Currents Woodland Pattern Gala Event

About Woodland Pattern Book Center

Woodland Pattern Book Center was founded as a non-profit organization in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood by Anne Kingsbury and Karl Gartung in 1979. The name “Woodland Pattern” was chosen from a passage in Paul Metcalf’s Apalache: “South of Lake Superior, a culture center, the Woodland Pattern…”

Woodland Pattern has become a nationally recognized cultural hub. The Center houses a bookstore with over 25,000 small press titles otherwise unavailable in the Milwaukee area. Because of the organization’s nonprofit status, inventory decisions aren’t dictated by commercialism. Woodland Pattern hopes to act as a catalyst, putting readers together with small press literature. The Center also includes an art gallery where it presents exhibitions, artist talks, readings, experimental films, concerts, and writing workshops for adults and children. Since its inception in 1979, Woodland Pattern has served over 500,000 people of all ages.

Woodland Pattern Book Center will celebrate 36 years of serving the Milwaukee community with its 2016 Anniversary Gala at Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall.

On Friday November 11 the 5:30 Recep-
tion will feature a cash bar, catered hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, and mingling with Gala Honorees Nancy Rafal and Polly Morris, featured Lambda Literary Award-winning poet Eileen Myles, and a veritable who’s who of Milwaukee artists and writers.

The 7:00pm Program includes a presentation of awards to the Gala Honorees, and performance by featured poet Eileen Myles, who has been described as “one of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature.”

About Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles is the author of nineteen books including I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems and a re-issue of Chelsea Girls in 2015. Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1949, attended Catholic schools in Arlington, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts (Boston) in 1971.

Myles came to New York in 1974 to be a poet. Myles poetic education primarily took place at St. Mark’s Poetry Project from 1975 to 1977, through attending readings and participating in workshops led by Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan, and Paul Violi. From 1984 to 1986 Eileen was the artistic director of St. Mark’s Poetry Project.

From 1977 to 1979 they published dodgems, a poetry magazine that represented a collision of New York School, Language Poetry, performance texts, unconventional prose, as well as tossed-off notes from neighbors and celebrities. In 1977, Eileen co-edited the feminist anthology Ladies Museum, and in 1979 worked as an assistant to poet James Schuyler. That same year, Eileen Myles was a founding member of the Los Texans Collective (along with Elinor Nauen and Barbara McKay), which went on to produce the play Patriarchy and the spiritual entertainment Joan of Arc.

Myles has toured and read all over North America and Europe on and off since the early 1980s. Solo performances include Leaving New York (1989), Life (1991), and Summer in Russia (1996) at PS 122 in New York. Myles’s plays include Feeling Blue (Parts 1, 2, and 3) at Modern Art, and Our Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, written for Alina Troyano and produced at PS 122. In 2004, Eileen Myles wrote the libretto for the opera Hell, composed by Michael Webster. In 2010, they created and directed their Dia Center for the Arts performance piece, The Collection of Silence, which involved dancers, poets, children, visual artists, and Buddhists in a collective public act of silence at the Hispanic Society in New York.

Once an “openly female” presidential candidate, Eileen Myles is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital art writers’ grant, four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America, was named to the Slate/Whiting Second Novel List in 2015, and received a poetry award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2016 they received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. They live in Marfa, TX and New York.

Myles is a Professor Emeritus of writing and literature at University of California, San Diego, and currently teaches at New York University, Columbia University, and Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

About Nancy Rafal

Nancy Rafal has been a Woodland Pattern supporter for over 20 years. She was an early participant in the Woodland Pattern Poetry Marathon driving from Door County and often she was one of the few members of the audience (except for staff) that stayed throughout the entire Marathon until the last poem was read. Now she offers rides to fellow poets in Bailey’s Harbor who want attend Woodland Pattern special events several times a year.

In 2003 Rafal was an active part of planning the Centennial Celebrations of Niedecker’s birth. In addition, she also made an anonymous contribution making it possible for Cid Corman and his wife Shizumi to travel from Japan and give a key presentation at the event in Milwaukee and a reading in Fort Atkinson. The celebration took place in Milwaukee and Fort Atkinson and was co-sponsored by Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee Public Library and Fort Atkinson Library.

In addition to her support of Woodland Pattern, Rafal’s advocacy of poetry has encouraged other writers to come closer to realizing their potential both by creating venues for them and by drawing public attention to their work. She was instrumental part in establishing the Door County Poet Laureate position, officially sanctioned by the County Board in 2010. As a part of the leadership of both the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) and the Wisconsin Writers’ Association (WWA), she is a valuable source of literary information. She serves on the Board of Friends of Niedecker and is active in the annual Niedecker Poetry Festival, which occurs each October in Fort Atkinson.

As a poet, she has appeared in journals, including Hummingbird, Free Verse, Sheepshead Review and Camel Saloon, and published Slightly Off Q, a chapbook collaboration with fellow poets June Nirschl and Judy Roy. She has won awards in both the fiction and poetry categories of the Hal Grutzmacher contest presented by the Peninsula Pulse, and has read her work at a number of venues, including the Emily Dickinson Poetry Series, Novel Ideas Bookstore, and Untitled Used and Rare Books in Door County.

About Polly Morris

Polly Morris is the Executive Director of the Bradley Family Foundation and the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lynden, which operates as a laboratory at the intersection of art and nature for artists, teachers, students, and the general public, opened in May 2010. Morris also administers the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund for Individual Artists Fellowship program, and serves as the chair of the public art subcommittee of the City of Milwaukee Arts Board. Her previous experience includes nearly a decade directing Danceworks, an organization she co-founded in 1992; and another decade at the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she indulged her passion for cross-
disciplinary programming. As principal of Polly Morris Inc., Morris advised area non-profits on development, marketing, program development, and strategic planning. She has a Ph.D. from the Center for the Study of Social History at the University of Warwick in England, and most of her writing these days is parcelled out in grant narratives, e-newsletters and the occasional catalogue essay.

If you go: Friday, November 11, 2016

Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall

733 N. Eight h St. Milwaukee, WI 53233


$80 Individual / $150 Couple

7:00PM, PROGRAM ONLY: $25 Advance / $30 Door

Tickets go on sale starting Tuesday, September 6