by Mary Vuk

The 13th Annual Woodland Pattern Poetry Marathon will be held on Saturday, January 27 from 10 am until 1 am. This year, three hours of reading time have been added to accommodate popular demand. Also, for the first time this year, students from Pierce Elementary School who are participants in the Woodland Pattern after-school poetry program will read from 10-11 pm. There are still a number of reading slots available for those interested.

A new underwriter for the 2007 Marathon is Lake Forest Potawatomi Foundation, which donated $8,000 for the event. There are ample opportunities for other corporate sponsors to underwrite an hour of the marathon beginning at the $350 level. Last year, Woodland Pattern raised over $12,000 from the event. This year they hope to exceed $20,000.

Interested underwriters and readers should contact Chuck Stebleton at Woodland Pattern 414- 263-5001 for further details.

Woodland Pattern welcomes first time audience members to the Marathon. “It’s the best deal in town,” Anne Kingsbury, Executive Director said. “You can buy a ticket for $8 and you can come and go for 15 hours and listen to writing from all over the state.” Kingsbury encourages first time attendees to leave their preconceptions about poetry at home and just “come and have a cookie and get a cup of coffee and listen to 10 people who are going to read five minutes at a time. If you don’t like the first reader, you probably will like the second or third.” Last year over 200 people attended the event.

“We see people [at the Marathon] from all walks of life, who have all kinds of different jobs who are poets.” The readers “could be a bartender, a nurse, a stockbroker, a yogi, or a truck driver. What we all have in common is the love of writing and poetry. It’s a chance to share that love publicly with an extremely supportive audience,” Kingsbury said.

During the Marathon, the Woodland Pattern gallery will preview a retrospective exhibit of Anne Kingbury’s artwork. The exhibit includes work created by Kingsbury over the past 25 years during her association with Woodland Pattern. It will feature a mixture of individual artworks, journal pages of daily activities, and flyers and different ephemera from activities that took place at Woodland Pattern during the time that the journal pages were being written and the art work was being made. Kingsbury wants the exhibit “to show a complete life.” She works in mixed media including beading, leather quilting and ceramics. Her journal includes text and drawings, which document her daily activities as regulated by blocks of time she creates for herself by using a kitchen timer.

Formal show opening will be Sunday afternoon, February 4.

Other Upcoming Events

Sunday, January 14 from 1-5 pm, Angie Trudell Vasquez will lead a workshop titled “A Feminist Approach to the Beats and their Process.”

Friday, January 19, National Slam champion, Roger Bonair-Agard will read at 7

Riverwest Currents online edition – December, 2006