Central-Fox Valley Region

Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac

The Draw, Feather & Bone Art Gallery, 800 S. Lawe Street, Appleton
Third Mondays | Poetry Readings. We’re thrilled to partner with The Feather & Bone Art Gallery inside The Draw – Appleton’s new Community Arts Space at 800 S. Lawe Street. We’re still near the heart of the city but now down in the flats, south on College Avenue (near Lawrence University). 

We’re cooking up a great line-up of readers for the remainder of 2017, including: 

  • Jul 17 -- Cristina Norcross and Lisa Vihos
  • Aug 21 -- Barb Germiat and Peter Sherrill
  • Sep 18 -- Georgia Ressmeyer and Marilyn Windau
  • Oct 16   Mary Strong Jackson and Annette Grunseth
  • Nov 20  Bobbie Lovell and Laura Winkelspecht
  • Dec 4     2018 WFOP Poets’ Calendar Reading

For more information on the Appleton WFOP Poetry Series, contact Sarah Gilbert at pses@sbcglobal.net.  And stay tuned for additional reminders of other great happenings in Northeast Wisconsin.

Oshkosh Caramel Crisp & Cafe, Oshkosh
4th Tuesdays, 6:15 pm at the Oshkosh Caramel Crisp and Café. Featured reader; open mic will follow. Room is toward the back of the café. Come early and treat yourself to coffee or goodies to enjoy during the reading which begins promptly at 6:15; Caramel Crisp closes at 7:30. For further information contact Kay Sanders at rksanders42@gmail.com or Mandi Isaacson at mandiisaacson@gmail.com.

  • Jun 27 -- Francha Barnard

    Baileys Harbor resident Francha Barnard taught poetry and creative writing for many years as an elementary school librarian before she picked up the pen in retirement and began to write her own words as poems.  She is the 2010 Hal Prize for Poetry winner and a perennial Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Calendar contributor. She edited, with Estella Lauter, the 2017 WFOP Calendar. She has organized and participated in numerous Door County poetry events including the annual DC Poets Retreat and Poetry/Art shows at the Meadows Gallery as well as serving in the Door County Poets Collective which last year published  Soundings, Door County in Poetry

For further information you may contact Kay Sanders at rksanders42@gmail.com or Mandi Isaacson at mandiisaacson@gmail.com.

THELMA, Fond du Lac
Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA) hosts poetry events. FREE event begins with reading in THELMA’s Café 1906 at 51 Sheboygan St., Fond du Lac. Then an open mic will follow for any others who would like to read. Cash bar will be available. www.thelmaarts.org. Tel. 920.921.5410.


Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Racine

Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53211
Tel. (414) 332-1181. General inquiries: info@boswellbooks.com
For more of Boswell upcoming events, please visit www.boswellbooks.com/upcoming-events for the latest info.

Woodland Pattern Bookcenter, 720 E Locust St in Riverwest, Milwaukee
Tel. (414) 263-5001. For more information about their events, contact Michael Wendt, michaelw@woodlandpattern.org
If you love poetry, you’re probably already paying attention to Woodland Pattern’s upcoming events page. If you don’t already have the site bookmarked, it’s www.woodlandpattern.org/events/. Among their other great upcoming programs, make note of a special reading with Mark Doty at the Park East Hotel, 916 State Street, Milwaukee. General admission tickets are $10; $5 for students.

Linneman's, 1001 E. Locust Street, Milwaukee
Poets Monday at Linneman’s, 1001 E. Locust St., Milwaukee, continues its uninterrupted run of excellent featured readers and open mike opportunities every Monday. Doors open at 7:30. Open mike at 8 pm. Featured reader at 9 pm. $3 cover charge. Upcoming featured readers.

Miramar Theater, 2844 N. Oakland Ave., Milwaukee
Every Tuesday there is an acoustic open mike. All ages are welcome. Performers can do poetry, comedy, music or even magic. $2 cover. The performer  gets an audio CD of his or her performance. Sign-up starts at 7:30pm. 14 performers per night. Show starts at 8:00pm. 

Urban Ecology Center, UWM, Milwaukee
Fourth Thursdays, 5:30 - 9pm, Grassroots Open Mike. Lyrical Sanctuary is UWM’s monthly open mic night, featuring standout spoken word artists, live music and art, and YOU! For the past 14 years, Lyrical Sanctuary has brought students and community members together to share their passion for poetry, music, art, and creative self-expression. Prior to each performance, the featured artist leads a creative writing workshop open to anyone willing to put their pen to the page. Find dates and info here: http://uwm.edu/studentinvolvement/more/sociocultural/lyrical/

Lyrical Sanctuary, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee
Lyrical Sanctuary is UWM’s monthly open mic night, featuring standout spoken word artists, live music and art, and YOU! For the past 14 years, Lyrical Sanctuary has brought students and community members together to share their passion for poetry, music, art, and creative self-expression. Prior to each performance, the featured artist leads a creative writing workshop open to anyone willing to put their pen to the page. Find dates and info here: http://uwm.edu/studentinvolvement/more/sociocultural/lyrical/


Wisconsin Rapids, Wausau, Stevens Point

Coloma Hotel, Coloma
Second Wednesdays, 7 pm: Original Voice, a free event held at the Coloma Hotel, 132 Main St.  The evening starts with a featured guest artist who shares ideas and inspirations and presents a half hour or so of his/her own work. This is an opportunity for creative people to introduce poems, books, chapbooks, or CDs or to try out some new work on an audience. Following the featured guest, the microphone is available to anyone who wants to take part. Both unseasoned and experienced performers are urged to make brief presentations––two or three of their own poems or songs, a short essay, or a couple of pages of prose. Original Voice takes a break in December and January. For more information or to sign up to read in 2016, contact Barb Cranford at (608) 564-7701 or Julie Eger at (920) 787-7663.

  • July 12 - Tom Montag

    Tom Montag of Fairwater, Wisconsin, the author of several collections; among them are the memoir CURLEW:HOME and the poetry collections MIDDLE GROUND, THE BIG BOOK OF BEN ZEN, and IN THIS PLACE: COLLECTED POEMS 1982-2013.  His poems have been featured in many publications and he has several Pushcart Prize nominations. In 1982, Montag and his wife Mary founded the WISCONSIN POETS' CALENDAR, which they edited and published for three years.  Tom’s poem "Lecturing My Daughter in Her First Fall Rain" was incorporated into the design of the Convention Center in Milwaukee, along with the work of  several other Wisconsin writers. With David Graham, he is currently editing an anthology of poetry about American small towns.
  • August 9 - Lincoln Hartford
  • September 13 - F J Bergmann
  • October 11 - Greg Galbraith

Unitarian Universalist Church, 504 Grant Street, Downtown Wausau
Open Mic. Enter the church through the side door next to the parking lot and take the stairs or the elevator to the second floor meeting room.  An open mic will follow readings.  Bring your favorite poems and join in the fun of reading poetry.  For additional information contact:  Elmae Passineau at 715-845-2061 or Kathy Serley at kserley@dwave.net.

  • July 27 - Patricia Reckrey

    Patricia has published five chapbooks and recently kept a year-long blog putting one poem a day on the blog.

Marathon County Public Library, 300 North First St., Wausau
econd Thursdays, 6–8 pm: Poetry open mic. The first hour will offer open mic to all poets and the second hour will feature guest poets. The event is free, and no prior registration is required. For additional information call 715-261-7230.


Rhinelander, Eagle River, Green Bay

The Reader's Loft, 2069 Central Ct, Suite 44, Green Bay, WI 54311, (920) 406-0200
HOTT Poetry Reading Series, The Reader's Loft, readersloft.com. Third Thursday Most Months, 5:30 pm. Learn more at www.houseofthetomato.com or torigw@twc.com

Saturday, July 29, between 1pm & 4pm

The lazy days of summer were made for poetry, music, wine and flavory food.

Come experience Green Bay’s second annual SUMMER POETRY FESTIVAL outside at The Reader’s Loft in London Alley on Saturday, July 29. Come any time between 1pm to 4pm. Or stay all day.

Relax and revel in poetry under the canopy with Wisconsin poets:

Sylvia Bowersox
Cathryn Cofell
Bruce Dethlefsen
Mike Kriesel
Nathan Reid
Jeanie Tomasko
Steve Tomasko
Christopher Wood
 Daniel Dahlquist

Groove to local musicians:

Colin J, lyrics & guitar
Amy Philips, singer/songwriter

Learn more about the poets and musicians here


  • Sep 14 -- James Botsford & Gregory Galbraith
  • Oct 19 -- Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross
  • Nov 16 -- Mark Falcone & Nathan Reid

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County, Ephraim
2nd Wednesdays, 7 pm: The Dickinson Poetry Series features a reading by a local or regional poet followed by an open mic and reception. The public is welcome, and admission is free. UUF, 10341 Highway 42 in Ephraim.  For more information visit uufdc.org or call 920-854-7559.

Write On Door County, Sturgeon Bay
Poetry Meets Music with Midsummer’s Music

  • June 28 - 7:00pm-9:00pm
  • July 1 - 7:00pm-9:00pm
  • July 5 - 7:00pm-9:00pm
  • July 15 - 7:00pm-9:00pm


Superior, Hayward, Ashland

Farmstead Creamery Cafe, Hayward
Farmstead Creamery Cafe Presents Pizza Farm Thursdays Spoken Word Arts and Open Mic with Stone Oven Pizzas
11077 Fullington Rd, Hayward, WI 54843. Tel: (715) 462-3453. Check northstarhomestead.com for map and more information.
Thursdays in July and Augustfrom 5 to 8 pm. Featured readers at 7:00 p.m.; open mic at 8:00 p.m.

South Central

Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Platteville, Madison

WMMU Radio, 102.9 FM
Broadcast schedule for the A Space For Poetry radio show hosted by James P. Roberts, on WMUU 102.9 FM.  All shows begin at 8:00 a.m.

A Room of One's Own, 315 W Gorham Street, Madison

  • June 29 - Derrick Austin, Rebecca Dunham, Jacques J Rancourt & Casey Thayer (starting at 6pm)

    Thursday, June 29, 6 pm: Four excellent current and former Wisconsin poets reading! at A Room of One's Own, 315 W Gorham St, Madison.
    Derrick Austin: Rich in religious and artistic imagery, Trouble the Water is an intriguing exploration of race, sexuality, and identity, particularly where self-hood is in constant flux. These intimate, sensual poems interweave pop culture and history—moving from the Bible through several artistic eras—to interrogate what it means to be, as Austin says, "fully human as a queer, black body" in 21st century America. A Cave Canem fellow, Austin's work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2015, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, New England Review, Nimrod, and other anthologies and publications. He was a finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.

    Rebecca Dunham: A searing, urgent collection of poems that brings the lyric and documentary together in unparalleled ways—unmasking and examining the specter of manmade disaster. Experimental and incisive, Cold Pastoral is a collection that reveals what poetry can—and, perhaps, should—be, reflecting ourselves and our world back with gorgeous clarity. Dunham is the author of three previous books of poetry: Glass Armonica, winner of Milkweed Editions’ 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize; The Flight Cage; and The Miniature Room, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize. She has been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and was the 2005–6 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Fellow in Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Jacques J. Rancourt is the author of Novena, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd prize (Pleiades Press, 2017). His poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, jubilat, New England Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Best New Poets 2014, among others. He has held poetry fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Casey Thayer is the author of Self-Portrait with Spurs and Sulfur (University of New Mexico Press, 2015). His poetry has been published in American Poetry Review, North American Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. A native Wisconsinite, he currently lives in Chicago and teaches at the City Colleges of Chicago. In a collection of persona poems and odes, Self-Portrait with Spurs and Sulfur explores the possibilities of storytelling and interrogates the postmodern fractured self. Alive with sound, playful, and imaginative, one reviewer describes the book as “a rollicking, sexually-charged tour-de-force of language, a self-portrait which refuses the glib mannerism of the genre and which shows us, indeed, what a self can be."

Village Book Smith, On the Square, Baraboo, WI 53913
608-355-1001; www.villagebooksmith.com
South-central Wisconsin's premier shop for used, collectible, and rare books presents Second Friday Poetry!  Enjoy a scrumptious cookie and warm beverage while listening to some of the state's finest poets share their work.  Open stage follows, where anyone can share one or two of their favorites.

Madison Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin, Madison
First Thursdays 7 pm: Bubbler Poetry Open Mike. Poetry mini-workshop at 6:30pm.

Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, Madison
First Fridays, 8 pm: Madtown Poetry Open Mic. MC Ron Czerwien; signup 7 pm. Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 1101 Williamson St., Madison. Questions call 255-4730.

Goodman Community Center, Madison
Fourth Fridays, 7–9:30 pm: The Word Power! Open Mic Slam Series will now happen every fourth Friday of the month in the Lussier LOFT here at the Goodman Community Center. The event is free.

Genna's Lounge, Madison
Third Saturdays, 7 pm: Urban Spoken Word Slam and open mike at Genna’s Lounge at 105 W. Main St. with house band MTrane Plus. Poetry slam is the art—and sport—of competitive poetry reading. Five judges are picked at random from the audience, and performers are judged based on content, delivery, form and originality. Each poet has three minutes, and cannot use props, costumes or music; it’s just the voice and the mic. Contact David at urbanspokenword@gmail.com for more information. 

Arts + Literature Laboratory, 2021 Winnebago St, Madison

West Central

Prairie du Chien, La Crosse, Eau Claire

L.E. Phillips Memorial Library, Eau Claire
2nd Tuesdays 7–8:15 pm: Writers Read at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library, 400 Eau Claire St, Eau Claire
(715) 839-1648