29th Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit—ONLINE

Sat. & Sun. Jan. 28-29 | 10 am-10 pm CST both days
Performances from more than 240 poets and artists from Milwaukee and across the globe! 
Then as Now: Woodland Pattern 1980–2022
Oct. 10–Dec 3 | Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, 273 E. Erie St.

A visual history of Woodland Pattern featuring more than 100 artists who have exhibited with us, Then as Now traces four decades of gallery curation that has consistently emphasized interdisciplinary practices, the permeable and ubiquitous nature of language, and the fluidity between poetry and other forms of art. 

The culmination of four years of research by a team of seven curators, this major retrospective includes contributions from book arts, printmaking, fiber arts, collage, photography, film, sound art, performance art, painting, and sculpture—with a particular focus on works that incorporate text. Also central to the exhibition are various examples of visual poetry; works pertaining to the language of music such as visual scores and hand-made instruments; and pieces that reflect a DIY aesthetic, a fondness for found texts, objects, or sounds, and/or a delight in traditional crafts.  

Thematically diverse, the exhibition pursues intergenerational and interregional lineages and affinities, with domestic, ecological, and social justice issues often predominating. 

Images from Then as Now: Woodland Pattern 1980-2022: 1. Anne Kingsbury, Beaded Deerskin (in progress) 2. vanessa german, A Love Poem to Nia Wilson #2 3. Siara Berry, Handle With Care 4. Douglas Ewart, Truth Is Power...The Tongue Is Mightier Than the Sword 5. Hal Rammel, Amplified Palette (2018) 6. Molly Hassler, Resistance Qs 7. Colin Matthes, Essential Knowledge: Making a Boat 8. Renee Baker, Kandinsky Staircase #20

Dinorah Márquez Abadiano, Helen Adam, Laurie Anderson, Renée Baker, Tom Bamberger, Stephanie Barber, Diana Barrie, Pamela Barrie, Emily Belknap, Mary Bero, Siara Berry, Jen Bervin, Lois Bielefeld, Susan Simensky Bietila, Dick Blau, Jaap Blonk, Peter Brötzmann, Phoenix S Brown, Jim Brozek, Tyanna Buie, Julie Chen, Thomas A. & Laurie Clark, Portia Cobb, Orly Cogan, Cecelia Condit, Jane Dalrymple-Hollo, Maria Damon, Eddee Daniel, Raoul Deal, Johanna Drucker, Paul Druecke, Tongo Eisen-Martin & Chris Peck, Kenward Elmslie, Theodore Enslin, Douglas Ewart, Leslie Fedorchuk, Karl Gartung, Thomas Gaudynski, vanessa german, Renee Gladman, Kate Greenstreet, Robert Grenier, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Lane Hall & Lisa Moline, Walter Hamady, Roberto Harrison, Jenny Hart, Molly Hassler, Boolah Hayes, Edgar Heap of Birds, Caren Heft, Dick Higgins, Terri Kapsalis, David Najib Kasir, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., Faye Kicknosway, Susan E. King, Anne Kingsbury, Alison Knowles, Márton Koppány, Nykoli Koslow, Anika Kowalik, Katherine Kuehn, Okja Kwon, Nicolas Lampert, Vaughan Larsen, Fatima Laster, Ck Ledesma, Eric Leonardson, Burt Levy, Howard Leu, Ruth Lingen, Joel Lipman, Gina Litherland, Katie Avila Loughmiller, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Jackson Mac Low, Colin Matthes, Wilhelm Matthies, Marsha McDonald, Kim Miller, Linda Montano, Jeff Morin, Dennis Nechvatal, Steve Nelson-Raney, Katherine Ng, bpNichol, Chris Niver, Josie Osborne, Mary Osmundsen, Teresa Pankratz, JoAnna Poehlmann, Bern Porter, Hal Rammel, Ed Sanders, Gaylord Schanilec, Amanda Schoofs, Pati Scobey, Jill Sebastian, Anja Notanja Sieger, Clarissa Sligh, LaDonna Smith, Lisa Solomon, Buzz Spector, LaNia Sproles, Valaria Tatera, Evelyn Patricia Terry, Walter Tisdale, George Tysh, Fahimeh Vahdat, Cecilia Vicuña, Melissa Wagner-Lawler, Keith Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop, Dan S. Wang, Marjorie Welish, Della Wells, Davey Williams, Jody Williams, Jonathan Williams, Max Yela, Karl Young, Pamela Zwehl-Burke

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

Submissions open from December 1, 2022 through February 15, 2023.

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


Screening: aCinema presents inthemeta

Featuring Heehyun Choi, George Jasper Stone, Suzannah Pettigrew, Jessica McGoff, Brit Bunkley, and Isik Kaya


Fri. Dec. 2 | 7 pm CST | $Give What You Can

Promotional image, grid of six screenshots from the program.
Reading Group: Ping Pong Book Club

Tue. Dec. 6 | 6-7 pm CDT | 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
Panel Discussion: Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry

Sat. Dec. 10 | 2 pm CST | $Give What You Can

Promotional image, background is a close-up of the cover of Latinx Poetics, in the center is the four author photos in a row as listed in the description
#LetsPlay—Obsidian’s Playground Issue Launch: A Reading and Conversation

Featuring Ebony ChinnClifton Gachagua, and Kenning JP García, and moderated by Duriel E. Harris.


Wed. Dec. 14 | 7 pm CST | $Give What You Can

Promotional image, bright green background with author photos in a collage on the left, all photos are in black and white. At the bottom half, the LGBTQIA+ rainbow, Obsidian's logo and mission statement in black with a white background, statement reads
Concert: Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

Featuring Trench and Tontine Ensemble


Thurs. Dec. 15 | 7 pm CST | $10

Promotional banner with bright yellow and green background, pink, mustard, light blue, dark red, and lavender text that reads
Exhibition: Land of Plenty: An Appeal to Heaven

Installation by Emily Belknap
On view through Dec. 16, 2022



Detail of Cascade or Cycle? Flag for Julian's Reef, Lake Michigan from Land of Plenty: An Appeal to Heaven

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

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 2022