COORDINATED / CURATED / HOSTED
POETRY PROGRAM AT VAR GALLERY
POETS READ SOME STUFF SOMEPLACE IN MILWAUKEE
The name says it all-- every three months, a handful of poets take the stage at Var Gallery to read poetry. Modeled after more traditional poetry readings a-la Woodland Pattern's wares, "Stuff" features a high-profile feature poet, 1-2 well-respected local poets, and a wild card, who will open the show. This missing link is typically a type of local performer that has written, but has never performed, poetry. The breadth of poets, from wildly published to literally unknown, and heavy focus on curation sets this series apart.
In October 2017, Milwaukee Magazine named Poets Read Some Stuff Someplace in Milwaukee "Best Reading Series" in their annual Best of Milwaukee issue, which has been a mainstay of the magazine since 1983.
Previous features include: Derrick Harriell, Brenda Cardenas, Susan Firer, Dasha Kelly, Roberto Harrison
Short Shots is the response to the more traditional "Stuff" series-- think of it as the cool little sister of the average poetry reading. Sets are limited to 5-10 minutes with six poets joining each quarterly lineup--three sourced by yours truly, three sourced by co-curator Annie Grizzle--with both curators taking turns performing at ever other event.
There's no feature, no cover, and no theme-- everything is pulled together to appeal to a diverse crowd and poets are encouraged to bring their more wild and experimental work to the stage. With breaks staggered every few poets, guests are free to socialize, explore the gallery, and refill their drinks at the Var bar to keep the atmosphere light and interest piqued.
Anybody is encouraged to email with writing samples and/or a video audition for consideration in a future Short Shots lineup.
Previous poets include: Caitlin Scarano, Greg Zorko, Chelsea Tadeyeske, Jonathan Cardew
WRITERS & ARTISTS WORKSHOP
There's a word for being inspired by art to create other art-- ekphrasis. It was coined by the Greeks to describe this process and remains one of the most important studies in poetry and visual art alike. Writers, artists, and encouraged parties gather once a month on a Saturday afternoon to take in the current exhibitions of Var Gallery and hear talks from artists participating in the current exhibitions. These workshops lead participants through engaging with the visual art to glean inspiration that can turn into a poem. From there...
...Any work generated at the Ek-Spastic workshop can be submitted for publication in the quarterly Ek-Spastic magazine. Starting in July of 2017, Ek-Spastic Mag will be released quarterly and will feature both photographs of art from the Var exhibitions as well as any and all writing submitted by writers of any caliber.
Email any inquiries to
OTHER ONE-OFF READINGS & PERFORMANCES
POETS READ JAZZ
I have some tricks up my sleeves for this one. For the time being bump "Kenneth Patchen Reads With Jazz in Canada" for a look at the inspiration behind this coming event.
THE 2011 REVIVAL SHOW
When an old friend shared an event flier from an end-of-semester reading we knew what we had to do-- it was time to get the band back together for another reading, 5 years later. A packed house turned up on a Thursday night to see myself and four former classmates get together to relive our undergraduate dreams, dubbed the 2011 Revival Show.
A product of Tattered Press, Restoryation is a conversational podcast series with poets, writers, artists, scientists, and others. The name is borrowed from an interview in Edge Effects, in which Robin Wall Kimmerer says “stories embrace the intellect, physical sense, emotion, and spirit. It’s so holistic. We remember in these powerful ways because each part of our being has been touched. Gary Nabhan has said, as we try to heal the earth with restoration, with ecological restoration, that’s well and good but what we really need to do is re-story-ation.” This series is co-curated with press owner Amanda Ngoho Reavey with more information available here.