program, among other projects. Coordinated by the Academy of American PoetsThe Poetry Coalition is a national alliance of more than 25 organizations working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. Antonio joins the third cohort of Poetry Coalition Fellows as part of a three-year pilot program, funded by the Mellon Foundation, that seeks to develop future leaders in the literary arts through paid experiential learning in nonprofit administration and a variety of professional development opportunities. Other Poetry Coalition Fellows around the country include Brent Ameneyro (at Letras Latinas), Anthony Febo (at Mass Poetry), Kimberly Nguyen (at Urban Word), and Bridgette Yang (at Youth Speaks).

We are also excited to introduce the first-ever Milwaukee Emerging Poet FellowBre Legan—who will be working with mentoring poet Brenda Cárdenas through next spring both on their own poetry and on a multi-pronged project that brings poetry into public spaces. Drawing inspiration from both the Mary L. Nohl Fund Emerging Artist Fellowship and the Poetry Project's Emerge Surface Be Fellowship, Woodland Pattern established the Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowship in 2022 to bring greater visibility and much needed early support to Milwaukee poets through intergenerational mentorships, access to opportunities that encourage a poet’s practice and development, and investment in ambitious literary projects for which younger poets frequently lack resources. Additionally, the Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellow receives an honorarium and book allowance, as well as support from our staff in caring out their project. Poets under 30 are welcome to apply for the next cycle of this fellowship in June 2023.

Antonio Vargas-Nieto was born in Mexico and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holding degrees in Creative Writing and Film, Video, and New Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, his writing borrows insight from his work behind the camera, and has been featured in Moody the Zine and Silver Operation. In 2021, Antonio founded Palm Readings—a poetry series centered around the tactile and tangible facets of poetry. He believes poetry can exist outside of dusty books and beyond any glowing screen.

Bre Legan is a multimedia storyteller and dreamer living and loving out of Milwaukee, though they are pleased to have roots in many places. A graduate student in Communication and Digital Media at Marquette University, Bre holds degrees in art and writing from Drury University and Santa Reparata International School of Art. When they aren’t busy studying the intersections of art and social justice, you will likely find them fiddling with an ancient typewriter, organizing with Midcoast Artist Collective, and exploring this beautiful world.

Visit our unique collection of small-press poetry

Did you know Woodland Pattern is home to a nationally recognized collection of over 25,000 small-press poetry titles? To the largest selection of haiku in North America? To the biggest selection of books by Native American authors in Wisconsin? To broadsides, zines, chapbooks, pamphlets, and other hand-made items? 

The dissemination of independent literature—particularly poetry, unconventional texts, works that honor bookmaking as a visual art, books by small- and micro-press publishers, and literature by writers from historically marginalized backgrounds—has been central to our purpose since our founding. Our inventory decisions are mission-driven, allowing us to support writers and publishers in ways that are inconceivable for a commercial bookseller.

Come in and discover. We encourage visitors to read and study at their leisure with no pressure to make a purchase. Use our space as generations of Milwaukeeans have—to learn more about poetry, publishing, and book arts, and to connect with others who share your interests. We will be happy to see you and talk poetry!

You can also visit our online book center to browse selections from our small-press inventory, or give us a call at (414) 263-5001 to see if we have a title in stock. As always, we will gladly place special orders, ship books to your home, and offer contactless pick-up at your request.

We acknowledge that in Milwaukee we live and work on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homelands along the southwest shores of Michigami, part of North America’s largest system of freshwater lakes, where the Milwaukee, Menominee, and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present. 

We further acknowledge the grave evil colonialism introduced to these lands ​through genocide as well as slavery, and also via racist and xenophobic ​beliefs, laws​, and practices that continue to inflict harm upon Black, brown, and Indigenous lives. We honor those who have lived—and do live, now—at these intersections of identity and experience, and are committed to the active dismantling of white supremacy.

Read our statement on racial justice

720 E. Locust Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414 263 5001

Hours: Tues–Sun | 12-7 pm

Closed Mon

Building Accessibility: Despite the age of our physical location, and attendant limitations to access, Woodland Pattern is committed to making its programs and facilities available for as many as possible. Please call for more information.

Events Accessibility: Woodland Pattern is able to offer captioning services for its online events and with advanced notice can provide ASL interpretation for live events. Please contact us with accommodation requests and questions.

© Woodland Pattern 2022