27th Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit

This 24-hour virtual event took place on JANUARY 30th & 31st, 2021 

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.

This year's Marathon was also made possible by DEWITT LLP, SAINT JOHN'S ON THE LAKE, and JUNEAU PARK FRIENDS.


For the past 26 years we’ve held the Marathon on the last Saturday of January. This year, we were unable to safely host the Marathon in person at the book center, and whiile we missed the opportunity to connect directly with our community of poets as we have for nearly three decades, we were excited to expand the event to include over 250 participants from Milwaukee, the Midwest, across the U.S., and abroad, and to feature not only poetry, but also improvisational music and experimental film.

The 2021 Marathon, like all of our Poetry Marathons past, served as both a tribute to and a showcase of Woodland Pattern's vast community, as well as a celebration of the many individual creative practices that compose and enrich it. Many of our community members communicated to us after the fact about how intimate the virtual gathering felt, beyond what we all dreamed was possible. One remarkable aspect of that warmth is how many people contributed to it: Over 2,000 participants joined in for the broadcast from 18 countries, the United States, and Puerto Rico. In the Crowdcast chat and on social media, in real time, new relationships were forged and longtime ones nourished, while the poems, indeed, went on. 

This year’s Marathon was crucial for Woodland Pattern. We raised not only enough funds to cover the loss of an in-person Marathon, but also our canceled Fall Gala—which we’d been planning as a gigantic celebration of our 40th Anniversary. Given the uncertain circumstances we continue to face in 2021, we could not be happier or more grateful to share the news that collectively $37,000 was raised to keep Woodland Pattern going!

To everyone who sponsored, donated, and raised funds on our behalf, thank you! You helped us reach an astonishing goal, and have given Woodland Pattern a much-needed solvency as we journey together into another year. 

After such a high-energy and amazing event, we are excited to offer the full contents of this year's Marathon here on our site for perpetual viewing! (Please note that while most of the Marathon is suitable for a general audience, some poems may contain explicit language or triggering content.)

Thank you for continuing to explore new realms with us, including these new formats for gathering. We are already looking forward to next year's event.


SATURDAY, Jan. 30th 

10-11 am YOUTH HOUR, sponsored by Mary & Ned Witte, Diane Bezella, Pizza Shuttle, and Shorewood High

Finn Engelbart, Sofia Hansen Cardona, Noa Biener, Zekiah Talton,  Atahlia Lopez-Johnson, Aveon Hudson, Graydin Lohre, Griffin DK, Nikki Janzen, Jocelyn Banks, Persia Wright, Henry Heyden, Alexzandria Harmon, Gerardo Medina Jr., Isabella Glenn, Will DK, & Niles Janzen  

11 am-12 pm COMMUNITY HOUR, sponsored by Louisa Loveridge Gallas

Analysis, Liat Mayer, Dan Knauss, Laniece McGee, Judith Harway, Renee Glembin, Reggie Finlayson, Sharon Daly, Angela Sorby, Peter Whalen, Sue Blaustein, Jenny Benjamin, Anne Koller, Patricia Clark, & Eloisa Gómez

12-1 pm COMMUNITY HOUR, sponsored by Cornell College MFA in Creative Writing

Martha Kaplan, Kathryn Gahl, Ed Makowski, Kathrine Yets, Parker Weaver, Jayne Marek, Jim Landwehr, Barbara Wuest, Courtney Raatz, Peter Blewett, Terimarie Degree, Bailey Flannery, Ted Dargis, & Sarah Rosenblatt  //  from our archives: Morgan Parker—May 9, 2019

1-2 pm WEDNESDAY WRITERS, sponsored by Janine Arseneau 

Suzanne Rosenblatt, Judit Gomez, Barbara Leigh, Maria Elena Scott, Daniel O'Keefe, Janine Arseneau, Darlene Rzezotarski, Virginia Small, & Susan Winecki // from our archives: Silvia Bolognesi & Russ Johnson, for Alternating Currents Live—September 15, 2019

2-3 pm WISCONSIN FELLOWSHIP OF POETS, sponsored by Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

Lisa Vihos, Ronnie Hess, Scott Lowery, Elisabeth Harrahy, Mark Zimmermann, Sylvia Cavanaugh, Sheryl Slocum, Nathan Reid, Angela Voras-Hills, & Maryann Hurtt  // from our archives: "Bike-U / Haiku," Poems from the Riverwest 24—July 27, 2019

3-4:45 pm POETS FROM SAINT JOHN’S ON THE LAKE, sponsored by Saint John’s on the Lake

Kent Mayfield, Sandy Duffy, Jana Troutman-Miller, Barbara Byer, Nick Pabst, John Schmitt, Virginia Chappell, Alex Molnar, Pat Busalacchi, Bernice Popelka, & Elliot Lipchik 

3:45 pm —INTERMISSION—4:00 pm

4-5 pm A TRIBUTE TO SALLY TOLAN, sponsored by Tom Tolan & family

Readings from the life’s work of the late Milwaukee poet Sally Tolan, 1927-2020, by Tom Tolan, Sandy Tolan, Yam Tolan, Mary Tolan, Kathleen Tolan, Sandra Maier, Paraska Tolan-Szkilnik, & John Tolan // from our archives: Urs Leimgruber & Jim Baker, for Alternating Currents Live—May, 26, 2019

5-6 pm WISCONSIN POETS LAUREATE, sponsored by Riverwest Realty 

Nick Demske, Abayomi Animashaun, Jodi Vander Molen, Vida Cross, BJ Hollars, Ed Werstein, Margaret Rozga, Angela Trudell Vasquez, Esteban Colon, & Dasha Kelly Hamilton // from our archives: Ruth B8r Ginsburg, for the Woodland Pattern gala—November 16, 2019

6-10 pm WOODLAND PATTERN 40TH ANNIVERSARY HOURS, sponsored by LiveWriters, Greg Flegel & Rich Greene, Scott Gelzer & Sherry Goldsmith, Colectivo Coffee, and Anne Kingsbury & Karl Gartung. 

Featuring poetry, film, and music from current and former Woodland Pattern staff, volunteers, curators, board members, and community members from near and far. 

6-7 / Susan Firer, Portia Cobb, Rick Ollman, Janet Jennerjohn, Paul Druecke, Bryon Cherry, Zack Pieper, Freesia McKee, Mike Michaels, Ae Hee Lee, RS Deeren, & Bob Hanson & Karen Ingvoldstad // from our archives: Anthony Deutsch, for Formations Series for New & Improvised music—October 12, 2018 / & ALASH, Tuvan Throat Singers—April 19, 2018 

7-8 / Takahiro Suzuki (Studies in the Folly of Man), Karl Gartung, Jacqueline Lalley, Greg Flegel, Jen Benka, Ching-In Chen, Franklin K.R. Cline, John Koethe, Sam Pekarske, Brenda Cárdenas, & Roberto Harrison

8-9 / Peter Burzynski, Stacy Szymaszek, Chuck Stebelton, Tyrone Williams, Maureen Owen, Elizabeth Robinson, Diane Glancy, & Joe McPhee  // from our archives: PaVda (Hal Rammel & Linda Binder), for Formations Series for New & Improvised Music—March 15, 2018 / & The Transatlantic Bridge #2.1 (Dan Bitney, Rob Frye, JayVe Montgomery, Olivia Scemama, & Simon Sieger), for Alternating Currents Live—May 5, 2019 

9-10 / CAConrad, Joshua Beckman, TC Tolbert, Janelle VanderKelen (Clara), Anselm Berrigan, Nikki Wallschlaeger, David Wilk, Jennifer Scapettone, Duriel E. Harris, Ed Roberson,  Eileen Myles, & Kati Katchever


SUNDAY, Jan. 31st

10-11 am RIVERWEST CURRENTS, sponsored by Riverwest Currents and dedicated to the poet Antler

Vince Bushell, Harvey Taylor & Susie Krause, Thomas Treder, Ellen Warren, Desmond Bone, Mooney James, & Shell Bells

11 am-12 pm UNTOLD STORIES + RACINE/KENOSHA FEATURE, sponsored by Lotus Legal Clinic 

11-11:30 / Laurel Blackstone, R.C. Nicole, Deborah Estrada-Carson, Hannah Lenzo, Pita, Jamie Lovely, & Austin Reece

11:30-12 / Nick Ramsey, Rachel Wiedower, Jean Preston, Joseph Engel, Carol Lee Saffiotti-Hughes, Debra Hall, & Stephen Kalmar II

12-1 pm COMMUNITY HOUR, sponsored by AllWriters' Workplace & Workshop

Robin Lane & Paul McComas, Robb Astor, Lindsay Tigue, Jesse DeLong, Liandra Skenandore, Kathie Giorgio, Garin Cycholl, Karen Haley, Lisa Krawczyk, Tim Kloss, Stephen Anderson, Steve Pump, & Grzegorz Wróblewski

1-2 pm WHOSE LANGUAGE YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND by Kim Kielhofner, sponsored by WE Energies Foundation

Named after a novel by the late Austrian writer Marianne Fritz (1948-2007), Whose Language You Don’t Understand (2018) is a video cycle exploring the limits of language. Fritz spent most of her life, over 30 years, working on a cycle of dense and complex novels she called “The Fortress,” consisting of over 10,000 pages—and still unfinished at the time of her death. Her project is an unusual and astonishing one that challenges the conventions of writing and reading. In Fritz’s work, writing sustains a reality. Writing becomes a movement into an alternative world, and readership offers radical possibilities.

2-3 pm GENRE: URBAN ARTS, sponsored by Anonymous on behalf of Teens Grow Greens & Girls on the Run

Marcus Emel, Lyn Patterson, Colleen Rowe, Aysheh Manaei, Dana Kaleta, Shaunteri Skinner, Anita Holloway, Samihah Pargas, Ananda Deacon, & Nakeysha Roberts Washington

3-4 pm QUEER HOUR + IN-NA-PO (INDIGENOUS NATIONS POETS), sponsored by The Queer Curatorial Fund of the UWM Department of Film, Video, Animation, & New Genres and Scott Gelzer & Sherry Goldsmith

3-3:30 / Jennifer Morales, Siwar Masannat, Elizabeth Hoover, Jenni Moody, CJ Scruton, franciszka voeltz, & Canese Jarboe 

3:30-4 / Craig Santos Perez, Margaret Noodin, LeAnne Howe, Jake Skeets, & Kimberly Blaeser

4 pm —INTERMISSION—4:15 pm

4:15-5 pm LATINX POETS FEATURE, sponsored by Erick “CK” Ledesma & Howard Leu

Rosa Alcalá, Carmen Murguia, José Felipe Alvergue, alida cardós whaley, Daniel Borzutzky, Marili Pizarro, Matthew Gutierrez, José Manuela García Oquendo, Jose-Luis Moctezuma, Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara, & Urayoán Noel

5-6 pm OSCAR PRESENTS, sponsored by Ed & Brooke Krishok

Jordan Dunn, Andy Gricevich, Stacy Blint, Steve Timm, Mike Hauser, Abraham Smith, Timothy Yu, Richard Meier, Lewis Freedman, & Lauren Russell // Anouk Chambaz: 06:24

6-10 pm SMALL PRESS FEATURE with CHAX PRESS, CANARIUM BOOKS, UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE, BELLADONNA*, FATHOM BOOKS, PITYMILK PRESS, BATHMATICS, & VEGETARIAN ALCOHOLIC PRESSsponsored by Reuter & AssociatesThe New Order of Saint Agatha, Karen Campbell & Kevin Ronnie, FATHOM BooksOutpost Natural Foods, Polonez, & Mobile Car Care

6-7 (Chax Press) / David Weiss, Andrew Levy, Maryrose Larkin, Steven Salmoni, Michael Gottlieb, Simon Pettet, Eli Goldblatt, Saba Syed Razvi, Sarah Rosenthal, & Charles Alexander // Takahiro Suzuki: How to Draw a Line

7-7:30 (Canarium Books) / Ishmael Klein, Darcie Dennigan, Paul Killebrew, Suzanne Buffam, & giovanni singleton //  Anouk Chambaz: A View from the Cliffs, Extract 1

7:30-8 (Ugly Duckling Presse) / Jean Day, Anna Gurton-Wachter, Sawako Nakayasu, Jennifer Nelson, Corina Copp, & Rachel Levitsky // Anouk Chambaz: A View from the Cliffs, Extract 2

8-8:30 (Belladonna*) / Krystal Languell, Gabrielle Civil, Maxe Crandall, Ashna Ali, Becca Klaver, & Kimberly Alidio // Anouk Chambaz: A View from the Cliffs, Extract 3

8:30-9 (FATHOM Books) / Joseph Spece, Stephanie Adams-Santos, Eric Westerlind, Marissa Bognanno, & Youna Kwak // Anouk Chambaz: To have an existential crisis

9-9:15 (Pitymilk Press & Bathmatics) / Edie Roberts & Chelsea Tadeyeske

9:15-10 (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press) / Kelsey Marie Harris, Lauren Turner, Janelle Cordero, Travis Tate, Denise Jarrott, Gina Tron, Al Russell, & Sierra-Nicole Qualles

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 (starting June 1)

Closed Mon

Contactless pick-up: Wed–Fri | 2–6 pm, Sat | 2–5 pm

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 2021