• 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

Amaud Jamaul Johnson

Amaud Jamaul Johnson's first collection,Red Summer (Tupelo, 2006) was selected by Carl Phillips as winner of The Dorset Prize. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University and a graduate of the Cave Canem workshop, he holds degrees from Howard University and Cornell University. His poems have appeared, and or forthcoming in Quarterly West, Shenandoah, New England Review,The Virginia Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, and West Branch. He teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Selected Poems

Burlesque


Amaud Jamaul Johnson

 

Watch the fire undress him,
how flame fingers each button,
rolls back his collar, unzips him
without sweet talk or mystery.

See how the skin begins to gather
at his ankles, how it slips into
the embers, how it shimmers
beneath him, unshapen, iridescent,

as candlelight on a dark negligee.
Come, look at him, at all his goods,
how his whole body becomes song,
an aria of light, a psalm's kaleidoscope.

Listen as he lets loose an opus,
night's national anthem, the tune
you can't name, but can't stop humming.
There, he burns brilliant as a blue note.