Five reasons to support the poetry marathon

Racine poets at last year's poetry marathon

Racine, WI poets represented at last year’s Poetry Marathon.
Photo Credit: Woodland Pattern Book Center

Just two more days until the 21st Annual Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. Here are five reasons to support the Annual Poetry Marathon:

  1. over 25,000 small press titles
  2. book titles include poetry, chapbooks, fine print materials, broadsides, and multicultural literature
  3. money raised supports Woodland Pattern’s 2015 programming in literature and the arts, including an after school program and youth summer camp
  4. enjoy 15 hours regional poets, writers, and lovers of the arts
  5. 150 poets and writers from Milwaukee and surrounding areas

photo (2)

Five poets representing Racine, Wisconsin at the Woodland Pattern’s poetry marathon need your support! Help each performer raise at least $35.

  1. Nick Demske – poet and author of critically acclaimed self-titled poetry book and featured in Poets & Writers. read more
  2. Justin Grimbol – author of Hard Bodies, Drinking Until Morning and others. read more
  3. Kelsey Harris – poet featured at the 2014 Racine and Kenosha Authors Book Fair.
  4. Aaron Lundquist – spoken word poet, featured at Grassroots Open Mic and Artist Showcase. read more
  5. Nick Ramsey – Poet Laureate of Racine, Wisconsin and co-founder of Family Power Music. read more

Ok, technically, there are more than five, but I saw most of these fine poets perform last night at the Grassroots Open Mic at George’s Tavern. Also, I will be reading during the marathon as part of the Racine delegation. Please consider supporting me with a pledge. It is as easy as one, two, three. Go to the Woodland Pattern Book Center, here, and:

  1. under “Pledge a Reader online!” select a donation amount,
  2. add “Reader’s Name” (that’s me, Matthew Mulder) and
  3. click the “Pay Now” button.

Thanks for your support!

Your help is appreciated! My goal is to

Your help is appreciated! My goal is to reach $100 pledge by Friday. If you could pledge $5 that would be awesome! ow.ly/I2LjB

Help support the Poetry Marathon

Racine poets at last year's poetry marathon

Racine, WI poets represented at last year’s Poetry Marathon

The 21st annual Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading for Milwaukee’s Woodland Pattern Book Center is this Saturday, January 31, 2015. If you are not familiar with Woodland Pattern Book Center, here is an introduction to this non-profit organization from their website:

 Woodland Pattern’s… specializes in literature from small and independent presses and is well-stocked with over 25,000 titles.

The poetry section is among the best in the world, and has a comprehensive blend of classics and contemporary works, translations, and poets from all schools. Several ethnic sections include… poetry from African American/Black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Native American writers. Nearly half… of our space is devoted to poetry, a commitment that few organizations can claim to match. (continue reading)

Woodland Pattern’s mission is:

…dedicated to the discovery, cultivation and presentation of contemporary literature and the arts.

Our goals are to promote a lifetime practice of reading and writing, to provide a forum and resource center for writers/artists in our region, and to increase and diversify the audience for contemporary literature through innovative approaches to multi-arts programming. (continue reading)

I will be reading during the marathon and would really appreciate your support. Please consider supporting me with a pledge. It is really easy and only takes three steps. Go to the website (here),

  1. under “Pledge a Reader online!” select a donation amount,
  2. add “Reader’s Name” (that’s me, Matthew Mulder) and
  3. click the “Pay Now” button.

And thank you on behalf of the Woodland Pattern Book Center!

[Podcast] Advent Poems – special edition – 1

DEC2014_iTunes_Image

This is a special edition of the Coffeehouse Junkie audio podcast.

A couple years ago I composed a list of twelve Advent poems that has become on of the most read blog posts of Coffeehouse Junkie.

This episode features “Annunciation” by Denise Levertov, “Advent” by Donald Hall, “Into The Darkest Hour” by Madeleine L’Engle and a selection from the Book of Common Prayer.

When books find you and do not let go

Other than “To an Athlete Dying Young,” my familiarity with A. E. Housman is very limited. But serendipitously a published lecture of his found me and I have been deeply reading it for a couple of months now. The lecture is titled The Name and Nature of Poetry.

In contrast, another book found me in late August. It is Finding the Islands by W. S. Merwin. This too have I read deeply for the last few months (and I dare not confess how much my library fine is to date).

These authors speak to be in a manner that few contemporary writers do. Modern readers consume modern fiction and poetry, but modern literary works seem less and less able to engage me. I feel — at times — as if I am drifting backwards in time as my years advance.

Help select Advent poems

A few years ago I posted a question: Why is it so difficult to find well-written Advent poems? There was little to no response to that post.

Undeterred, I collected a few poems that are good examples of poems of the Advent and posted either web links to the poems or the poems themselves.

Each year, around mid-October the traffic to those Advent poem posts increases dramatically. By the end of the calendar year they are in the most visited posts on this blog.

This year I am considering an audio podcast production featuring readings of selected poems. Here is where I could use your help:

  1. If you have a few minutes please take a look at a list of twelve Advent poems and let me know which is your favorite. Or if you have an Advent poem that is not listed please send me a web link or the poem for consideration.
  2. If you are or know of a musician who would like to contribute to the audio podcast, please contact me. Specifically, I am looking for instrumental compositions.

Thanks for your support. I look forward to your feedback.

 

Photos from last weekend’s Racine and Kenosha Authors Book Fair

SoftGLow_dscn0881

Kelsey Harris reading her poem “Pinkest Thoughts.”

 

SoftGLow_dscn0886

Dan Nielsen reading is (in)famous five-liners.

SoftGLow_dscn0893

Nick Demske reading from his celebrated book Nick Demske.

SoftGLow_dscn0898

Marcia Eanes reading from Passion’s Zest.

 

SoftGLow_dscn0922

Kelsey Hoff reading from her recently published Sad Girls Poems.

 

Is poetry the language of protest?

This question is like a sliver under my skin. It started after I read an article that made the following statement: “At its root, poetry is the language of protest.”

  • Is this statement is true(objective)? Or opinion (subjective)?
  • Does poetry function as poetry if it no longer contains an element of protest?
  • If poetry is like a kitchen recipe with ingredients and proper baking instructions, what would the recipe look like?
  • Do you come to poetry with a desire to protest?

What say you, dear reader?

Racine and Kenosha Authors Book Fair

10565080_10152376419532804_4810709820636602796_n

Rumor has it that I am one of the many authors at this event.

Here are details of the event from the Racine and Kenosha Authors Book Fair Facebook page:

September 20 from 6 to 9 pm, authors from all over Racine and Kenosha will converge at the Racine Arts Council. Six featured poets and authors will give readings (Kenosha Poet Laureate Jean Preston, Kelsey Marie Harris, Dan Nielsen, Nick Demske, Marcie Eanes, and Kelsey Hoff), and many more will be present to sign their books and meet with readers. This event is also the official release of Sad Girl Poems, a chapbook self-published by Kelsey Hoff. Light refreshments will be served.

The Racine and Kenosha area is a thriving arts community, with a surprising number of authors and literary publications in residence. This event will represent the diversity of that community, with up-and-coming writers side by side with well-established ones in multiple genres including poetry, fiction, young adult, and nonfiction. Representatives from Left of the Lake and Straylight Literary Arts Magazine will be present with copies of their publications available.

Quote: “All the words that I utter…”

All the words that I utter,
And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,
And sing to you in the night,
Beyond where the waters are moving,
Storm-darken’d or starry bright.

—  William Butler Yeats, “Where My Books Go” (via bookoasis)