• 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
readings & workshops
April 10

Virtual Poetry Reading: Marilyn Chin

film & video
April 17

Virtual Film Screening: The Collection

readings & workshops
April 19 - May 10

Intergenerational Self-Collaboration: A Multi-Arts Workshop with Paul McComas

readings & workshops
April 24

Virtual Poetry Reading: Krystal Languell + Jennifer Nelson + Ae Hee Lee

film & video
April 25

Virtual Film Screening: Immortal Cupboard: In Search of Lorine Niedecker 

readings & workshops
April 29

Virtual Poetry Reading: Raquel Salas Rivera + Lara Mimosa Montes

Archived special events
Nov 13 Friday, November 13
7:00pm, $Give What You Can

“It’s necessary to maintain a state of disobedience against . . . everything.” —Alice Notley 


For this year’s Anniversary Gala we’re excited to host genre-defying writer Alice Notley, whose decades-long commitment to literary disobedience has given us one of the most wide-ranging and important bodies of work in contemporary American poetry. 


This year's anniversary gala will take place at the 

Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

2419 East Kenwood Blvd

Milwaukee, WI 53211




Reception & Program: $80 Individual | $150 Couple

Program Only: $25 Advance | $30 Door


Order online now, or call 414-263-5001. 


Anniversary Gala Tickets



5:30 pm Reception

Cash bar, catered hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, mingling with Gala Honorees, featured artist Alice Notley, and numerous notable Milwaukeeans.  


7 pm Program

Presentation of awards to Gala Honorees; reading by Alice Notley


Barbara Brown Lee in honor of Anne Kingsbury & Karl Gartung
David & Diane Buck
Lisa Corona
Anne Kingsbury & Karl Gartung
Peter Goldberg
Margrete & David Harvey
Paula Kiely
Debra Loewen & Daniel Grego
Mary J. Meehan
Josie Osborne & Kim Cosier
Overpass Light Brigade
Christine Prevetti
Patrick & Mary Reavey
Riverwest Currents
Jan Serr & John Shannon
Carolyn White Travanti
Wednesday Writer's Group

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Alice Notley was born in Bisbee, Arizona in 1945, and grew up in Needles, California. She received a BA from Barnard College in 1967, and an MFA in fiction and poetry from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1969. Notley was accepted by The Writers’ Workshop as a fiction writer on the basis of a short story and went to Iowa “to learn to be a novelist.” And this may have led to the development of Notley’s inter-genre approach to writing - an aesthetic that has come to be historicized as the Poet’s Novel.


Beginning with The Descent of Alette (Penguin, 1992), Notley’s work took certain architectural elements of the novel - plot and characters - and set them to her own poetic diction and cadence. Of prose fiction, Notley has said that it “limits experience too much, it believes in climaxes and endings as if life had them.” In contrast, her poetry “uses [these elements] for shapeliness and not much more.” As a practitioner of the late 20th century poetic counter epic, Notley has been referred to as “our present-day Homer” by the artist Rudy Burckhardt.


Notley traveled extensively throughout the U. S. during the ‘60s and early ‘70s, having lived in New York, Chicago, Rhode Island, and among the then-vibrant poetic community of Bolinas, California. She married poet Ted Berrigan in 1972, and the two lived together first in Chicago, and then Manhattan, becoming an indispensable part of the communities of poets and artists in both cities. Notley edited and provided the introduction for a posthumous re-publication of Berrigan’s The Sonnets (Penguin, 2000) and, along with their sons, the poets Edmund and Anselm Berrigan, edited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (University of California Press, 2007). Notley married the British poet and novelist Douglas Oliver in 1988, and the two moved to Paris in 1992.  


While she is often associated with the Second Generation New York School of poets - including Berrigan, Anne Waldman, and Ron Padgett - Notley’s writing strives for reinvention. Notley has said of her writing: “I always seem to be erasing and starting over, rather than picking up where I left off... This is probably one reason that I change form and style so much, out of a desire to find a new beginning, which is always the true beginning.” And this practice has allowed Notley to, in the words of Brian Teare, “[free] herself from any single notion of what poetry should be so that she can go ahead and write what poetry can be.”


Notley has authored dozens of books, including Culture of One (Penguin Books, 2011), Songs and Stories of the Ghouls (Wesleyan University Press, 2011), and Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems, 1970-2005 (Wesleyan, 2008). She has authored several award-winning volumes, including Mysteries of Small Houses (Penguin, 1998), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Disobedience (Penguin, 2001), recipient of the Griffin International Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Notley was awarded the Poetry Foundation’s prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize earlier this year.

Recent publications include Manhattan Luck (Hearts Desire, 2014) and Benediction (Letter Machine Editions, 2015), along with a forthcoming Certain Magical Acts (Penguin, 2016). Notley continues to live in Paris, making several trips to the United States each year to give readings and lectures.