For the past two decades, on the last Saturday of January, hundreds of poets, writers, and lovers of the arts make a pilgrimage to Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood for the Woodland Pattern Book Center Poetry Marathon & Benefit.
The next Marathon, the 21st Annual, is set for Saturday, January 31, 2015 and will kick off at 10:00am. The subsequent fourteen hours—through 1:00am the following morning—will
feature several specially curated hours including The Naropa Hour (8:00-9:00pm) co-hosted by Naropa University alumnae (and Woodland Pattern staff members) Kate Sloan Fiffer and
Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey; the LGBT Hour (10:00pm-11:00pm) curated by Ching-In Chen; and a UWM Film Department hour (11:00-12:00am) hosted by Carl Bogner.
All performers are asked to raise at least $35 in pledges in support of Woodland Pattern’s 2015 operations and programming in literature and the arts, including its afterschool and summertime youth programming.
Former and current Milwaukee poets laureate Brenda Cárdenas, Susan Firer, Antler, the late Jeff Poniewaz, and John Koethe have all been regular participants in the Marathon, which speaks to the event’s quality and history. But this shouldn’t—and thankfully doesn’t—cause less experienced writers to shy away from participating as well. It’s an opportunity for up-and-coming writers to mix with some of the finest and most widely published ones; it’s a way for all to share and gain experience.
The format of the Marathon has become a bit more open in recent years: it’s not “poetry only” anymore. Performers sing songs, read fiction and other prose, or even use the opportunity for
storytelling: improvised or rehearsed.
For additional information or to sign up as a performer, call us at 414-263-5001 or stop by the book center at 720 E. Locust Street in Riverwest.