Book Center Manager

Woodland Pattern is currently accepting applications for the position of Book Center Manager through September 30, 2023. 

POSITION SUMMARY: The Book Center Manager is a full-time, exempt position that works to promote and support Woodland Pattern’s mission through the ongoing care and development of its unique collection of poetry and small-press literature. This position reports to the Executive Directors. 


Oversees maintenance and development of Woodland Pattern’s unique collection of poetry and small-press literature: 

  • Remains knowledgeable about poetry, contemporary literature, and small-press publishing through reading and research 
  • Identifies for approval new titles to order that align with Woodland Pattern’s mission
  • Ensures continued excellence of broadside, chapbook, zine, and fine-press collections
  • Nurtures relationships with small presses and fine-press publishers from around the country
  • Appraises mission-specific book donations for possible intake into the collection
  • Oversees the physical caretaking of the collection
  • Identifies rare and collectible titles periodically for repricing evaluation

Manages all ordering: 

  • Ensures arrival of programming titles in advance of author appearances, and manages orders for Poetry Camp, reading groups, and other programs
  • Monitors press and journal subscriptions, canceling and adding as needed
  • Fulfills special orders, works with professors to generate class book sales, and delivers titles for libraries and other partner institutions
  • Manages returns as needed

Manages receiving, inventory, and online store: 

  • Receives all incoming titles
  • Prepares titles for online publication, adhering to tagging and in-house style guidelines 
  • Fulfills and ships orders purchased online and responds to customer queries
  • Oversees inventory counts and reconciliations, and coordinates year-end inventory test with accountant
  • Ensures integrity of all inventory data and systems

Manages distribution accounts: 

  • Maintains invoice files, and prepares monthly accounts payable and receivable reports
  • Receives books on invoice or consignment, tracks consignment sales, and ensures regular consignment payouts 
  • Ensure book orders remain within annual budget

Serves as the book center’s primary public face: 

  • Oversees the majority of sales, public interactions, phone calls and voicemails, while attending the front desk for the majority of operating hours

Contributes to Woodland Pattern’s collective environment and collaborative projects: 

  • Assists in community, off-site, and special events, and other staff-wide efforts 
  • Works with other staff in the training and management of volunteers

Qualifications and Experience: 

  • Extensive knowledge of contemporary American poetry
  • Knowledge of small-press publications and publishers, past and present
  • Experience working in a library or bookstore, or with a small press or literary journal
  • Graduate degree in creative writing, literature, book arts, library studies, or related field preferred (or equivalent knowledge)
  • Backgrounds of study in Native American literature, and/or African American, AAPI, Latinx, and/or Queer literatures a plus 
  • Must possess excellent writing and editorial skills

Accessibility: This position requires some physical activity. The selected candidate must be able to lift up to 40 lbs and navigate a bookshelf ladder. Must also be able to sit for extended periods of time while working on a computer.

Salary: Starting at $40,000 with opportunity for advancement

Benefits: Health, dental/eye, disability, and life insurance; retirement plan with 3% match; generous discount on books, as well as an annual book allowance

Leave: 2 personal days, 10 vacation days, and up to 12 sick days per calendar year. Additional 3 days of leave available for bereavement. Woodland Pattern offers all staff seven observed holidays, as well as time off annually between Christmas and New Year’s. Observed religious holidays will be accommodated.

Location: In person at Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Application Deadline: September 30, 2023 

Start Date: Flexible, for the right candidate. A relocation allowance will be available if needed. 

Application Instructions: Interested applicants may apply online via Submittable. Please include a cover letter and a resume, and ensure that two letters of reference are submitted to info@woodlandpattern.org. Questions may also be directed to info@woodlandpattern.org. No calls please.  

Woodland Pattern is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and those who identify as LGBTQ+ are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowships

 Woodland Pattern is accepting applications for the second year of its Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowship program. We are excited to offer awards in two categories this year. Each will run from November 2023 through June 2024. The application deadline for both categories will be October 15, 2023.

Eligibility: Open to Milwaukee poets between the ages of 20 and 35, who are not currently enrolled in an MFA or PhD program. 

Practice Fellowship: This fellowship category seeks to support an emerging poet in their writing practice through an 8-month long mentorship with an established poet. Mentor and fellow will meet monthly one-on-one to workshop writing, discuss poetry and poetics, and explore publication opportunities. Meetings will take place in person and virtually. During the fellowship period, the recipient will also receive a $500 book allowance, may attend any Woodland Pattern workshop free of cost, and will be invited to give a culminating reading. Poets with existing manuscript projects are particularly encouraged to apply in this category.

Mentorship: The Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellow in the Practice category will be mentored by Ae Hee Lee. Born in South Korea and raised in Peru, Lee is the author of ASTERISM, selected by John Murillo for the 2022 Dorset Prize and forthcoming from Tupelo Press, and the poetry chapbooks Bedtime || Riverbed (Compound Press, 2017), Dear bear, (Platypus Press, 2021), and Connotary (Frost Place Chapbook Competition Winner – Bull City Press, 2021). Ae Hee is a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship Finalist, Just Buffalo Literary Center Fellow, an Adroit Journal Gregory Djanikian Scholar, and recipient of the James Olney Award by The Southern Review. She has also received scholarships and honors from the Academy of American Poets, AWP, Bread Loaf, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, among others.

Application Instructions: Applicants should submit ten poems and a cover letter discussing the candidate’s writing practice and reasons for seeking this fellowship. 

Project Fellowship: This fellowship category seeks to support an emerging poet in need of financial and administrative support for an ambitious literary project such as a reading series, small press, literary journal, or interdisciplinary exhibition. Both new and existing projects are eligible for consideration. The Project fellow will receive ongoing support from our staff, along with a $1,500 project budget. Poets with a track record in DIY literary publishing and programming are particularly encouraged to apply in this category. 

Mentorship: The Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellow in the Project category will work directly with Woodland Pattern’s Assistant Programming Director, Antonio Vargas-Nieto, to realize their projects, and will receive additional support from Woodland Pattern’s Executive Directors Jenny Gropp and Laura Solomon in administrative matters such as budget planning.

Application Instructions: Applicants in this category should submit a project proposal, including a budget, and a cover letter outlining the candidate’s preparedness to execute the project and reasons for seeking this fellowship.

About the Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowship Program: Drawing inspiration from both the Mary L. Nohl Fund Emerging Artist Fellowship and the Poetry Project’s Emerge Surface Be program, Woodland Pattern established the Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowship program in 2022 to bring greater visibility and much-needed early support to Milwaukee poets through mentorships, access to opportunities that encourage a poet’s practice and development, and investment in literary projects for which younger poets frequently lack resources. The Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowship program also seeks to make available alternative avenues of support for emerging poets outside traditional academic-track poetry programs and environments.

Open Call for Teaching Writers and Artists

Woodland Pattern is seeking practicing writers and artists to serve as ongoing instructors in its Youth Literary Arts Program

Application Deadline: Accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Qualifications: Applicants should have a genuine passion for poetry and the arts and the capacity to support and inspire creativity in young people in grades 3 through 12.

Ideal candidates will have a combination of the following experience:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Dedicated creative practice (poetry and spoken word preferred)
  • Dedicated reading practice
  • Skills, training, and/or experience teaching creative writing and/or adjacent arts 
  • Performance skills and/or experience
  • Experience working in multiple artistic disciplines
  • Experience teaching or working with youth, particularly youth of color.
  • Ongoing commitment to strengthening teaching practice through feedback, professional development, and collaboration

We especially encourage applications from candidates with knowledge of contemporary poetry and spoken word, and/or with backgrounds in Native American, African American, Asian American, Latinx, SWANA, and/or Queer literatures, arts, and humanities.

Woodland Pattern is committed to diversity and inclusivity. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and those who identify as LGBTQIA are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, please send the following materials to Woodland Pattern's Education Director Alexa Nutile:

  • Cover letter
  • One sample lesson plan for the age group / program you most prefer to work with
  • Current resume outlining education, qualifications, and relevant experience
  • Two references

Woodland Pattern employs more than a dozen teaching writers and artists throughout the year through our instructor roster. Each writer or artist accepted to the roster will be reviewed in the areas of experience working in the communities we serve, education and/or training, and their creative skill set. Contracts will be reviewed for renewal each semester. Many of our instructors have stayed on for numerous years, and our preference is to build enduring relationships among instructors, students, schools, and Woodland Pattern. All materials are kept on file for at least one year. No calls please. 

 About Woodland Pattern’s Youth Literary Arts Program

The Youth Literary Arts Program (YLAP) serves MPS students from 3rd–12th grade and consists of four main avenues of student engagement: after-school Community Learning Center (CLC) programming, summer CLC programming, Milwaukee Queer Writing Project (MQWP) programming, and summer inter-arts Poetry Camps.

In our after-school and summer CLC programming, teaching writers and artists work collaboratively in pairs in Milwaukee Public Schools to engage youth ages 8–13 in interdisciplinary arts programming with a focus on poetry, performance, and visual arts. In a series of themed lessons and activities that build upon one another, students read and discuss literature and create writing and artwork pertaining to multiple topics in the humanities—including identity, heritage, and culture—that culminate in student performances, the publication of student anthologies, a special workshop with a visiting writer/artist, and/or other similar creative projects. Teaching writers and artists are encouraged to involve students in determining the focus/theme for each semester, so as to create lessons and activities that empower and meet the needs of students. 

The work of teaching writers and artists is to foster joy, resiliency, and belonging, while uplifting the creativity and brilliance of each young writer and artist they work with, with the ultimate goal of increasing students’ confidence and ability to express themselves through the arts.

The Milwaukee Queer Writing Project (MQWP) employs LGBTQIA-identifying writers to work with LGBTQIA youth in partnership with Gay-Straight Alliance chapters at local high schools. Teaching writers engage students in creative writing with an emphasis on exploring queer identities and self-expression. Students write poetry and prose, read/perform their work, and have opportunities to engage with Woodland Pattern–hosted LGBTQIA visiting writers and artists. The program takes place in the fall and spring semesters, with each semester culminating in a keystone reading at Woodland Pattern.

Finally, Woodland Pattern offers two summer Poetry Camps. Poetry Camp is a five-day, inter-arts camp aimed at helping young people in grades 6–12 embrace their own stories and feel confident about telling them! Throughout the week, students write and participate in a range of creative activities, working with a core group of teaching writers and artists, but also with visiting artists. By the end of the week, students have produced various art works and created a body of new writing that is performed before the community and commemorated in print. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Program Prep, Lesson Planning, and Project Development (remote work):

  • Develop and teach engaging workshops and activities that honor students' voices, cultures, and experiences.
  • Lessons should explore a variety of themes and forms and expose students to the work of a diverse array of contemporary poets and artists.
  • Lessons should support literacy through fun, inspiring, and empowering activities that encourage a love for reading and writing through poetry and spoken word.
  • Lesson plans should be school-specific and tailored to the needs and abilities of the students.
  • Lesson plans and materials needed should be regularly reported to the Education Director.
  • Assist with transcribing, curating, and preparing student work for publication.
  • Collaborate with the Education Director and school to plan and facilitate a culminating event.

Program Implementation:

  • Connect with all students individually and as a group throughout the class—leading, supporting, uplifting, and inspiring them to express themselves through language and visual arts.
  • Coach students through the creative process, with an emphasis on helping them develop their reading, writing, and communication skills.
  • Act as a representative of Woodland Pattern and a partner to each school site, understanding that the nature of the position requires occasional flexibility with school schedules and requests.
  • Attend paid orientation and regular professional development trainings during the course of the year.


After-school and summer CLC: Teaching writers and artists must be able to commit to teaching a minimum of two 90-minute sessions per week, with most sessions being held between 3–6 PM (plus corresponding administrative/prep hours). Residencies may be offered in the Fall Semester (12 weeks) and Spring Semester (18 weeks) and will follow the MPS academic calendar. Summer school (5 week) residencies are also available; days/times vary by site. 

Milwaukee Queer Writing Project: Teaching writers and artists must be able to commit to teaching a minimum of one 60-minute session per month (plus corresponding administrative/prep hours). Days/times of programming vary by site. 

Poetry Camp2021 Poetry Camps will be held online the week of June 14–18 and in-person the week of August 2–6. Teaching writers and artists must be available from 8:00 am–4 pm Monday through Friday and for an orientation meeting held prior to camp.


CLC & MQWP: $50 per hour of instruction; $25 per hour of administrative work (planning hours, professional development trainings)

Poetry Camp: $800 per week

We acknowledge that in Milwaukee we live and work on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homelands along the southwest shores of Michigami, part of North America’s largest system of freshwater lakes, where the Milwaukee, Menominee, and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present. 

We further acknowledge the grave evil colonialism introduced to these lands ​through genocide as well as slavery, and also via racist and xenophobic ​beliefs, laws​, and practices that continue to inflict harm upon Black, brown, and Indigenous lives. We honor those who have lived—and do live, now—at these intersections of identity and experience, and are committed to the active dismantling of white supremacy.

Read our statement on racial justice

720 E. Locust Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414 263 5001

Hours: Tues–Sun | 12-7 pm

Closed Mon

Building Accessibility: Despite the age of our physical location, and attendant limitations to access, Woodland Pattern is committed to making its programs and facilities available for as many as possible. Please call for more information.

Events Accessibility: Woodland Pattern is able to offer captioning services for its online events and with advanced notice can provide ASL interpretation for live events. Please contact us with accommodation requests and questions.

© Woodland Pattern 2022