• 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 - Dec 30

Dhamma MKE

readings & workshops
October 22 - Dec 31

Welcome Home!: A Veterans Writing Group

exhibitions
December 8 - Jan 25

To Sight's Limit

performances
December 19

Formations Series for New and Improvised Music

December 23 - Jan 1

CLOSED

special events
January 25 -26

26th Annual Poetry Marathon and Benefit

Small Press

Poetry 

Wave Books, 2016

$25.00

 

With ambitious manipulations of poetic forms, Tyehimba Jess presents the sweat and story behind America’s blues, worksongs and church hymns. Part fact, part fiction, Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.

 

"Encyclopedic, ingenious, and abundant, this outsized second volume from Jess (Leadbelly) celebrates the works and lives of African-American musicians, artists, and orators who predated the Harlem Renaissance." —Publishers Weekly

 

"Historical personae has long proven to be a useful protest tool against oppression, and is, for this reason, not new to African-American poetry. Olio, though, is so ambitious, so relentless in its pursuit of the antebellum realities that remade our country, with its entrance into the canon we are jolted awake by a hundred alarms, a century’s racket." 
—Kaveh Akbar, Oxford American 

 

"I don't want to overstate the case, but there is no way around it: Tyehimba Jess's Olio is a tour de force."
—Evie Shockley 


Detroit native Tyehimba Jess’ first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alumnus, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000 – 2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-TimesPoetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. His second collection, Olio, was published by Wave Books in April 2016. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.