• 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

performances
February 20

Formations Series for New and Improvised Music

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

Barbara Wuest

Barbara Wuest holds an MFA from University of California, Irvine. Her poems have been published in Wisconsin Academy Review, The Paris Review, The Cape Rock, Dogwood, Western Ohio Journal, CrossCurrents, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Laurel Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Oberon and others. She has a chapbook, Among Others, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

Selected Poems

Natural Formation

As a child I watched with all our neighbors as

a warehouse burned large one evening in fall.

Flames climbed up to the sky as if they would

singe the stars and blacken the big round moon.

Fear came alive in my knees, my shoulders, my

hands, and it set up shop in my unshaped mind.

I have it now to use as I might when someone

strikes at an over-burdened nerve, laying me out

so I can't stand up for the fight or the awful fire.

 

Down-sizing

Cool sunny fall is everywhere I look and the last

days of green turn me toward the lost who have

led me back home where ending solemnly begins.

I come to the ghostly door, stop on the bottom

step and gather my past like the long lacy train

of a dress the wearer I serve parades through

the halls of the palace where excess is supreme.

Weakening with each step up to the royal chair

I lose control and tumble like a red-nosed clown.

 

 

Rubber Capitol of the World

I was nearly through being seven.
A new playground and more kids than
I had ever stood among.
Something burned all the time.
And the foul smell meant money
was being made by their dads.

My own newly dead, I thought
only of the space on the ground,
the room I had between my feet
and theirs. Often they would
step into the area I'd reserved.

I was not sad. I was not,
not then. Not for anyone.
Akron had a man's sound,
citied and strange. I came
from a town. A soft say
on your lips, someone's name.