We're open!

After 14 months of closure, Woodland Pattern has finally reopened for browsingand we cannot wait to welcome you back inside. Over the past month, we have been bustling about, refreshing all the shelves, repotting the plants, and getting the proper protections in place to make sure we maintain an environment that is safe for you and our staff. Our new hours are 12–7 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. For the time being, masks will be required of all visitors. Please also visit our online book center. We are continuing to offer contactless pickup, and as always we are happy to place special orders.

With the book center reopening, you may be wondering how we’re going to handle events, workshops, and community groups, and the shortest answer is: variously. Throughout June, all programs will remain virtual, but starting in July we will begin offering a mix of online and in-person programs outdoors. While we’re not yet prepared to host larger readings inside the gallery, we plan to do so starting in early fall after testing out some hybrid options this summer. Please stay tuned for more details and thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate the unknown. 

Teach with Woodland Pattern


Woodland Pattern is seeking practicing writers and artists to serve as ongoing instructors in its Youth Literary Arts Program. Applicants should have a genuine passion for poetry and the arts and the capacity to support and inspire creativity in young people in grades 3 through 12. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Deadline to be considered for summer programming opportunities is June 18, 2021.

Upcoming online EVENTS

Community Group: Readshop 

Sat. June 12 | 12:15–1:30 pm CST | $Give What You Can | ONLINE

Led by poet and Woodland Pattern co-founder Karl Gartung, Readshops are community sessions dedicated to exploring poetry texts from the 20th century that are often labeled "difficult." Participants take turns reading the poetry aloud, discussing it as questions arise—on the spot, as deeply as needed. No preparation is needed; the only prerequisite is curiosity.

The group is currently reading Nathaniel Mackey’s From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate. This volume collects the first three installments―Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus’s Run, and Atet A.D.―of Mackey’s genre-defying work of fiction. A project that began over thirty years ago, From a Broken Bottle is an epistolary novel that unfolds through N.’s intricate letters to the mysterious Angel of Dust. Unexpected, profound happenings take place as N. delves into music and art and the goings-on of his transmorphic Los Angeles-based jazz ensemble, in which he is a composer and instrumentalist. This triple-set book opens in July 1978 with a dream of a haunting Archie Shepp solo, and closes in September 1982 in a parallactic studio recording session on a glass-bottomed boat borne aloft by the music. 

To join this group or learn more, contact Education Director Alexa Nutile below. 

Book Launch and Pride Celebration
Book Launch and Pride Celebration—We Will Always Be Here: A Guide to Exploring and Understanding the History of LGBTQ Activism in Wisconsin

Thurs. June 24 | 7 pm CDT | ONLINE

Woodland Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee Pride, and WHS Press welcome authors Jenny Kalvaitis and Kristen Whitson for the launch of their new book, We Will Always Be Here. Jenny and Kristen will be joined at this special Pride Month event by teen panelists for a wide-ranging discussion of Wisconsin's rich history of LGBTQ+ activism.

This inspiring and educational book presents examples of LGBTQ activism throughout Wisconsin’s history for young people to explore and discuss. Drawing from a rich collection of primary sources—including diary entries, love letters, zines, advertisements, oral histories, and more—We Will Always Be Here shines a light on powerful and often untold stories from Wisconsin’s history, featuring individuals across a wide spectrum of identities and from all corners of the state.

The LGBTQ people, allies, and activists in this guide changed the world by taking steps that young people can take today—by educating themselves, telling their own stories, being true to themselves, building communities, and getting active. The aim of this celebratory book is not only to engage young people in Wisconsin’s LGBTQ history, but also to empower them to make positive change in the world.

Jenny Kalvaitis has a master’s degree in Public History from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and she has worked in informal education and museum education for over ten years.

Kristen Whitson has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and she has worked in digital preservation, community and indigenous archives, and LGBTQ archives.

WHS Press logo

Poetry Camp 2021

Mon–Fri, August 2–6 from 8:30 am–3:30 pm | In-Person Program

Woodland Pattern’s Poetry Camp is a free-of-cost, five-day, inter-arts camp aimed at helping young people embrace their own stories and feel confident about telling them! Each day includes breakfast, two hours of focused writing, a workshop with a guest artist, lunch, and a field trip. Throughout the week, students write and participate in a range of creative activities, working not only with poets and spoken word artists, but also with actors, performance coaches, musicians, and visual artists. By the end of the week, students have produced various art works, and created a body of new writing that is performed before the community and commemorated in print.  At the end of camp, each student also receives a $100 allowance to purchase books of their choosing to help build their personal libraries. 

Poetry Camp is open to Milwaukee youth entering grades 6-12. Space is limited, and early sign-up is encouraged. We will be implementing procedures to create a safe environment for all. For details visit our Youth page.

Questions? Contact: Alexa Nutile, Education Director


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 (starting June 1)

Closed Mon

Contactless pick-up: Wed–Fri | 2–6 pm, Sat | 2–5 pm

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 2021