• 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

exhibitions
February 11 - Apr 5

Tarot: The (Re)Making of a Language

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

C.S. Giscombe

C. S. Giscombe was born in Dayton, Ohio. His poetry books are Prairie Style, Two Sections from Practical Geography, Giscome Road, Here, At Large, and Postcards; his prose book—about Canada—is Into and Out of Dislocation.Prairie Style was awarded an American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation; Giscome Road won the Carl Sandburg Prize, given by the Chicago Public Library. C. S. Giscombe's writing has also won him fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, and the Canadian Embassy. He has worked as a taxi driver, as a hospital orderly, as a railroad brakeman, and for years edited a national literary magazine (Epoch, at Cornell University). His writing has appeared in several anthologies—the Best American Poetry series, the Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry, Telling It Slant: Avant-Garde Poetics of the 1990s, Bluesprint: Black British Columbia Literature and Orature, Lyrical Postmodernisms, etc. He is a long-distance cyclist. He teaches poetry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Selected Poems

from Prairie Style


C.S. Giscombe

 

The Old Northwest
The dear old Northwest, laced up at the wrist like Frankenstein, and shambling like him too, the old Northwest. (The name applied to that monster, in those movies themselves he was nameless and unnamed; and he never spoke, he was truly simple. What was said later, say two big girls hulking around after you, that that was the name they looked like. And you the singular passion—a blunt argument—that ranged around the dear old Northwest.)

Some questions push or shove like they were magic or like they thought they were. The monster's based on something looking enough like anybody to be a reference—you see him when you fear yourself and give him ways to talk, what he'd say if he could pick up a horn and have something to say; or make up stories and tell them in his voice because voice comes to that, voice goes to that. 


Canadian Nights
You said, "the transition is happiness." I'd wanted to drive out to the end of the continent and I have. Erotic certainty might be the way to a city at the border—an irreversible value, the shape of essay and desolation. How complete does the transition need to be? The joke I was always trying to tell wasn't really about Canada but about the "extent of overlapping." It's been mackerel skies all day. As you know, I'm still a nature boy. Looking back I wanted—I want—to equal the whole prairie.
for Barry McKinnon