Several expressions are used in open mic circles when a poet or a singer songwriter is introduced to the audience. One of those expressions is, “Welcome, So-and-so to the stage. She going to bless the mic with her poetry.” Another expression often heard is, “Ya’ll give it up for What’s-his-name who is here to spit some poetry at you tonight.”
Last night I had the opportunity to read some recent, unpublished poems at the Grassroots open mic in Racine. That was the first time I have read at the Racine Arts Council ArtSpace Gallery (last summer I read some old poems at a Grassroots open mic at George’s Tavern). The poems seemed well received by at least a few people who talked to me at the end of the evening.
There was a time in my life when I used to read my work at open mics and other gigs at least once or twice a week. But those were different times and in a place far from here. Yet, the exercise of public speaking/reading returned quickly. There was fear in my mind that those skills had atrophied.
I will be reading at Woodland Pattern Book Center’s 22nd Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit. It is a fundraising event. Your support is appreciated. It will be my second time reading at Woodland Pattern. For those interested attending and supporting the event, I will be reading on January 30th at 9 p.m. with a group of other poets — more details on that coming soon. If you would like to sponsor my reading, feel free to leave a note in the comments section or email me.
Two years ago Barbara Gravelle and I helped organize a 100 Thousand Poets for Change event at The Downtown Market Asheville. The evening was memorable on so many levels. Reading poetry with long-time friends and poets, reuniting with other poets and meeting new poets were highlights of that night. It also marked the beginning of a long farewell to my adopted hometown.
A lot has happened in two years. Relocation. New employment. New material written. New material published. And so on.
This year I will join Nick Demske and other Racine, Wisconsin poets at the May’d Ent Buidling for the 2015 100 Thousand Poets for Change global event. The Wisconsin poets and writers in Racine and Milwaukee (and other places in between) are talented and engaged.
Saturday night’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change at the May’d Ent Building (433 Main Street, Racine, WI) should be an exciting event of poetry and more. Doors open 5:30 p.m., but get there early and hangout with new friends.
With that in mind, the Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair is next weekend, Saturday, May 23, 2015 at Rhode Center for The Arts (514 56th St, Kenosha, WI 53140). The book fair begins at 2 p.m. and concludes at 5 p.m. So you have plenty of time to do your morning errands or yard work, join me and fellow authors and then spend the rest of the day enjoying Kenosha’s lovely lakefront area with an armful of books by local authors.
Copies of my books will be available for sale (and I will personally sign your copies) and I am scheduled to read at the event. Look forward to meeting you at the Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair nest weekend!
Ever have one of those days when you write a blog post that you think is really witty or brilliant, save it as a draft, come back a few hours later and realize it is not only stupid and self-absorbed but utter rubbish?
Yeah, that was me yesterday. So, I deleted the post and decided to share this image of a nice coffee shop and café located in the historic section of downtown Racine, Wisconsin.
Before the landmark Porters of Racine building was demolished last year into a gaping scar of urban planning, it was easy to direct people to Circe Celeste. The hole-in-the-wall café faces — or rather, used to face — the Porters of Racine building. Circe Celeste has a wonderful intimate, ambience and a delicious selection of pastries, coffee and lunch specials. The scones alone are worth a visit to the café.
For regulars to Circe Celeste café, it is a place where everyone knows your name. If you are so fortunate, you might have a sketched portrait of yourself on the wall in the room to the left of the front counter.
It is also a great place to grab a cup of coffee on a rainy day after spending the morning at the Racine Public Library — located a mere block away. It does not matter if the printer/scanner is not working. Or the batteries in the digital camera died while trying to photograph a sketch for a client. Or the iPhone charger was left somewhere 15 miles west of Racine and the phone battery displays 23% power. Circe Celeste café is open and the pour over coffee tastes smooth and bitter with a hint of sunshine.
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:
over 25,000 small press titles
book titles include poetry, chapbooks, fine print materials, broadsides, and multicultural literature
money raised supports Woodland Pattern’s 2015 programming in literature and the arts, including an after school program and youth summer camp
enjoy 15 hours regional poets, writers, and lovers of the arts
150 poets and writers from Milwaukee and surrounding areas
Five poets representing Racine, Wisconsin at the Woodland Pattern’s poetry marathon need your support! Help each performer raise at least $35.
Nick Demske – poet and author of critically acclaimed self-titled poetry book and featured in Poets & Writers. read more
Justin Grimbol – author of Hard Bodies, Drinking Until Morning and others. read more
Kelsey Harris – poet featured at the 2014 Racine and Kenosha Authors Book Fair.
Aaron Lundquist – spoken word poet, featured at Grassroots Open Mic and Artist Showcase. read more
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:
under “Pledge a Reader online!” select a donation amount,
add “Reader’s Name” (that’s me, Matthew Mulder) and
A concrete slab harvested from a demolished city building defends Pershing Park from the frozen Lake Michigan waves. It is large — the size of a small sedan — and surrounded by smaller rubble. Rebar and concrete and ice mix into a violent Jackson Pollack sketch as waves thunder into the shoreline.
The temperature outside is in the single digits — lower with the windchill. In the small sedan, the heater is not working. Or not well. The driver’s toes — numb from the cold — curl and uncurl. The driver is trying to capture an image — a photograph — of the spray from the waves when they hit the shoreline and shoot twenty feet into the air.
The visit to the public library introduced the driver to books by E. L. Doctorow, Wendell Berry and Alberto Manguel and a book on the history of time by Oxford Press. Timing the waves as they advance on the shoreline creates an illusion of distance. Patiently the driver composes a few more images.
The icy air advances deeper into epidermis. Reluctantly the driver places the lens cap on the camera and stows it in a black bag next to the library books.
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.
AM RINGWALT is a writer and musician (Anne Malin) from Racine, Wisconsin and currently studying in Boston, Massachusetts. Most recently, her words have appeared in: “Whole Beast Rag;” “DUM DUM Zine: Punks and Scholars;” “The Interlochen Review;” and “BROWN GOD.” Last year, she was a YoungArts finalist in fiction and a US Presidential Scholar in the Arts semi-finalist. Ringwalt’s debut chapbook entitled “Like Cleopatra” is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. More information about her work can be found at annemalinringwalt.tumblr.com
JOE HALL is the author of three books of poetry: “Pigafetta Is My Wife” (Black Ocean 2010), “The Devotional Poems” (Black Ocean 2013), and, in collaboration with Chad Hardy, “The Container Store” Volumes I & II (SpringGun 2012). He currently resides with fellow poet Cheryl Quimba in Buffalo, New York where he is studying commons, excess, and waste flows. Learn more about his work at joehalljoehall.wordpress.com
NAOMI MARIE is a born and bred Midwestern minstrel of sorts. Transplanted from the rich musical culture of the twin cities, she has discovered a fresh folk sound and form from the third coast of Lake Michigan. Having recently released her first full length, Primary Colors, in May of 2014, she sets to connect with friends, fans and artists in continued pursuit of her music’s authentic expressions. For more information about her music and schedule go to naomimariemusic.org