The Annual Poetry Marathon is next weekend

The 24th Annual Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading for Milwaukee’s Woodland Pattern Book Center is next weekend, Saturday, January 27, 2018.

The time slot between 9 PM – 10 PM is when I’ll be reading some poetry. Others reading during that segment include: Patrick Branum, Andrew Cantrell, Nick Demske, Dan Godston, Sara Goodman, Marcy Rae Henry, Jennifer Karmin, Kimberly Lyons and Blake Nemec.

Please consider supporting the effort. Contact me for details. Or visit the links provided. Much gratitude!

The Annual Poetry Marathon is just weeks away

Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 East Locust Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212

The 24th Annual Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading for Milwaukee’s Woodland Pattern Book Center is this Saturday, January 27, 2018.

Five reasons to support the poetry marathon:

  1. over 25,000 small press titles represented
  2. book titles include poetry, chapbooks, fine print materials, broadsides, and multicultural literature
  3. money raised supports Woodland Pattern’s 2018 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

If those five reasons are not enough, I will be reading during the Annual Poetry Marathon. Please consider supporting the effort. Contact me for details. Or visit the links provided. Much gratitude!

Amazing readings, beautiful community

“Amazing readings, beautiful community,” tweeted one of the poetry marathon attendees Saturday night. Indeed it was a good night to visit Woodland Pattern Book Center to hear poets share their work. To be exact, 150 area poets shared their work.

I participated in the 9 o’clock hour. Featured poets included: Matt Cook, Tom Erickson, Peter Burzynski, Franklin K.R. Cline, Carmen Murguia, Peter Whalen, Bob Koss, Jane Lukic, Michael Wendt. One of the highlights of that hour was to hear a Czesław Miłosz poem read in Polish.

Each poet is afforded five minutes to read. The poems I selected earlier in the day loosely fit the motif of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. They were all short poems. One of the poems was a spare two lines. So, I read it slowly. In truth, I try to read all poetry at a slow pace. It is a technique I picked up from some of my favorite poets in Western North Carolina.

After the 9 o’clock hour readings concluded, one of the event coordinators commented that she likes this part of the marathon. She said that the poets are warmed up at this point and the poetry really engages the audience. While milling around after the reading, a board member of Woodland Pattern asked me if I was a visiting professor. I smiled. It is a question I get asked a lot after a public reading.

Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

How does a poet select poems to read at a poetry marathon? I have been asking myself and my wife that question all week. Tomorrow is the annual poetry marathon at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. Something like 150 poets will be at the all-day event.

As I peruse a collection of publications I am a little startled to realize that there is a decade or more of work published in various journals and reviews.[1] Some of the publications are regional to North Carolina while others are national.

My work does not have a lot of Milwaukee-area credentials and I am not well-known to this region (forthcoming work is to be published by a Milwaukee publisher). Even so, I feel like an outsider at the Woodland Pattern poetry community. This is familiar territory.[2]

During a conversation with my wife this week an idea formed. Selecting poems based on the wedding adage was the plan: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. This developed into an engaging exercise of finding poems to fit that motif. Looking forward to sharing the results tomorrow night — between 9 and 10 p.m. — at Woodland Pattern Book Center.

NOTES
[1] A SHORT LIST OF SEVEN PUBLISHED POEMS:”Saturday Night, Coffee House,” Rapid River, 2004; “Reading ‘My American Body’ by W. K. Buckley,” Rapid River, 2005; “Narrative Kernel,” Rapid River, 2005; “Last Bus,” H_NGM_N, 2005; “The Last American Chestnut Tree,” The Blotter, 2006; “Loneliness Visits,” .ISM Quarterly, 2006; “Last Night at the New French Bar,” Crab Creek Review, 2010
[2] A good friend and poet, Barbie Angell, once told me that I am on the cusp as far as a poet and writer is concerned. Meaning, that I am on the border or threshold of the academic (published) poetry scene and the street (unpublished) poetry scene. So, being a stranger to the Milwaukee poetry scene is familiar place for me.

This week is the Annual Poetry Marathon

Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 East Locust Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212

Woodland Pattern Book Center’s 22nd Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit is almost here and I have done a horrible job promoting the event.

This is the second time I will be reading poetry at the Woodland Pattern Book Center. If you are so inclined, you may sponsor me as I read poetry during the 9 -10 PM portion of the marathon. Details on sponsorship is here.

Or join the event and hear some of the poets in the area and beyond. Last year, if I recall correctly, some of the poets drove from as far as Madison to read at the marathon. Hope to see you there.

Spitting poetry at Grassroots

Day five

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.

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!

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!