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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


APRIL 30, TIME AND PLACE TBA — The Felix Series of New Writing presents poet Nathaniel Mackey.


Friday, May 1, 8 pm: Madtown Poetry Open Mic, hosted by Ron Czerwien at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, welcomes all forms of poetry. Each month a featured reader is showcased for 15-20 minutes, followed by the open mic. Readers in the open mic are invited to read their original work for up to five minutes. Sign up starts at 7 pm and the event begins at 8 pm.

May 7, 7–9 pm: First Thursday 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

Thursday, May 7, 7 pm: Cliff Dillhunt and Ronnie Hess will be reading at Mystery to Me bookstore, 1863 Monroe St., Madison. Cliff from Hummingbird and Ronnie from two new chapbooks, Ribbon of Sand (Willet Press Prize) and A Woman in Vegetable (Kattywompus Press). Vegetables and other foods will be served.

May 7, Thursday, 7:30: &wordplay t & t open mic for anyone who'd like to read from a translation. Some readers are translators themselves. Others are readers with good translations on their personal or professional bookshelves! Sing up by 7 and get a free drink. Lakeside Coffee, 402 W. Lakeside St, Madison. FB info:

Sporadic Second Fridays, 7:30 pm. Featured readers followed by open mike. For additional information contact Annie Randall at the Village Booksmith, 526 Oak St, Baraboo. 608-355-1001;

May 9, 2 pm, Mystery to Me, 1863 Monroe St., Madison. Book launch & language experiments with Milwaukee civil rights activist/ poet/ playwright/ professor Margaret Rozga, Illinois writer Jane L. Carman (founder of Festival of Language/Lit Fest Press/ Festival Writer), and Wendy Vardaman (founding co-editor of Cowfeather Press and poet laureate of Madison). These three border-crossing writer-activists share their snacks, markers, and new books along with their shared love of experiments in language & the poetry reading! Come with a poem/piece of writing if you want to play. Spectating, doodling, knitting, Tweeting, plein-aire writing also permitted.
For more info, contact or visit

May 15, Saturday, 7 pm: Urban Spoken Word poetry slam and monthly open mic. The Urban Spoken Word Poetry Collective has consistently packed Genna’s upstairs room, displaying the best performance poets both locally and nationally. The poetry is passionate, funny, powerful and always entertaining; each slam is a competition wherein the competing poets can earn slots at this year’s 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.

Sunday, May 17th, Noon-4 p.m. Organized by Madison poets laureate Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman, the gathering features winners ages 7 - adult of the Metro Bus Lines 2015 contest, as well as spoken word, haiku, and poetry arranged by this year’s guest curators. Breaks between sets to socialize & trade books. Bring your chaps, full-length collections, broadsides, journals and other ephemera! Readers include Melissa Allen, Gayle Bull, David Mckee, Aubrie Cox, and Brent Goodman (haiku); Anna Vitale, Megan Milks, and Oliver Bendorf performing embodied experiments in queer-ish writing across multiple genres; Wisconsin Poet Laureate Kimberly Blaeser; and Dasha Kelly with Wisconsin winners of the Brave New Voices contest. Free Admission. For more info, contact

May 30th, 1-3 pm: The Madison Arts Commission will open the nomination period for poet(s) laureate in the summer of 2015, with applications due in the fall. Interested in finding out what’s involved in serving the city as poet laureate and whether you and your project would be a good fit with this long-standing program to promote public poetry? Come to an information session at the Madison Central Library with current poets laureate Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman. Visit for more about the poet laureate program in Madison.