• 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 special events
Nov 11 Friday, November 11
7:00pm, $Give What You Can


For this year's Anniversary Gala we’re excited to welcome poet, novelist, performer and art journalist Eileen Myles!


Join us on Friday, November 11th at

Centennial Hall at the Milwaukee Public Library - Central Branch

814 W. Wisconsin Ave 

Milwaukee, WI 53233



Tickets for both the reception and program are available at the door. 


Reception & Program: $80 Individual | $150 Couple

Program Only: $30 Door



5:30 pm Reception

Cash bar, catered hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, mingling with Gala Honorees, Nancy Rafal & Polly Morris; featured artist Eileen Myles; and numerous notable Milwaukeeans.  


7 pm Program

Presentation of awards to Gala Honorees, Nancy Rafal & Polly Morris; reading by Eileen Myles




Poet, novelist, performer and art journalist Eileen Myles is the author of nineteen books including I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems and a re-issue of Chelsea Girls in 2015. Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1949, attended Catholic schools in Arlington, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts (Boston) in 1971. They came to New York in 1974 to be a poet. Their poetic education primarily took place at St. Mark's Poetry Project from 1975 to 1977, through attending readings and participating in workshops led by Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan, and Paul Violi. From 1984 to 1986 Eileen was the artistic director of St. Mark's Poetry Project.


From 1977 to 1979 they published dodgems, a poetry magazine that represented a collision of New York School, Language Poetry, performance texts, unconventional prose, as well as tossed-off notes from neighbors and celebrities. In 1977, Eileen co-edited the feminist anthology Ladies Museum, and in 1979 worked as an assistant to poet James Schuyler. That same year, Eileen Myles was a founding member of the Los Texans Collective (along with Elinor Nauen and Barbara McKay), which went on to produce the play Patriarchy and the spiritual entertainment Joan of Arc.


Myles has toured and read all over North America and Europe on and off since the early 1980s. Their solo performances include Leaving New York (1989), Life (1991), and Summer in Russia (1996) at PS 122 in New York. Myles's plays include Feeling Blue (Parts 1, 2, and 3) at Modern Art, and Our Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, written for Alina Troyano and produced at PS 122. In 2004, Eileen Myles wrote the libretto for the opera Hell, composed by Michael Webster. In 2010, they created and directed their Dia Center for the Arts performance piece, The Collection of Silence, which involved dancers, poets, children, visual artists, and Buddhists in a collective public act of silence at the Hispanic Society in New York.


In 1995, with Liz Kotz, Myles edited The New Fuck You: Adventures in Lesbian Reading. As a poet and art journalist, Eileen has contributed to a wide number of publications including Art Forum, The New Yorker, Harpers, Parkett, The Believer, Vice, Cabinet, The Nation, TimeOut, Paris Review, and AnOther Magazine. They often contribute essays to catalogs for major exhibitions such as the Whitney and Liverpool Biennials.


Eileen Myles is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital art writers' grant, four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America, was named to the Slate/Whiting Second Novel List in 2015, and received a poetry award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2016 they received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. They live in Marfa, TX and New York.




Nancy Rafal has been a Woodland Pattern supporter for over 20 years. She was an early participant in the Woodland Pattern Poetry Marathon driving from Door County and often she was one of the few members of the audience (except for staff) that stayed throughout the entire Marathon until the last poem was read. Now she offers rides to fellow poets in Bailey’s Harbor who want attend Woodland Pattern special events several times a year.  


In 2003 Rafal was an active part of planning the Centennial Celebrations of Niedecker’s birth. In addition, she also made an anonymous contribution making it possible for Cid Corman and his wife Shizumi to travel from Japan and give a key presentation at the event in Milwaukee and a reading in Fort Atkinson. The celebration took place in Milwaukee and Fort Atkinson and was co-sponsored by Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee Public Library, and Fort Atkinson Library.


In addition to her support of Woodland Pattern, Rafal’s advocacy of poetry has encouraged other writers to come closer to realizing their potential both by creating venues for them and by drawing public attention to their work. She was instrumental part in establishing the Door County Poet Laureate position, officially sanctioned by the County Board in 2010. As a part of the leadership of both the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) and the Wisconsin Writers’ Association (WWA), she is a valuable source of literary information. She serves on the Board of Friends of Niedecker and is active in the annual Niedecker Poetry Festival, which occurs each October in Fort Atkinson.  


Polly Morris is the Executive Director of the Bradley Family Foundation and the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lynden, which operates as a laboratory at the intersection of art and nature for artists, teachers, students, and the general public, opened in May 2010. Morris also administers the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund for Individual Artists Fellowship program, and serves as the chair of the public art subcommittee of the City of Milwaukee Arts Board.


Her previous experience includes nearly a decade directing Danceworks, an organization she co-founded in 1992; and another decade at the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she indulged her passion for cross-disciplinary programming. As principal of Polly Morris Inc., Morris advised area non-profits on development, marketing, program development, and strategic planning. She has a Ph.D. from the Center for the Study of Social History at the University of Warwick in England, and most of her writing these days is parcelled out in grant narratives, e-newsletters and the occasional catalogue essay.





Our 36th Anniversary Gala, in partnership with the Milwaukee Public Library, would not be possible without our generous event sponsors: Paula Kiely, Christine Prevetti, Jan Serr & John Shannon, Marly Gisser & Thomas Gaudynski, Daniel Grego & Debra Loewen, Susan Winecki, Dorothy Dean, Anne Vogel, Josie Osborne & Kimberly Cosier, McGranaghan & Stawski Ltd., Karen Campbell & Kevin Ronnie, Wednesday Writers Group, Barbara Brown Lee, Lisa Corona, Peter Goldberg, Tonen O'Connor, Riverwest Currents

Silent Auction Donors

Next Act Theatre, Milwaukee Public Library, Potawatomi Bingo & Casino, The Center for Book Arts, Convulsive Editions, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Skylight Music Theater, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Renaissance Theaterworks, Devon Seafood & Steak, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee Admirals, County Clare Inn & Pub, Intercontinental Milwaukee, Ward's House of Prime, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Florentine Opera Company, Wine's for Humanity, Amanda Ngoho Reavey, Karen Campbell, Michael Wendt, Sprecher Brewery, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, The Feminist Press, Cream City Review


In partnership with