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This month BONK! has the weird and unique privilege to feature 3 monster artists from all over the country in one of Racine’s most iconic buildings, the bright-shining CNH Industrial America building on State street.  The performers for this month are wildly different from one another and wildly inspiring in their own separate ways, coming to us from Tuscaloosa, Los Angeles and Chicago.  But two of those three are actually Wisconsin natives and our musician, Liza Day, is actually a RACINE native.  So come to the event and be blown away not just by the words and music, but be blwon away with the pride that your city can produce such a first rate musician.  For real……you’ll see……
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O, and it’s free.  As always.  And it will change your life : )  Check it out:
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FEATURING:
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Writer                  Janice Lee
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Poet                      Abraham Smith
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Musician             Liza Day
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JANICE LEE currently lives in Los Angeles where she is editor of the #RECURRENTNovel Series, Assistant Editor atFanzine, Executive Editor atEntropy, and Founder/ CEO of POTG Design. She is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny­Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny­Ante Editions, 2015), and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She also has several chapbooks including The Transparent As Witness(Solar Luxuriance, 2013), a collaboration with Will Alexander.
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ABRAHAM SMITH is from Ladysmith, Wisconsin. He farms in the summer–teaches at the University of Alabama during the school year. His fourth poetry collection, Ashagalomancy, is new from Action Books.
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LIZA DAY is a singer/song­writer and Wisconsin native who, along with her 5­piece band from Chicago, is rooted in the alternative­country tradition. Liza is a graduate and former artist in residence of The Contemporary Music Center in Martha’s Vineyard. She leads the band with an unforgettably warm and pure voice skillfully combined with performances as vulnerable and sincere as the songs she’s written. Musically the band’s style can be described as classic country layered with a raw, untidy, rockabilly vibe. Their 6 song EP titled, One For Couragewas released in October of 2012.

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BONK! 92
 SATURDAY, MAY 14th
CNH INDUSTRIAL AMERICA
621 STATE STREET
 RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)

bonkperformanceseries.wordpress.com

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Mark your calendars…
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2016 Event Schedule
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Uh Oh….we haven’t scheduled any more yet.  Library Nick is in trouble……. : )
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BONK! loves you:)
 
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This month BONK! is proudly partnering with the annual gET bEHIND tHE aRTS Racine/Kenosha Studio Tour program.  For info on GBTA, check out their website here.  It is one of the most exciting arts initiatives in our community so, if you don’t already know, get to clicking some links!  Otherwise, check out this sweet potato of a line up we’ve put together for April:
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FEATURING:
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Poet                      Tanaya Winder
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Poet                       Rubén Medina
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Musician            Everett Thomas
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 Rubén Medina is a poet, scholar, translator, and one of the founders of Infrarealism. In poetry he has published various books: Báilame Este Viento, Mariana (1980), Amor de Lejos…Fools’ Love (Arte Publico 1986), and various editions of Nomadic Nation / Nación Nómada, including a new edition by Cowfeather Press; and poems in numerous anthologies in the US, Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. He received the NEA in poetry (1981). He has also published various scholarly books and translations. He is a Professor of Latin American literature at the UW-Madison.
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Tanaya Winder is a writer, educator, and motivational speaker from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She graduated from Stanford University and earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico. She is an editor at As/Us: A Space for Women of the World. She is an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico and Director of the University of Colorado at Boulder Upward Bound Program. She blogs at Letters From A Young Poet http:// tanayawinder.wordpress.com/

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 Raised in a small town on the Mississippi River that tugs at the skirt of St. Louis, MO, John Everett Hardin has been settled in Madison, WI for the past 6 years. From 2005 to 2013 he released 2 albums and extensively toured the U.S. under the name Everett Thomas, during which his music appeared in numerous television and film spots, and shared the stage with acts such as Gregory Alan Isakov, Over The Rhine, Sara Watkins, Jeffrey Foucault, and Cory Chisel. After taking a hiatus to recalibrate and refocus his work under the name J Hardin, he is set to release a new record, The Piasa Bird, in the Spring of 2016.

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BONK! 91
 SATURDAY, APRIL 23rd
RACINE PUBLIC LIBRARY
75 7th STREET
 RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)

bonkperformanceseries.wordpress.com

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2016 Event Schedule
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Sat May 14th
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BONK! loves you:)

 

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We’re very excited to have our first ever event at the Racine Gateway Campus.  We’re hosting our event at Racine Gateway to help bring attention to Eco-Fest, to be held at Gateway earlier that same day See flier below for full details on that excellent, family-friendly event.  Come for Eco-Fest…..and then come back for BONK!

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FEATURING:

Poet                      T Carlo Matos

Poet                      Moises Villavicencio Barras

Musician             Dave Miller

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Moises Villavicencio Barras is a Mexican poet, translator, fiction writer, and co-founder of Cantera Verde, a magazine that has been one of the most significant literary publications in Mexico for the last twenty years. His first book of poetry May among Voices (Mayo entre Voces) was published in 2001. His poetry has been selected for several Mexican anthologies, magazines, and CDs. His children’s book Urarumo (2005) was published and distributed for the Department of Education in Oaxaca, México. He received two writing fellowships through the National Commission for the Arts in Mexico (1993-1994 and 1996-1997).  His newest book of poetry, published by Cowfeather Press, is called Luz de Todos los Tiempos / Light of All Times and contains poems in Spanish and English, making it accessible to a wide audience. His poetry book Light of All Times was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2013.

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Carlo Matos has published nine books, including The Secret Correspondence of Loon & Fiasco (Mayapple Press) and It’s Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments (forthcoming Negative Capability Press). The anthology he co-edited with Luis Gonçalves titled, Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora in the United States and Canada is now available from Boavista Press.

His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in such journals as Iowa Review, Boston Review, and Rhino, among many others. Carlo has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Fundação Luso-Americana, and the Sundress Academy for the Arts. He currently lives in Chicago, IL where he is a professor at the City Colleges of Chicago and a teaching artist at The Poetry Barn. A former fighter, he now trains and coaches cage fighters and kickboxers. He blogs at carlomatos.blogspot.com.

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 A truly unique musical product of both Brooklyn and Chicago, Dave Miller (Algernon, Cuneiform Records; Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, Delmark Recordings; Jazz at Lincoln Center) finds his newest instrumental iteration in the psychedelic-roots songwriting of Old Door Phantoms. Lingering melodies and vintage tones juxtapose against guitar experimentalism and jangly, hypnotic rhythms. Grammy winning music journalist, Neil Tesser,  cites Miller “among my favorite modern guitarists” (chicagomusic.org). The broad-minded musician’s “impressive flexibility” can range “from carefully structured improvisations to complementary texture and color” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader) while still “making a listener feel inches from the guitar” (Mark Keresman, New York City Jazz Record). Old Door Phantoms includes members of Angel Olsen, Bonnie Prince Billy, Ryley Walker, Wild Belle, and In Tall Buildings on its new album due April 1, 2016 on ears&eyes Records.

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BONK! 90

 SATURDAY, MARCH 19th

GATEWAY CAMPUS RACINE

1001  S  MAIN STREET

1ST FLOOR CONFRENCE CENTER

(PARKING AND  ENTRANCE ON EAST SIDE)

 RACINE, WI

6 PM (doors open 5:30)

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Mark your calendars…

2016 Event Schedule

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Sat April 23rd

Tanaya Winder

Everette Thomas

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Sat May 14th

Abraham Smith 

Liza Day

 

BONK! 88 is upon us, and the only thing that could possibly make it more awesome than it already is, is… wait for it… YOU! So please join us !

FEATURING:

Poet:                                        Abayomi Animashaun

Spoken Word Artist:            Sean Avery Medlin

Poet/Storyteller:                    Misty Saskill

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As a child, SEAN AVERY MEDLIN was a military brat who thought he was a Power Ranger and kicked his grandma (but that’s a story for another time). Today, Avery is a rapper, poet, First Wave Scholar (look it up), and senior studying English Creative Writing at the University of Madison–Wisconsin, by way of the Sun (b.k.a. the suburbs of Avondale, Arizona). His work embraces both his imagination and his journey towards defining his own Black Masculinity.

MISTY SASKILL is a multi-lingual storyteller and poet currently living in Kenosha, WI. She is known for her warmth, humor and animated style. Over the years, Misty’s highly acclaimed work has been included in print, audio and video formats. In 2015, she was the First Prize recipient for prose in her college literary magazine, The Red Hawk Review. Misty continues to present and perform in Spanish, English and Haitian Creole to audiences of all ages throughout the United States and abroad.

ABAYOMI ANIMASHAUN’S poems have appeared in such places as African American Review, Versedaily, Passages North, and Diode. He is the author of two poetry collections, Sailing for Ithaca and The Giving of Pears, and the editor of Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America. A recipient of the Hudson Prize and a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation, Abayo teaches at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and lives with his wife and two children in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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BONK! 88
 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20th
RACINE ARTS COUNCIL
316 6th STREET
 RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)

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2015/16 Event Schedule

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Sat April 23rd
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Sat May 14th

BONK! 87 @ Uncorkt

January 27, 2016

  
First BONK! of 2016!—This is going to be a party : )  Come on out, experience the beutiful upstairs space at Uncorkt, hear some people who are so talented they just don’t make sense as humans, and remind the world that Wisconsin doesn’t let cold weather stop us from getting down on beautiful art and community.  ALSO!………we’ll have a short presentation to start from the people at GROWING HOME, which is Racine’s first Urban Farm.  It’s not only a chance to learn about an amazing hidden gem in the community, but also a chance to learn about how you–yes, YOU!–can help this initiative to thrive.  In the meantime, check out these amazing features we’ve lined up:
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FEATURING:
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Poet                      Philip B Williams
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Poet                      Fatimah Asghar
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Musicians           Wattle & Daub
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 PHILlIP B. WILLIAMS is a Chicago, Illinois native. He is the author of the book of poems Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books), which was just released this month. He’s also co-authored a book of poems and conversations called Prime (Sibling Rivalry Press). He is a Cave Canem graduate and received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anti-, Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, Poetry, The Southern Review, West Branch and others. Phillip received his MFA in Writing from the Washington University in St. Louis. He is the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.
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FATIMAH ASGHAR  is a nationally touring poet, photographer and performer. She created Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first Spoken Word Poetry group, REFLEKS, while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-violent contexts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, The Paris-American, The Margins, and Gulf Coast. She is a Kundiman Fellow and a member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her chapbook “After” was released on Yes Yes Books fall of 2015.
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WATTLE & DAUB: singer/songwriters Tim Mocarski & Susan Haugland have been making music together since 2013. With a blend of humor and poignancy, they engage their audiences with sing-alongs and knowing glances. Their name comes from a centuries old construction method that they learned about while on a road trip through Idaho. In their own words: “We saw this country and its beauty. We thought of how immigrants from all over the world, of different races and different beliefs, have come to help build this nation, to weave it together, to strengthen it. We thought of how our own relationship is growing and weaving together. We believe in the country and in each other. We are making music. We are building our lives together. We want the nation to grow. We think the process is simple. All we need is some Wattle & Daub.”
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BONK! 87
 SATURDAY, JANUARY 30th
UNCORKT
240 MAIN STREET
 RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)*
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*=unlike most BONK! events, this one will indeed start on time, since Uncorkt typically closes earlier than when BONK! events typically end.

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Mark your calendars…
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2015/16 Event Schedule

BONK# 86 @ Hot Shop Glass

December 10, 2015

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The weather may be getting colder and winter may be upon us, but come get warm with us, listen to some great poetry and music, and pick up your BONK merchandise this Saturday. Doors open at 5:30 pm. See you there with bells on!
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TANAYA WIDENER
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AMANDA NGOHO REAVEY
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JEFF WARD
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TANAYA WIDENER is a writer, educator, and motivational speaker from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She graduated from Stanford University and earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico. She is an editor at As/Us: A Space for Women of the World. She is an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico and Director of the University of Colorado at Boulder Upward Bound Program. She blogs at Letters From A Young Poet http://tanayawinder.wordpress.com/
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AMANDA NGOHO REAVEY was born in the Philippines, raised in Wisconsin. She is a poet, a Reiki practitioner and a cellist interested in plant spirit communication and healing. A recent graduate of the MFA Writing & Poetics program at Naropa University, her work appears in TAYO, Construction Magazine, Galatea Resurrects and The Volta. Her first book, Marilyn, is forthcoming this fall from The Operating System. Reavey currently works as Marketing Director at Woodland Pattern Book Center, and teaches Babaylan-inspired creative writing workshops through Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices. For more information, visit: spaceinsideborderline.com.

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JEFF WARD is from a musical family. After cutting his musical teeth on classical violin, he changed direction, took up the guitar, and learned to play and sing traditional songs of Ireland and Scotland. He later founded and operated the Carlisle Folk Club on the Northern fringe of the English Lake District, and built a reputation as fine Celtic performer. After Jeff and his family relocated to the Milwaukee area he was soon singing and playing all over the Midwest in pubs, clubs, concerts, festivals, including TV and radio. Jeff’s music includes a nice mix of Irish & Scottish ballads and drinking songs and acoustic American folk songs

 

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FEATURING:
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Poet                      BJ BEST
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Poet                      BRITTANY CAVALLARO
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Musicians           DOWNRANGE TELEMETRICS  
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B.J. Best is the author of three books of poetry: But Our Princess Is in Another Castle (Rose Metal Press, 2013), Birds of Wisconsin (New Rivers Press, 2010), and State Sonnets (sunnyoutside, 2009). I got off the train at Ash Lake, a verse novella, is forthcoming from sunnyoutside. His most recent chapbook, Yes (Parallel Press, 2014), won an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry award from the Wisconsin Library Association. He teaches at Carroll University in Waukesha.
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Brittany Cavallaro is the author of the poetry collection Girl-King (University of Akron Press, 2015) and the forthcoming young adult novel A Study in Charlotte (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, 2016). Individual poems have appeared in AGNI, The Southern Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. Currently, she lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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DOWNRANGE TELEMETRICS is collaboration between noted Twin Cities-based poet/performer/singer Becca Barniskis, and guitarist Nick Jaffe, a veteran of the Chicago soul, hip hop, post-rock, and experimental music scenes. DT have performed to critical acclaim in a wide variety of music and poetry venues, including radio and live-television.  Barniskis’ mesmerizing voice, angular imagery and odd characters and stories are at once comedic and sinister, and blend effortlessly with Jaffe’s evocative improvisational soundscapes and hypnotic grooves.  They are “like nothing you’ve heard or seen before. Full of surprises!” 
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BONK! 85
 SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21ST
DIVINO GELATO
245 MAIN ST
RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)
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Mark your calendars…
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2015 Event Schedule
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Dec 12th–Location TBA
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BONK! loves you:)

 

 

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It’s our 7 year anniversary, our event will be “justice” themed in partnership with the Big Read, we’ll be announcing the new 2015-2017 Racine & Kenosha Poets Laureate for the very first time AND all of our features are internationally known in their respective fileds.  So come on–what more do you want?  You want it to be at one of the most beautiful places in all of Racine?  Okay–done!  Come join us at RBNC for what is sure to be an out of control cool night!
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FEATURING:
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Musicians          LYNN “CHIRPS” SMITH & JIM McVEIGH
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Poet                      LAYNIE BROWN
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Poet                      AFAA MICHAEL WEAVER  
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LYNN “CHIRPS” SMITH & JIM McVEIGH is the musical duo that will round out the night with their unique take on traditional old time folk music.  Smith plays traditional American stringband music on fiddle, banjo and mandolin. Hailing from IL and WI, he is known throughout the country for his mastery of a huge repertoire of old time tunes, especially those played in the Midwest from the era before radio. A veteran of countless festival and barndance performances, Chirps happily shares his music with toetapping audiences of all persuasions. He and his bandmates find fiddle music to be the finest path to companionship and good food. McVeigh is from Belfast, Northern Ireland and has played extensively throughout Ireland and the British Isles. His background is in Irish traditional music playing Guitar and Bodhran with occasional outbursts of singing. Since coming to the United States in 1993 he has played in the Irish music scene throughout the Midwest and beyond.  

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LAYNIE BROWN is the award-winning author of ten collections of poetry and two novels. Her most recent collection of poems, Lost Parkour Ps(alms) was just released in two editions, one in English, and another in French. She is co-editor of I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women; and her work has been widely anthologized. Currently she teaches at University of Pennsylvania and at Swarthmore College. Browne will embark on an international reading tour, including appearances in NYC, Boston, Providence, LA, Paris, Cambridge, London, and Tucson in September 2015; saving the best for last by visiting Racine in October.
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AFAA MICHAEL WEAVER is author of numerous collections, and his honors include: The Phillis Wheatley Award, a Fulbright Scholarship, a fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Pew Foundation, 3 Pushcart Prizes, and the prestigious Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Dr. Henry Louis Gates of Harvard University has described Professor Weaver as “…one of the most significant poets writing today.”  
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BONK! 7 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
 SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24TH
RIVER BEND NATURE CENTER
3600 N GREEN BAY RD*
RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)
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*note: North Green Bay Road is a completely different street from “Green Bay Road : )

Mark your calendars…
2015 Event Schedule
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Nov 21st-Location TBD
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Dec 12th–Location TBA
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BONK! loves you:)

August 20, 2015

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FEATURING:

Poet                       Fabu

Musicians          Bryan Drewyor

Poet                      JoAnn Chang

 

 

FABU, as she is professionally known, is a poet, columnist, storyteller, and educator.  She was the first African American Madison Poet Laureate. (2008-2012).  As a literary artist, she creates and shares writing that reflects living in Memphis, Tennessee, Nairobi, Kenya and Madison, Wisconsin.  She has published Poems, Dreams and Roses, In Our Own Tongues and Journey to Wisconsin:  African American Life in Haiku, winner of an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry by the Wisconsin Library Association (2012).  Fabu is a Pushcart Prize nominee in poetry in 2013 and 2014, and a Silver winner in Spoken Word/Poetry by Madison Magazine in 2014.  Remember Me:  Mary Lou Williams in Poetry is her latest poetry manuscript.  Her website is www.artistfabu.com.

 

 

JOANN CHANG began writing songs in 1975 in Texas. When she moved to Milwaukee in 1992, and became involved with Poet’s Monday, her poetry really took off. She read children’s books and collected children’s fantasy. Because she plays no external instruments she is a singer-songwriter in the truest sense of the word. Although she finds it especially challenging, she sometimes writes short fiction such as “Fairytales for People with a Short Attention Span,” and has an interest in what she calls “nonsense fiction, which she says, is also an extra creative challenge for her.

 

 

BRYAN DREWYOR takes in life, celebrates it, processes it, and tosses it back at us in one big, soul thumping, feet moving, mindful emotion. This predominantly self-taught performer grew up in the Midwest surrounded by a family full of musicians and thinkers. His voice is extremely refined and is as original as it gets. From childhood Bryan was heavily influenced by bluegrass, jazz, rock and folk; he inevitably connected with the piano at an early age and acoustic guitar soon after. The lyrics that fill his songs with life are deeply rooted in relationships and experiences that come from living, growing, and realizing life’s greater gifts. Bryan shares his understanding of the world and leaves us with a message well played and received.

 

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And check out this community event, also sponsored by the Library and The Eco-Justice Center (as well as Greening Greater Racine).  Head BONK! Shaman, Nick Demske, will introduce the film and will be the “A” part of the Q&A.  It’s a powerful, important, life-changing film…..come check it out!

 

 

BONK! 83

 SATURDAY, AUGUST 29TH

ECO-JUSTICE CENTER

7133 MICHNA RD

RACINE, WI

6 PM (doors open 5:30)

bonkperformanceseries.wordpress.com

 

Mark your calendars…

2015 Event Schedule

Sept 26th-Location TBD

100 Thousand Poets for Change Event,

featuring Social Justice-themed poetry from Racine and beyond

 

Oct 24th-River Bend Nature Center

Afaa Michael Weaver

Laynie Browne

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Nov 21st-Location TBD

Ralph Hamilton

Philip Metres

Downgrade Telemetrics

 

 

BONK! loves you:)

 

June 18, 2015

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 This BONK! will take place outside the Racine Literacy Council by the beautiful J. Belland Shakespeare mural. In the event of rain, we will go next door to Preservation Hall at 740 Lake Ave.

 

 

FEATURING:    

Poet                       Freesia McKee

Musicians            Seasaw

Poet                       Jeanie Tomasko

Poet                       Steve Tomasko

  

FREESIA MCKEE is a working poet, origami connoisseur, and amateur Scrabble player. Her writings have appeared in the Huffington PostVerse WisconsinGertrudePainted Bride Quarterly, Burdock, and other venues. Freesia is a contributing writer to the PDXX Collective and volunteers with cream city review.
 
SEASAW Located on the edge of the Midwestern landscape, Seasaw is the alliance of two souls that push and pull in combination to produce a sound that is charismatic and powerful, yet deceptively simple. Bandmates since 2010, Meg Golz and Eve Wilczewski take turns leading and following in the musical spaces they have created. Residing in Madison, WI, Seasaw blends a compelling arrangement of instruments with distinct harmonies to create a charming and innovative folk-pop sound.

JEANIE TOMASKO is the author of Tricks of Light (Parallel Press), Sharp as Want (Little Eagle Press), a poetry / artworks collaboration with Sharon Auberle, an e-chapbook, If I Confess Before 5:00 (Right Hand Pointing) and most recently, (Prologue), the recipient of an Editor’s Choice award from Concrete Wolf Chapbook Series . Her work has been published in The Midwest Quarterly, Right Hand Pointing, Rattle, Wisconsin People and Ideas and Birdsthumb. She works as a home health nurse in Madison, WI and can be found online at jeanietomasko.com  

STEVE TOMASKO thinks about the dust mites that live under the couch and the eyebrow mites that live on all of us. He muses about the 5,000 species of bacteria that live in our mouths. Someone has to. He’s been published here, and occasionally, there. Steve lives in Middleton with his poet wife, Jeanie, three cats, a revolving number of kids and the aforementioned dust mites. His chapbook, Damn Good Cantaloupe, is forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks in 2015. 

 

The Transformation: Art & Poetry gallery is still open at the Racine Arts Council–and it made the front page! Check out the Journal Times articlehere

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It’s June, so you know what that means! Time for the Dan Jam!

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BONK! 82
 SATURDAY, JULY 18TH
 RACINE LITERACY COUNCIL
734 LAKE AVE

RACINE, WI 

6 PM (doors open 5:30!)
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