Central-Fox Valley Region

Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac

Lawrence University, Wriston Art Center Galleries, Appleton
The  Mia Paul Poetry Series at Lawrence University resumes on Monday, Feb. 27th, with Madison poet Rita Mae Reese, whose prize-winning second book, The Book of Hulga, takes on Flannery O'Connor, Simone Weil, and more. Reese will read in the Wriston Art Center Galleries at 7 p.m., with a book-signing and reception to follow. Free and open to the public.

  • Feb 27 - Rita Mae Reese

The Draw, Feather & Bone Art Gallery, 800 S. Lawe Street, Appleton
Appleton's "Poetry Rocks" Reading Series is moving to THE DRAW MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2017!
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 celebrate this new venue by featuring …. YOU!
OUR INVITATION: a Poetry Recitation Event. Select a poem and start memorizing!
This is part of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Recitation project – your reading will be videotaped and submitted for inclusion on the Interactive Recitation Map. The map and more information can be found at http://wisconsinpoetlaureate.org/poetry-in-wisconsin
Additional Details: 1) Find a published poem (not your own) and memorize it; 2) Join us on February 20 at 7:00 pm to recite or listen; 3) Be prepared to share the poem’s title and the author’s name before you read; 4) Recite your poem out loud to huge applause! 5) To Register to Participate contact: ccofell@gmail.com 6) If time permits, our traditional open mike will follow. Beverages of some ilk will be available. 

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

  • Feb 20 -- Recitation Event
  • Mar 20 -- former WI Poet Laureate Bruce Dethlefsen and Appleton’s own Karla Huston
  • Apr 17 -- former WI Poet Laureate Marilyn Taylor and Madison’s amazing Shoshauna Shy 

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.

  • Feb 28 - Laurel Mills

Laurel Mills of Neenah is the author of five award-winning collections of poetry, including Hidden Seed which won the Posner Poetry Award, and Rumor of Hope which won the Encircle Publications chapbook contest.  Both of these books are about her daughter, Beth, who has a rare genetic condition.  Mills is Senior Lecturer Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, where she taught English and edited the literary magazine Fox Cry Review.

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

Woodland Pattern Bookcenter, Milwaukee
More information about readings here

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

  • Feb 8 -- Dan Holland & Catherine (Cat) Wilson

    Poet and novelist Dan Holland of Plover and Catherine “Cat” Wilson, musician. Dan will talk about his own poetic journey––finding his own original voice. Cat will accompany him. Their program begins at 7 pm and open mic will follow.

    Dan was a college professor, educational consultant, human services administrator and small business owner before retiring to his new career as a writer. Since 2009 he has written a number of  mystical or historical novels.  His devotion to poetry began when he was a small boy, and has resulted in the composition of  over 8000 poems. Nature and the American West are Dan’s chief sources of inspiration. He has maintained a Poem du Jour web site for 20 years and spends summers at his writing retreat in the Bitterroot Mountains.

    Catherine Wilson of Stevens Point will join Dan in his presentation. Cat is an assistant professor of Music Education at UWSP where she teaches the subject and conducts the women’s choir. In 2013 she won a fellowship for her research on incarcerated men expressing emotion through song writing.  In 2011 Cat was recognized for exceptional research in music education and has several other prestigious awards in the field of music. She has written choral music for Augsburg Fortress, and co-authored Singin, Sweatin and Story time with original music and she is working on pieces for  public events. Cat composes music in collaboration with Dan Holland.....in her spare time she likes distance running.

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.

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

  • Feb 16 -- Angeline Haen
  • Mar 16 -- Laurel Mills
  • Apr 20 -- Tom Erickson & C Kubasta
  • May 18 -- Melissa Range

Jul 29 -- Summer Poetry Festival (Saturday, 1-4pm)

POETS: Steve & Jeanie Tomasko, Michael Kriesel, Sylvia Bowersox
More details to follow!

  • Sep 14 -- James Botsford & Gregory Galbraith
  • Oct 19 -- Christine Swanberg
  • Nov 16 -- TBA

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

  • Feb 8 -- Youth Readers
    Mar 8 -- Mike Orlock

Write On Door County, Door County
Write On Door County has ongoing writing classes and events. See writeondoorcounty.org for schedule and to sign up for mailing list.

  • Mar 23 -- Naomi Shihab Nye, 7-830pm, Door Community Auditorium ($10 donation requested)

Write On, Door County is proud to present critically-acclaimed and internationally renowned poet Naomi Shihab Nye in a special appearance, kicking off the Door County Conference. Known for poetry that lends a fresh perspective to ordinary events, people, and objects, Nye has said that, for her, “the primary source of poetry has always been local life, random characters met on the streets, our own ancestry sifting down to us through small essential daily tasks.” More here.


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

The Fountain Bar & Restaurant, 122 State Street, Madison
2017 Winter Festival of Poetry: "I Sing To The Trees." All Sunday readings will begin at 2 p.m. 

  • Feb 5: "Spruced Up" -- Gary Powell, Gillian Nevers, Antonio Re, Robin Chapman, Tim Walsh, Alice D'Alessio
  • Feb 12: "Sacred Oak" -- Margaret Benbow, Dave Benson, Rosemary Zurlo-Cuva, Eugenia Highland, Mark Lilleleht, Araceli Esparza, Kinbria -- from Ireland
  • Feb 19: "Fir Will Fly" -- Richard Roe, Nesha Kriv Ruther, Andrea Potos, Jo Simons, Sharon Daly, Beth Ann Workmaster
  • Feb 26: "Crackin' A Walnut" -- Sara Parrell, Jeffrey Z. Rothstein, John Lehman, Steve Tomasko, Jeanie Tomasko, Fabu, Fran Rall
  • Mar 5: "Sugar Maple Time" -- Dave Scheler, Marilyn Taylor, Anja Notanja, Freesia KcKee, Lewis Bosworth, Mark Kraushaar
  • Mar 12: "Ashes All Fall Down" --  Gordon Glass, Nydia Rojas, Esther (Catherine) Cowie, Bill Scanlon, Marlon Howard Banks, Frandu

Madison Central Library, 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. 

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