• 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 6 - Sep 28

Book Club: Readshops led by Karl Gartung

readings & workshops
July 3 - Sep 25

Dhamma MKE

August 1 - Sep 26

The Point Being: Works by Thomas Gaudynski

readings & workshops
September 5

Br!NK New Play Festival

film & video
September 6

aCinema presents Aurora Picture Show’s Extremely Shorts Touring Program

readings & workshops
September 7

Poetry Reading: Ana Božičević & Annie Grizzle

readings & workshops
September 7

Poems are a River: Writing Built and Natural Form - a workshop with Ana Božičević

September 11

Thomas Gaudynski, Linda Binder, and Mark Mantel performing in response to The Point Being

September 14

AVIARY: Selected Paintings by Ken Wood - Book Release and Reception

September 15

Alternating Currents Live presents Silvia Bolognesi and Russ Johnson

September 19

Formations Series for New and Improvised Music

readings & workshops
September 20

Poetry Reading: John Sierpinski, Sylvia Cavanaugh, and Ed Werstein

Archived readings & workshops
Apr 28 Thursday, April 28
7:00pm, $Give What You Can

Join us for a celebration of recent publications by poets Dawn Tefft & Caitlin Scarano! 



Dawn Tefft's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Fence, Denver Quarterly, Witness, Sentence and H_ngm_n. She is the author of Fist (Dancing Girl Press), The Walking Dead: A Lyric (Finishing Line Press), and Field Trip to My Mother and Other Exotic Locations (Mudlark). You can find some of her nonfiction at PopMatters, Truthout, and Woodland Pattern's blog. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from UW-Milwaukee and works as a higher ed union organizer in Chicago.




Caitlin Scarano is a poet in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee PhD creative writing program. She was the winner of the2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize, Conium Review's 2015 Flash Fiction Contest, and a finalist for the 2016 DISQUIET Literary Prize in Poetry. She has two poetry chapbooks: The White Dog Year (dancing girl press, 2015) and The Salt and Shadow Coiled (Zoo Cake Press, 2015). Her recent work can be found in Granta, Crazyhorse, and Ninth Letter.



When Your Brother, Who Is in Jail Again

        —a poem written from myself to myself


when your brother calls to say his fists are turning into thieves

            and your niece is a sweet collection of thrushes and wrens


                                                 you should take notes so that you can understand the curve

                                                                                                                                     of his reasoning


you must accept that indeed you come from a long line of wounds


                                     return to your village and open up The Book of the Mumbling Dead


reading is                            

your last good way of saying your name without it hurting


           your name: all the flowers that are edible


                                               after all you come from a line of chefs


                                                                                          open to the page lined with

                                                                      there are always

                                                                      already and only

                                                                      three true outcomes:


           the fox to the hare, the splinter to the sea, and the unsure thing


eventually you will understand the voices of the sand in the rocks

and theorize houses as an attraction of bricks


                                                                                there are so many things that don't make sense


                                      like the timid girls wandering onto the private beach

like your body, irresolute and shaped by food


                     if you can accept your deceased

                                pulling their chairs up to your table to eat

                                                        if you can accept the rain as just another pattern happening


                     you can begin to indent your belief


after all you come from the sea



—Dawn Tefft, first published in BlazeVOX


The Boar I Bled


During the rawest year, I live inside the ribcage of an elk, eat

fish from a jar and drink stale snow I saved


from the winter before. I don't make notches

in trees. I do not believe the moon follows me. In the fall, a boy


rides by on his best stick horse. He's coming from a war and has white

knight inclinations but I smell


of wood smoke and lye and don't even own an ivory dresses. I do not

braid my hair or sing to misty-eyed animals at the window.


I don't even have a window.


I drained the gentleness from myself as if bleeding a boar.

Instead of saving each other, me and the boy get drunk


on sour dandelion wine and stories of our fathers. We marvel

at sounds but rarely speak a common language.


When the fire lowers to nothing but embers, he whistles

& he and the night and the bodiless horse are gone. I count


the places he found on me, my body smoldering, my hunger

renewed and thrashing.


In the morning, I try turning myself inside out

but he hasn't left any grape seeds or sons behind. Listen:


you don't need something to remember someone by. The sky can cut

open her own underbelly and snow will follow.


—Caitlin Scarano