30th Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit

Sat. & Sun., JANUARY 27th & 28th, 2024 | 10 am-10 pm CST

Presented by Wisconsin's Own Library and dedicated in memory of Janine Arseneau (1948–2023)

Note: You may see on Crowdcast that the event starts at 4 pm. This is incorrect, the Marathon broadcast is live now! For ease of accessing the broadcast, it's best to make sure that you’re logged into Crowdcast and registered for the Poetry Marathon first. Also note that the recommended browser for Crowdcast is Google Chrome. If you have trouble accessing the event, or have any other questions, you can reach us at info@woodlandpattern.org. Many thanks for joining us! 

Woodland Pattern’s most highly anticipated annual event, the Poetry Marathon is a two-day, 24-hour lyrical extravaganza with performances from 300+ individual poets, musicians, and moving image artists from Milwaukee and around the globe. All 24 hours of the Poetry Marathon will be livestreamed via Crowdcast. 

In addition to being an extraordinary event and beloved tradition for poets of all ages, the Poetry Marathon serves as a community-driven fundraiser. Participating poets are asked to raise a small amount of funds among family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc., and/or via social media, with a goal of $50 in pledges on each reader’s behalf. Those contributions are then matched by a sponsor for the hour and supplemented by major sponsorships. Thanks to our community, funds raised through the Marathon each January have kept Woodland Pattern going strong for decades, providing fuel for all our programmatic activities in the year ahead.

Please be sure to register and plan to join us for as much of this year's event as possible! As always it's the mix of voices—of beginning, emerging, and established writers; of people of various ages, cultural backgrounds, and life experiences—that makes Woodland Pattern's Poetry Marathon an authentic celebration of our shared humanity and the possibilities of language.

Thank you in advance for celebrating this special anniversary with us and for honoring the many individual creative practices that compose and enrich our vast community. 

SPONSOR A POET: Click on the link below or give us a call to sponsor a reader. You can make your donation on the behalf of a particular poet, or if you’re unsure who to sponsor, consider a “Pledge a Reader” donation. Money received through these donations will go directly to a poet who is unable to meet the $50 pledge goal. This is a great way to support Woodland Pattern and a poet—win-win!

SPONSOR AN HOUR: If you would like to sponsor an hour of the Marathon or have pledged to sponsor an hour, please click the link below to complete your sponsorship. You can also send a check by mail or call us. 

BECOME A MAJOR SPONSOR: In addition to hour sponsorships, the Marathon is supported by major sponsors at the Presenting, Premier, and Supporting levels. To learn more, please click below to download our Sponsorship Packet, or call the center and ask for Executive Directors Jenny Gropp and Laura Solomon. 


Please be aware that all times listed in our schedule are estimated. Segments may run a little shorter or a little longer than anticipated. If there are poets you really don't want to miss, please tune in at least 15 minutes in advance of the hour in which they appear.

In addition to what's listed in the program, there will be a number of surprises in store (musical performances, archival clips, special appearances, general Woodland Pattern weirdness). . . tune in for the whole shebang to find out!

Saturday, January 27th

10 am-11 am: YOUTH HOUR —with students from Woodland Pattern's Poetry Camp, Riverwest Elementary, Hopkins Lloyd Community School, Bayside Middle School, and University School of Milwaukee. Featuring 2023–24 Milwaukee Youth Poet Laureate Emily Igwike. Sponsored by Mary Gute Witte & Ned Witte.

11 am-12 pm: COMMUNITY—Paul Druecke, Peter Goldberg, Anna Gurton-Wachter, Martha Kaplan, Ed Makowski, Deborah Meadows, Rick Ollman, R.B. Simon, Joshua Steffey, Jen Tynes, Barbara Wuest, and Michael Yanny. Sponsored by Peter Goldberg.

12 pm -1 pm: COMMUNITY—Jonathan Cardew, Portia Cobb, Peter "Pita" Daniels, Lea Feinstein, Elisabeth Harrahy, Joan Miller & Sally Kuzma, Scott Lowery, Tiffany Rommelfanger-Taylor, Angela Voras-Hills, and Ken Walker + Milwaukee Kitchen ("Coffee & Wine"). Sponsored by Riverwest Realty.

1 pm-2 pm: WEDNESDAY WRITERS—Diane Bezella, Vince Bushell, Karen Haley, Barbara Leigh, María Elena Scott, Suzanne Rosenblatt, Darlene (Lolly) Rzezotarski, Carol Lee Saffioti-Hughes, Virginia Small,and Judit Schugurensky. With a special tribute to poet and former Woodland Pattern Board Member Janine Arseneau. Sponsored by Lorraine Jacobs.

2 pm-3 pm: WISCONSIN FELLOWSHIP OF POETS (CURATED BY ED WERSTEIN)—Anneliese Finke, Ronnie Hess, Maryann Hurtt, Jim Landwehr, Pepe Oulahan, Amanda Ngoho Reavey, Sheryl Slocum, Katrin Talbot, Tori Grant Welhouse, and Ed Werstein + music by PAVDA (Hal Rammel & Linda Binder). Sponsored by Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

3 pm-4 pm: WISCONSIN POET LAUREATE COMMISSION (CURATED BY ANGELA TRUDELL VASQUEZ)—Esteban Colon, Nicholas Gulig, Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Dana Maya, Freesia McKee, Margaret Rozga, Marilyn Taylor, Jodi Vander Molen, Angela Trudell Vasquez, and Lisa Vihos. Sponsored by Wisconsin Writers Association.

—INTERMISSION (4-4:30 pm)—

4:30 pm-5:15 pm: INDIGENOUS NATIONS POETS (CURATED BY KIMBERLY BLAESER)—Kenzie Allen, Kimberly Blaeser, Jennifer Elise Foerster, Denise Low, and Melanie Merle + "Poem for a Tattered Planet" (In-Na-Po in collaboration with the Overpass Light Brigade). Sponsored by Scott Gelzer & Sherry Goldsmith.

5:15 pm-6 pm: LATINX FEATURE (CURATED BY BRENDA CÁRDENAS & ROBERTO HARRISON)—Roberto Harrison, Farid Matuk, Cristina Rivera Garza, Raina León, Valerie Martinez, E. Ethelbert Miller, Jenise Miller, Elias Sepulveda, Mónica de la Torre, Vincent Toro, Antonio Vargas-Nieto, and Christina Vega-Westhoff. Sponsored by Infinity Benefit Solutions.

6 pm-7:15 pm: COMMUNITY—Kate Colby, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Karl Gartung, Ish Klein, Oliver Krawczyk, Jacqueline Lalley, Mark Leidner, Eileen Myles, Elizabeth Robinson, and Steve Timm + Milwaukee Kitchen ("Sweet Sourdough"). Also featuring 2023-24 Milwaukee Emerging Poet Fellows Ben Binversie and Tasneem Jassar. Sponsored by Karen Campbell & Kevin Ronnie.

7:15 pm-8 pm: OXEYE PRESS (CURATED BY JORDAN DUNN)—Stacy Blint, Mike Hauser, Richard Meier, Jed Munson, Soham Patel, Lauren Russell, Jennifer Scappettone, and Chuck Stebelton + FILM: Day Dreaming Devices by Anne MacMillan. Sponsored by Standing Partnership & Sam Pekarske.

8 pm-8:30 pm: AFRICAN POETRY BOOK FUND (CURATED BY SIWAR MASANNAT)—Saddiq Dzukogi, Sara Elkamel, Rezina Habtemariam (reading Keorapetse Kgositsile), Alain Jules Hirwa, and Tryphena Yeboah + FILM: Wander by Rebecca Najdowski. Sponsered by Educators Credit Union.

8:30 pm-9 pm: #ALEETLEMOMENT (CURATED BY AE HEE LEE)—Gabrielle Bates, Paul Hlava Ceballos, Farnaz Fatemi, Ae Hee Lee, and Laura Villareal + FILM: Direction of the Road by Janelle VanderKelen. Sponsored by Educators Credit Union.

9 pm-9:30 pm: BLOOF BOOKS (CURATED BY SHANNA COMPTON)—Steven Karl, Becca Klaver, Nicole Steinberg, and Maureen Thorson+ FILM: Hungry Ghost (excerpt) by Takahiro Suzuki. Sponsored by City Point Press.

9:30 pm-10 pm—CITY POINT PRESS (CURATED BY DAVID WILK)—Charles Alexander, Summer Brenner, Barbara Henning, and Maureen Owen. Sponsored by City Point Press.

Sunday, January 28th

10 am-11 am: COMMUNITY—Jenny Benjamin, Gary Beaumier, Bill Embly, Sylee Gore & Meesha Williams, Greg L. Flegel, Matthew Jorgenson, John Kenworthy, Marjorie Pagel, Holly Payne-Strange, Allison Thompson, Jean Tobin, Ann Winschel, and Catherine Young. Sponsored by Paula Kiely.

11 am-12 pm: VETERANS FOR PEACE (CURATED BY BOB HANSON)—Doug Armstrong, Jim Conway, Richard Epstein, Enrique Gautier, James Hackbarth, Holly Haebig, Bob Hanson, Lynn Paluga, Roger Quindel, Harvey Taylor, and Eric Wasileski. Sponsored by Bliffert Lumber & Hardware.

12 pm-1 pm: RACINE / KENOSHA POETS (CURATED BY STEPHEN KALMAR II)—Joe Engel, Debra Hall, Stephen Kalmar II, Jessie Lynn McMains, Jean Preston, and Nick Ramsey + Milwaukee Kitchen ("Some Like It Hot"). Sponsor this hour!

1 pm-2 pm: COMMUNITY—Ivars Balkits, Jonathan Bechtel, Elizabeth Gade, Emily Elv Hall, Anna Hillary, L Lois, Eric Lunde, Arianne Moreland, KT Mullen, Eugene O'Connor, Me'Chelle Robinson, Oscar Sanders, Kimberly Shine, Stephanie Snyder, Nathaniel Terrell, and Jennifer Weigel. Sponsored by WE Energies.

2 pm-3 pm: THE MATRIX (CURATED BY BRENDA CÁRDENAS)—Nicole Callihan, Brenda Cárdenas, Jane Creighton, Laura Cronk, Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Janet Jennerjohn, KP Kaszubowski, Michele Kotler, Amy Lemmon, Robin Reagler, and Anna V. Q. Ross. With a special tribute to poet and zinester Jenny Janzer (from Ars Poetica Re: Milwaukee Poets by KP Kaszubowski). Sponsored by Riverwest Currents.

3 pm-4 pm: PALM READINGS (CURATED BY ANTONIO VARGAS-NIETO)—Katie Bedolla, Claire Crews, Noa Micaela Fields, Rudy Medina, Julie Novakofski, CJ Scruton, and Kiara Xolo + FILM: The Girl Who Forgets How to Walk by Julia Parks. Sponsor this hour!

—INTERMISSION (4-4:30 pm)—

4:30 pm-5 pm: COMMUNITY—Bryon Cherry, Irene Cooper, Seth Copeland, Sadie Dupuis, Travis Nichols, and Mikey Swanberg. Sponsored by Ono Kine Grindz. 

5 pm-5:45 pm: COMMUNITY—Jay Besemer, Ama Birch, Peter Burzyński, Franklin K.R. Cline, Sean Enfield, Allison Friske, Kati Katchever, Alexis Krasilovsky, and Adam White Ossers. Sponsored by Reuter & Associates.

5:45 pm-6 pm: MILWAUKEE KITCHEN EPISODE #21 PREMIERE ("Creature Comforts")—featuring Becky Banks, Flora Coker, Marcie Hoffman, Chuck Stebelton, and Anika Wilson. Created and produced by Paul Druecke. Sponsored by Reuter & Associates.

6 pm-7 pm: GENRE: URBAN ARTS (CURATED BY NAKEYSHA ROBERTS WASHINGTON)—Soldout (Justin) Johnson, Dana Alexander Kaleta, Donnie Moreland, Samihah Pargas, Lyn Patterson, Umar Siddiqui, Shaunteri Skinner, Symphony Swan, Nateya Taylor, Motherboomer (Nancy) Travis, and Nakeysha Roberts Washington with Jordan Thoennes. Sponsored by Genre: Urban Arts.

7 pm-7:30 pm: OUT THERE (CURATED BY ELISE MCARDLE)—Hannah Fischer, King of Salads, Elise McArdle, and Eileen Stillwell. Sponsored by Corazón.

7:30 pm-8 pm: MOODY THE ZINE (CURATED BY MELISSA MURSCH-RODRIGUEZ)—Gloria Glau, Soon Jones, Bee LB, Abu Bakr Sadiq, Christie Valentin-Bati, and Geyl Wells. Sponsored by Howard Leu.

8:00 pm-8:40 pm: THE ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT 40-MINUTE COMEDY HOUR (CURATED BY MAURICIO KILWEIN GUEVARA)Mauricio Kilwein Guevara, Anja Notanja Sieger, Debra Solomon, Angela Sorby, Spanky, Charles Trimberger, and Kathrine Yets + FILM: Hey You Sandpipers by Kristin Lucas. Sponsored by Outpost Natural Foods.

8:40 pm-9 pm: WYRD (CURATED BY KC HARRISON)—Sam Anderson, T.J. Blanco, Austin Newton, Deanna Schneider, and Cecelia Stadler + FILM: Searching for Melilot by Kathy Hinde. Sponsored by Nice Hair

9 pm-9:30 pm: SARKA (CURATED BY FRANCESCA KRITIKOS)Stevie Belchak, Emily Brandt, Kitty St Remy, and Nadia de Vries + FILM: Paisajes Repentinos by Javier de Azkue. Sponsored by Boone & Crockett.

9:30-10 pm: PITYMILK PRESS (CURATED BY CHELSEA TADEYESKE & EDIE ROBERTS)—Zoya Gurm, Dylan Krieger, Claire Rychlewski, Edie Roberts, and Chelsea Tadeyeske + FILM: i am a by Dagie Brundert. Sponsored by Boone & Crockett.

Image of a gray cat at sniffing around in a garden, with a caption reading

Celebrate with a Commemorative T-shirt

As this is our 30th consecutive Marathon, we could not resist commemorating this anniversary with a special keepsake. Artist Nomka Enkhee has designed a special, limited-run T-shirt available in several color options: white with black ink, lavender with orange ink, green with green ink, and gray-green with magenta ink. 

Shirts will be shipped or available for pick-up by Friday, January 26, 2024.

$30 (for 30 years). Preorders received by Wednesday, January 17th are 10% off. 

Printed in Milwaukee by Split Fountain Press.



 Woodland Pattern's 30th Annual Poetry Marathon is presented by

WISCONSIN'S OWN LIBRARY, a unique collection of Wisconsin authors and illustrators owned by the THE GENERAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S CLUBS—WISCONSIN, with funding provided by the Gwendolyn M. Schultz Charitable Trust.


With additional support from our Canto-level Sponsors:



and Sonnet-level Sponsors:

Juneau Park Friends, Karl Gartung & Anne Kingsbury, and Greg Flegel & Rich Greene


Individual hours are sponsored by:

Boone & Crockett

Karen Campbell & Kevin Ronnie


City Point Press

Educators Credit Union

Genre: Urban Arts

Scott Gelzer & Sherry Goldsmith

Peter Goldberg

Lorraine Jacobs

Paula Kiely

Infinity Benefit Solutions

Howard Leu

Nice Hair

Ono Kine Grindz

Outpost Natural Foods

Sam Pekarske

Reuter & Associates

Riverwest Currents

Riverwest Realty

Standing Partnership

Mary Gute Witte & Ned Witte 

WE Energies

Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

Wisconsin Writers Association

There is still time to become a sponsor for our 2024 event! We have both haiku (hour or half-hour level) and sonnet (supporting level) spots remaining. Please see information above about sponsorships, download our sponsorship packet below, and/or contact us for more information. 

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 2024