Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowship

Woodland Pattern is also accepting applications for a new Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowship. The fellowship will run from October 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023 and is open to Milwaukee poets between the ages of 20 and 30. Applications are open through August 1.

The Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellowship program seeks to bring greater visibility and much needed early support to Milwaukee poets through opportunities that encourage a poet’s practice and development while also investing in literary projects for which younger poets frequently lack resources.

Drawing inspiration from both the Mary L. Nohl Fund Emerging Artist fellowship and the Poetry Project's Emerge Surface Be fellowship, the Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellow will receive a $1,000 award, a $500 book allowance, and a $2,000 project budget to launch a reading series, publication, press, or other literary arts project in collaboration with Woodland Pattern and its partners. During the award period, the fellow will be mentored by an established Milwaukee poet and invited to attend all Woodland Pattern workshops free of charge. The fellowship will conclude with a featured performance at Woodland Pattern.

This year’s Milwaukee Emerging Poet mentor is former Milwaukee Poet Laureate Brenda Cárdenas.

To apply, please submit 10 poems, a project proposal, and a letter of inquiry. (Poems may be submitted as either a manuscript or performance recording.) Applications will be accepted from June 1 to August 1, 2022.

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.

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