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Poetry Readings, Listenings*, & Performances
*thanks to D. B. Appleton
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First Fridays 11 pm: Mind's Eye Radio: Madison area poets and writers rant, rave and reminisce on a new topic each month; airs on WORT, 89.9 FM.

Thursday nights 7:30 pm: Radio Literature: Show with local poets, writers and guest readers airs on WORT, 89.9 FM.

The conservatory at Olbrich Gardens © Fibitz


October 27, Thursday, 4 pm: Reading and Book Signing with Stephen Burt, Rm 126 Memorial Library (728 State St, Madison) Free and open to the public. Stephen Burt is Professor of English at Harvard University and author of three poetry collections (Belmont, Parallel Play, and Popular Music). He's currently working on a project called Don’t Read Poetry (A Book About How to Read Poems).

Thursday, October 27, 7:30 PM: The Poem Is You, Stephen Burt, Professor of English, Harvard University. Reading at L160 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, 800 University Ave.

How can critics write about poems, and poetry, in a way that gets more people to read them-- and is that even a laudable goal? What is a "general audience" for poetry, or for writing about it, anyway these days? Who reads what poems, and why, and will that change soon? When people like me write about poems, or poets, or poetry, for readers outside the specialized field that pertains to one or another kind of poetry, and for readers outside the academy, what has to happen differently, and what can't happen at all? Do the answers to those questions change when the poems in question count as forward-looking, or as avant-garde?
Looking back on The Poem is You: Sixty Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (Harvard UP, 2016) and forward to a book in progress entitled Don’t Read Poetry (A Book About How to Read Poems), Stephen Burt will address the paradoxes and challenges of writing for a reading public; how and why there may be more than one of them; and what poetry critics now—but not in 1990 or 1970—can hope to do.
Stephen Burt is the author of three poetry collections, Belmont, Parallel Play, and Popular Music, and several collections of critical works. His essay collection Close Calls with Nonsense was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The Believer, and the Boston Review.

October 28 & 29, 8 pm: The Poe Requiem at the Madison Masonic Temple. This world premiere features selected works of Edgar Allan Poe, accompanied with a new score by Clarisse Tobia.  
​His works will be brought to life through music, dance, and art. ​Featuring Raw Inspirations Dance Company under the direction of Jessica Duplessis. Costume contest Saturday October 29.


November 3, First Thursday, 7 pm: Bubbler Poetry Open Mike, Central Branch Library Bubbler Room, 201 W. Mifflin St. 6–6:30 pm: poetry mini-workshop. For info 608-566-9087 or

November 4, Friday, 8 pm: Madtown Poetry Open Mic, Madtown Poetry Open Mic at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse. Sign-up 7:30 pm, featured reader at 8 pm. Open Mic follows. Questions call Ron at 608-255-4730. Featuring Amy Elizabeth Gaeta.

Sunday, November 6, 4 pm: Oscar Presents Brenda Iijima, Soham Patel, Roberto Harrison. Arts + Literature Laboratory, 2021 Winnebago St, Madison.

November 9, Wednesday, 7 pm: Felix Presents EILEEN MYLES, The Bubbler, Central Library (201 W Mifflin St, Madison) Free and open to the public. Myles is the author of nineteen books and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital art writers’ grant, a Lambda Book Award, the Shelley Prize from The Poetry Society of America.

November 13, Saturday, 7 pm: Urban Spoken Word poetry slam and monthly open mic. Competing poets can earn slots at the Madison Slam Finals. 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. Part poetry, part theater, part stand-up comedy, part oratory, slam is a constantly-evolving form, and always entertaining. At Genna’s on the Capitol square. Contact David at for more information.

November 22, 7 pm: Book launch reading for Marilyn Taylor's newly published book, Step on a Crack, at Mystery to Me, 1863 Monroe St, Madison.