• 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
readings & workshops
April 6 - Sep 28

Book Club: Readshops led by Karl Gartung

readings & workshops
July 3 - Sep 25

Dhamma MKE

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

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


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

Merrill Gilfillan

Merrill Gilfillan was born in Ohio in 1945. He Studied literature at the universities of Michigan and Iowa, and published his first book of poetry in 1970. After living in New York City for a number of years he moved to the American West, where he resided for three decades. In addition to fourteen books of poems, he has authored two collections of short stories and five volumes of essays, many of the latter regarding various facets of the American landscape, both natural and cultural. His most recent publications include the poetry collection Red Mavis (Flood Editions, 2014), and a collection of essays The Warbler Road (Flood Editions, 2010). He recently moved to Asheville, North Carolina.

Selected Poems


This is the week the yellow currant blows.
Blows through the yellow downwind house
we had one spring, all the starboard windows
open day and night to let the fragrance in,
the place so full of sweetness
we thought it would explode.


Beehive Tucked In The Bend of A River

Crows have what dogs lost.
This lonely place where the river looks east,
goes west.
But they weren't beehives, they were books,
boxes full of books, a dozen stout tomato crates
with lids taped tight and stacked three high,
painted enamel white. Through the narrow handle slots
we could see a few. Neruda. Virgil. Blake.
All poetry from the looks of it, left carefully behind
to melt away among the wild currants
and buckbrush, revert, already settling,
weathering in. One of them leaked a faint trickle,
something clear and viscous oozing down the side—
a syrup, a resin, or a glue. Oil of opposum?
Hard to say. Maybe a nectar. Orb-weaver lees.
Maybe even a honey.


Fulcrum (Bowl With Wild Plums)

September 14: They say the cliff swallow
is half an inch longer than the violet-green.

Yesterday, north wind on the South Platte,
flickering free-fall olive speckled with citron.

Now south wind over the North Platte,
shimmering chanterelle singe and glow.

Right and left. A dog sniffing flowers
for a change. The colors of the cliff swallow

the very same as the bay-breast's.