5 Things You Might Not Know


Store Sign SunsetWoodland Pattern was founded in 1979 by Anne Kingsbury, Karl Gartung, and Karl Young, who took their inspiration for the name of the center from Paul Metcalf’s poem, “Apalache”: South of Lake Superior, a culture center, the Woodland Pattern, with pottery but without agriculture…

Behind the name lies a world of culture, quality and artistic innovation. In earlier centuries, the people of Wisconsin’s north woods were known for their regionally nuanced pottery. Each piece bore a single, distinctive mark that, like a fingerprint, identified it and the artisans behind it. That mark was called the Woodland Pattern, and travelers to the region spread word that it stood for craftsmanship, unconventionality, and individuality.

Today, Woodland Pattern is a central hub, a champion and home to poets, musicians, and artists at the cutting edge of their craft–and to all who want intimate access to their cultural interests.

Here are FIVE THINGS you might not know about all of our different areas of programming:

    Woodland Pattern has published over 85 broadsides mostly produced in limited editions by Wisconsin fine press printers including Perishable Press, Salient Seedling Press, Landlocked Press, and Black Mesa Press, among others. Writers in the series include: Helen Adam, Bill Berkson, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Norma Cole, Robert Duncan, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Nathaniel Mackey, Eileen Myles, Ron Padgett, and Elizabeth Willis.Woodland Pattern also publishes specially designed broadsides celebrating the work of visiting writers; publishes chapbooks through the bookstore’s small press, tinder tender; and maintains a widely-read blog featuring small press poets and writers through interviews, reviews, and updates.
    Woodland Pattern currently stocks over 20,000 small press and independent publications. The poetry collection is recognized as one of the best in the U.S.Woodland Pattern also has a large selection (over 400 titles) of Native American literature, including poetry, fiction, biography and history!
    Woodland Pattern has special exhibits in the art gallery showcasing innovative artists including, most recently, Susan King, Cecilia Vicuna, and local Milwaukee artist, Josie Osborne.Woodland Pattern also holds concerts, bringing the pulse of the avante-garde jazz to Milwaukee, and screens experimental films in partnership with UW-Milwaukee & Microlights.
    Woodland Pattern has an Urban Youth Literary Arts program that holds an after–school and summer community learn center that helps neighborhood youth develop literacy, make friends, and express themselves.Woodland Pattern also has a free inter-arts poetry camp for two weeks each summer.
    Woodland Pattern holds four special events per year including the Anniversary Gala, Edible Books Festival, and the Poetry Marathon & Benefit, which celebrates hundreds of Milwaukee-area poets every January. Spaces fill up quickly and this year, someone called way back in August hoping to secure a spot!