• 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
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readings & workshops
April 6 - Jun 27

Book Club: Readshops led by Karl Gartung

readings & workshops
July 3 - Jun 30

Dhamma MKE

readings & workshops
October 22 - Jun 24

Welcome Home!: A Veterans Writing Group

readings & workshops
February 2 -23

Three Windows into Writing and Revising a Poem with Kathleen A. Dale

exhibitions
February 11 - Apr 5

Tarot: The (Re)Making of a Language

readings & workshops
February 26

Poetry Reading: Jennifer Elise Foerster + Zoë Johnson

readings & workshops
February 26

Seeing in Invisibility: Poetry as revelation at UWM Libraries Special Collections

readings & workshops
February 27

Urban Echo Poets

readings & workshops
February 29

Visionary Narratives: A Workshop in Drawing Inspiration with Laurence Ross.

exhibitions
February 29

Reception for Tarot: The (Re)Making of a Language

readings & workshops
March 1 -29

On the Front Lines, Behind the Lines: Writing Protest Poetry with Margaret Rozga.

film & video
March 6

aCinema Screening

readings & workshops
March 12

Creative Confluence: Research for Hybrid Writing, a conversation with Heid E. Erdrich

readings & workshops
March 12

Poetry Reading: Heid E. Erdrich

readings & workshops
March 14

Poetry & Pi(e) featuring Vida Cross + Chuck Stebelton

performances
March 19

Formations Series for New and Improvised Music

readings & workshops
March 20

Poetry Reading: Mark Bibbins + Elizabeth Hoover

readings & workshops
March 26

Poetry Reading: Eli Goldblatt + Charles Alexander

readings & workshops
March 28

Poetry Reading: Tara Betts + Jennifer Steele

Emily Warn

Emily Warn is a poet, essayist, teacher, and technologist who most recently served as founding editor of poetryfoundation.org. Born in San Francisco and raised in Michigan, she is the author of three books of poetry:The Leaf Path (1982),The Novice Insomniac(1996) and Shadow Architect (2008). Her essays and poems appear widely, including in Poetry, BookForum,Blackbird, Parabola, The Forward, Narrative, The Seattle Times, and The Writers' Almanac. She taught creative writing at Lynchburg College and The Bush School, and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She currently divides her time between Seattle and Twisp, Washington.

Selected Poems

Ox Herding Lesson


Emily Warn

 

The road bends away
               from the sea,
                            meandering
through salt meadow hay.
You walk along singing
               on the road of white sand
                            dug from the marsh,
the sea a hushed roar in the distance
where the forge of waves
                          levels the sand,
spilling its molten silver
              at the sandpipers' feet
                           that scurry, jotting it all down.

Just ahead of you on the road
is an egret, perfectly still,
              perfectly white
and shaped like a lamed,
the only letter with its top
                         in the clouds,
the only letter that leans
            like marsh grass,
one eye cocked on ditch water,
             the other on clouds—
                          white feathers,
                                       aloft yet earthbound.

The egret is dwarfed by salt marsh,
              which stretches far, far
                                                     away,
a wind-flattened white sea of grass
with islands of scraggly myrtles
                                                     rising
from it. And dwarf cedars whose outer needles burn
                          to protect the living sap.

Egrets can stand so still among reeds
                            that fish mistake their legs for grass.
Why then is this one in the road
             when ditches on either side teem
                                           with minnows?

You sit down on hot gravel to ask
                                         and hear
the egret listening to you
              pierce and swallow
                            the atmosphere of fishes and clouds.