• 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 - Sep 28

Book Club: Readshops led by Karl Gartung

readings & workshops
July 3 - Sep 25

Dhamma MKE

exhibitions
August 1 - Sep 26

The Point Being: Works by Thomas Gaudynski

special events
September 21

¡Palante!: A Celebration of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture

readings & workshops
September 22 - Oct 13

Friction in Fiction: Developing Characters and Conflict

readings & workshops
September 26

Poetry Reading: Jake Skeets & Manny Loley

readings & workshops
September 26

Poem as Field – Understanding Energy in Poetry a craft talk with Jake Skeets

readings & workshops
October 2

Poetry Reading: Alan Bernheimer & Karl Gartung

readings & workshops
October 16

Poetry Reading: Timothy Donnelly & Bethany Price

performances
October 17

Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

readings & workshops
October 19

Language as a Playground

readings & workshops
October 20

Reading: Peter Markus

readings & workshops
October 22 - Dec 31

Welcome Home!: A Veterans Writing Group

readings & workshops
October 23

Reading and Book Launch: Kathie Giorgio

readings & workshops
October 24

Urban Echo Poets

readings & workshops
October 27

Submitathon

readings & workshops
November 1

Reading and Screening: Trisha Low, Stephanie Young, and Zachary Epcar

readings & workshops
November 10 - Dec 8

Shifty Subjects and Unexpected Endings

special events
November 16

39th Anniversary Gala

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.