• 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

John Godfrey

John Godfrey was born in Massena, N.Y. 11 July 1945. He entered school in Honolulu, then the Territory of Hawaii (T.H.), and attended schools in Bennington, VT, Albany, NY, and Dallas, TX thereafter. From 1963-1967 he attended Princeton University, where he was a classmate of John Koethe. Since 1965 they have been close friends and colleagues in the service of varieties of the same muse. 

After graduation, settling hash with the Selective Service, and a year in northern California, Godfrey has lived without interruption in the East Village of Manhattan. For years he supported himself in colorful occupations. In 1994 he received a B.S. in Nursing from Columbia University. From 1994-2003 he was a visiting nurse in the Maternal/Child HIV/AIDS program of St. Mary's Hospital for Children, with a caseload in the North Brooklyn ghettos. In 2003 he became Head Nurse in the Family Care Clinic of Kings County Hospital Center, which specialized in HIV/AIDS care for pediatrics, young adults, and especially the treatment of infected pregnant women. He coordinated the testing, through the New York State Department of Health, of newborns. Over 300 infants were born without infection up to his retirement in 2011.

He is the author of eleven collections of poems. In the current century the titles are Push the Mule (The Figures, 2001), Private Lemonade (Adventures in Poetry, 2003),City of Corners (Wave Books, 2008), Tiny Gold Dress (Lunar Chandelier, 2012), and a chapbook, Singles and Fives (Fewer & Further, 2012). In 1984 he was a fellow of the General Electric Foundation. He received fellowships from the Foundation for Contemporary Art in 2009 and from the Z Foundation in 2013.

Selected Poems

Room to Sleep

John Godfrey


To breathe and measure
all else that lives
Not breathe and risk
the memory you inherit
There is a way, everybody say
the shadow of a branch
in autumn gust, flicks across
her face and imprints it on
the air of my suspirations

Once the detective who
can find your guitar
Now I weave up Avenue A
abstracted in the vision
of her bushy eyebrows
Her eyes offer room to sleep

Only so tall, it is Fall
Hand deep in coals
left by careless sparks
Night lengthens to blow
on them with dreams
I invent her radiance
Exaggeration is slight
Identify her straight stride
Sun at her back
A world away