• 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
March 18 - Apr 3

Closed but Open (Here’s How)! 

Books + Events + More

readings & workshops
April 4

Virtual Poetry Reading: Mónica de la Torre + José Felipe Alvergue

readings & workshops
April 4

Virtual Workshop with Mónica de la Torre

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

Archived special events
Jan 25 January 25 - January 26
1:00pm, $100 General | $90 Member


It’s nearly time for Woodland Pattern’s 26th Annual Poetry Marathon and Benefit! We hope that you’ll consider joining the hundreds of poets, writers, and community members from Milwaukee and beyond who set up camp at the book center for this day-long celebration of poetry and performance. The marathon has become an important cultural tradition not only for Woodland Pattern but for Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood and for writers from around the Great Lakes region. To sustain you through 15 hours of performances by 150 poets, food will be served throughout the day!


The Poetry Marathon is a community fundraiser where readers find sponsors to pledge a minimum total of $40 to Woodland Pattern on their behalf. As a reader the pledge minimum is not meant as an entry fee that you pay, but rather as a fundraising goal to be met by asking friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and others to contribute.


If you’ve never participated in a fundraiser before, don’t worry. We have lots of tips and strategies to help you meet or even exceed your $40 minimum goal! The three readers who raise the most in pledges will receive special prizes ($100, $50, and $25 gift certificates to Woodland Pattern, plus a limited-edition Woodland Pattern T-shirt and tote). 


All pledges raised by readers will be matched by a major sponsor for each hour of the marathon. Together these funds will provide vital support for 350+ arts and educational programs in 2020. 

This year, on our 40th anniversary, we’re asking Marathon readers to raise $40 in pledges, an extra five dollars than in previous years. Why? We haven’t raised pledge goals in over a decade, and in that time all sorts of costs that the Poetry Marathon helps cover have gone up exponentially. 

For example:

  • Just in the past five years, the cost to provide healthcare for our staff has nearly quadrupled
  • Liability insurance covering our building in the event of a fire and our organization in the event of an accident has gone up by more than 25% since 2010
  • Other expenses too—utilities like water and electricity, printing and postage costs to produce our mailers, and technologies we rely on to run our payroll, manage our inventory, and maintain our donor database—have likewise all increased dramatically over the past decade

In order to meet the financial challenges of operating Woodland Pattern in 2020 as opposed to 2010, we’re asking for your help this year by seeking out an extra $5 in pledges. Thank you in advance for helping us to raise these critical funds that sustain us.

Reader registration opens on Sunday, December 1st! We’re so excited for you to share your writing, and greatly appreciate your support. 


PLEASE NOTE: WE HAVE EXTENDED OUR DEADLINE FOR LATE NIGHT HOURS! Call us for a spot between 11 pm and 1 am.


How to sign up as a reader: For additional information or to sign up as a reader, call us at 414-263-5001 or stop by the book center at 720 E. Locust Street in Riverwest. 


Underwriting Opportunities: Each hour of the marathon is matched by a major sponsor. To underwrite an hour of the Marathon, contact Literary Program Director Michael Wendt at michaelw@woodlandpattern.org, or call the center’s main line.


Sponsor a reader: If you’d like to help readers raise funds, consider a “Pledge a Reader” donation. Money received through these donations will go directly to a poet who is unable to meet the $40 minimum pledge goal. This is a great way to support Woodland Pattern AND a local artist—win-win!


Click here to sponsor a reader online



Woodland Pattern's 26th Annual Poetry Marathon is presented with generous support from DeWitt LLP! Thank you!

We are also grateful to our many hour sponsors and to Outpost, Pizza Shuttle, and Scardina's Specialties for providing refreshments throughout the day.

10 AM-11 AM: 
Youth Hour


Sponsored by
Mary Gute Witte & Diane Bezella


Hosted by Alexa Nutile

Niles Janzen

Zekiah Talton

Domonick Farmer

Tim Haspel

Peter Wilder
Daequan Muirhead
Meagan Schmiechen

& others TBD

11 AM-12 PM: 
Veterans Hour


Sponsored by
Janine Arseneau

Hosted by
Bob koshin Hanson

Jim Conway
Bob koshin Hanson
Mike Michaels
Norbert Myahs
Roger Quindel
Larry Reed

Thomas Gaudynski
Janet Leahy
Karen Haley
Sharon Foley

12 PM-1 PM:

Sponsored by Scott Gelzer, Club Charlie's, & Kruz

Hosted by
David Kruger

Peter Burzynski
Sunshine Ramel Crayton
Alix Halek
Elizabeth Hoover
David Kruger
Siwar Masannat
Jenni Moody
Carmen Murguia
Conor Scruton
Greg Flegel

1 PM-2 PM

Kenosha/Racine Poets Laureate & Root River Poets Hour

Sponsored by Colectivo

Hosted by Stephen Kalmar II

Esteban Colon 
Debra Hall
Stephen Kalmar II
Susan Larkin
Paul McComas
Brent Mitchell
Nick Ramsey
Mboya Sharif
Kenyatta Turner
Stephen Kalmar II 
      reading for Jean Preston &
      Carol Lee Saffioti-Hughes

2 PM-3 PM

Sponsored by
AllWriters' Workplace and Workshop

Hosted by Kathie Giorgio

Christopher Austin
Paul Enea
Kathie Giorgio
Earl Jude
Lenore Lee
Susan McCabe & 
     Janine Arseneau
Steve Pump
James Roberts
Virginia Small
Harvey Taylor &
     Susie Krause

3 PM-4 PM

Sponsored by
Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

Hosted by
Ed Werstein

Sylvia Cavanaugh
Eloisa Gomez
Maryann Hurtt
Martha Kaplan
Kim Parsons
Nancy Rafal
Tom Erickson
David Southward
Lisa Vihos
Ed Werstein

4 PM-5 PM

Sponsored by
Wisconsin Poet
Laureate Commission 

Hosted by Ronnie Hess & Nick Demske

Kimberly Blaeser
Vida Cross
Nick Demske
Ronnie Hess
Margaret Rozga
Angela Trudell Vasquez
Marilyn Taylor
Nathan Reid
Jodi Vander Molen
Jen Karmin

5 PM-6 PM

Sponsored by Cornell College MFA in Creative Writing

Hosted by Glenn Freeman

Sue Blaustein
Robin Christie
Cary Fellman
Jeff Giese
Mary Lux
Sarah Rosenblatt
Craig Stone
Phyllis Wax
Ken Woodall
Michael Yanny

6 PM-7 PM 

Sponsored & hosted by
Karen Campbell

Stephen Anderson
Michael Ewing
Susan Firer
Peter Goldberg
Brandy Johnson
Sally Kuzma
Barbara Leigh
Suzanne Rosenblatt
Lolly Rzezortarski
Barbara Wuest

7 PM-8 PM

Sponsored by
Riverwest Currents

Hosted by Vince Bushell

Vince Bushell
Edgar Allen Cash
Cathy Cunningham
Paul Druecke
James Houck
John Koethe
Chuck Stebelton
Thomas Treder
Virginia Silva
Ellen C. Warren

8 PM-9 PM

Sponsored by Karl Gartung & Anne Kingsbury

Hosted by Karl Gartung

Peter Blewett
Stacy Blint
Karl Gartung
Keith Gaustad
Mike Hauser
Jackie Lalley
Anthony Makovec
Marisa Riepenhoff
Angela Voras-Hills

9 PM-10 PM

Sponsored by
LOTUS Legal Clinic:
Untold Stories

Hosted by Austin Reece

Laurel Blackstone
Deborah Estrada-Carson
Alissa Green
Kathryn Keleny
Jendora Kelley
Hannah Lenzo
Liz Luckett
Jeanne Suarez Del Real
JoLanda Rogers
Misha Tyler 

10 PM-11 PM

Sponsored by Reuter & Associates

Hosted by Bethany Price

Mary Ali-Masai
Kristin Peterson Kaszubowski
Bethany Price
Liat Mayer
Richard Melendez
Glenn Freeman
Rachel Messenger
Kati Katchever
Allison Friske
Bryon Cherry 

11 PM-12 AM

Hosted by Sam Pekarske

Mecah S. Dey
Benjamin Gray
Freddy LaForce
Joe McCarthy
Rick Ollman
Lorna Pecard
Sam Pekarske
Brooklyn Sharpe

12 AM-1 AM

Hosted by Sam Pekarske

Tom Hibbard
Ed Makowski
Sally Stern