In this current health emergency, BONK! wants to help keep you and your family safe and healthy. Given the situation, we have decided to cancel the BONK! event for March. We have plans to co-sponsor the Get Behind the Arts Preview Party for our April event and will keep you posted about that as we go forward. We know that this can be a scary time for you and your loved ones. Feel free to reach out to us via facebook or email. Stay safe and stay healthy.
The Racine Public Library in collaboration with The Dr. John Bryant Community Center for the Arts, Family Power Music, Coming Together Racine, The Racine Branch NAACP, and the BONK! Performance Series invites you to The Fifth Annual “Mary Finley and Marcie Eanes Memorial Black History Month Read-In”.* This event will be held in the Adult Services Department of the Racine Public Library, near the east windows, on Wednesday, February 26th from 6 til 8:30 pm.
A Black History Month Read-In is an event where community members of all different backgrounds join together to celebrate the vibrant legacy of black contributions to world literature. Readers are invited to take 5 minutes to read a piece (or an excerpt of a piece) of writing written by someone from the black diaspora. Audience members will be treated to words of some of the most accomplished minds in human history. All will be sure not only to hear from some well-known favorites but also to learn of some authors you’ve likely never heard of before.
*About the name of this event: Mary Finley and Marcie Eanes were two prominent black women residents of Racine who were inspirations both in the Racine community locally, as well as the literary community nationally–Mary as an ambassador and literary agent and Marcie as a writer herself and supporter of the arts. Mary went to join the elders in 2014 and Marcie’s homegoing was in 2015. Shortly before Marcie had passed away, she was chosen as one of the finalists for the Racine Poet Laureate position. We are honored to be able to celebrate these two women as leaders of both Racine’s Black Community, as well as Racine’s Literary Community.
This month, BONK! will be forgoing the traditional performance lineup and instead hold a pot-luck style event at the Racine Public Library at the second floor East windows for the National Day of Racial Healing from 5pm until 7:30pm.
Sharing a meal is one of the most ancient and bonding acts two human beings can do together. Sharing a dish from your specific culture, history or family can even be a more special act.
Join us at the table and break bread together as we gather in observance of National Day of Racial Healing. Feel free to bring a dish to share and if possible a clear list of ingredients for our patrons with specific dietary needs. Free and open to the whole Human Family regardless of race, age or culture.
BONK! performance series will be held at Hot Shop Glass, 239
Wisconsin Ave, on Saturday, December 14th, at 6:00 p.m. with doors
opening at 5:30. Featured performers will be: Milwaukee poet, Byron
Cherry; Chicago poet, Edgar Garcia; and Kenosha Indie Trio, Violet
Cherry is a poet, musician and alchemist. Bryon Cherry exists outside
of time so he can precipitate often broken reflections. Bryon
Cherry has been published in “Return to the Place of the Gathering
Waters” published by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. Bryon Cherry
is the author of a chapbook “Funeral Journey” (The Quail Press)
and a full-length “Ruins, Ruminations, and Rituals” (Anarcho
Welfare) both published in 2019. Bryon Cherry dwells in Milwaukee,
Garcia is a poet and scholar of the cultures of the Americas. He is
the author of Skins of Columbus: A Dream Ethnography (Fence
Books, 2019) and Signs of the Americas: A Poetics of
Pictography, Hieroglyphs, and Khipu (University of Chicago
Press, 2020); and he co-edited American Literature in the World:
An Anthology from Anne Bradstreet to Octavia Butler (Columbia
University Press, 2016). He is presently working on two books: one
about divination and migration and the other on the Mayan story of
creation, the Popol Vuh. He is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of
English at the University of Chicago, where he also teaches in the
department of Creative Writing.
Wilder is an indie trio from Kenosha WI comprised of Melissa,
Kimberly, & Jayna, three best friends who have a passion for
making music together. Formerly known as The Oscilladies (an
extension of the 7-piece indie folk group The Oscillators), VW has
recently re-branded with a whole new repertoire of original music in
the works. A bit about the name Violet Wilder – the trio put a lot of
thought into their denomination. Violets happen to be the Wisconsin
state flower, and the color violet represents dreams and imagination.
“Wilder” means someone off of the beaten path/an adventurous
explorer, and Melissa happens to be related to the famous Laura
Ingles Wilder (who was also born Wisconsin). Guitar, viola, piano,
flute, and mandolin make up the ensemble, and the trio incorporates a
mixture of genres. But most importantly, they will sing angelic
3-part harmony to you until your ears fall off.
This month’s BONK! performance series will be held on Saturday, November 2nd, at 7300 Washington Avenue in Mt. Pleasant, BONK! will be at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. Featured performers include: Guggenheim poet, Carmen Giménez Smith; researcher and poet, MC Hyland; and eclectic jazz group, the Curtis Crump Trio.
Carmen Giménez Smith is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow and the author of a memoir and six poetry collections, including Be Recorder, which was recently longlisted for the National Book Award.She is the co-director for CantoMundo, the publisher of Noemi Press, and, alongside Stephanie Burt, poetry editor of The Nation.
MC Hyland is the author of two full-length books of poems: THE END (Sidebrow 2019) and Neveragainland (Lowbrow Press 2010). She has also published a dozen poetry chapbooks/artist books, most recently Plane Fly At Night from above/ground press and the self-published Five Essays on the Lyric/The Laundry Poem with Anna Gurton-Wachter. She is the founding editor of DoubleCross Press, a poetry micropress, and recently finished a PhD in English at NYU. From her research, she produces scholarly and poetic texts, artists’ books, and public art projects.
Curtis Crump Jr. is a Racine-native musician & composer that performs throughout & beyond the Milwaukee-Madison-Chicago area. Curtis is a graduate of UW-Parkside with a music major (jazz studies concentration). He plays regularly with bands such as the Eddie Butts Band, No SeatBelts, the Kal Bergendahl Project, Grooveline, & others. He‘s currently the music director at ACTS Church in Kenosha under the leadership of Pastor Lawrence Kirby II. With him today are 2 musicians from No Seatbelts, Quentin Farr (keys) & “Dee Cee”(drums). Curtis is releasing his debut album, “Transit”, & it’s expected to be on all streaming platforms on December 20th. There will also be a release/preview show at Kenosha Fusion starting at 7:30pm that night.
This month’s BONK! performance series will be held on Saturday, October 12th, at 601 6th Street in Racine, BONK! will be at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. Featured performers include: Dead Horses vocalist, Sarah Vos; Texas poet and rapper, Jonathan Moody; and French-American writer, Beatrice Szymkowiak.
What may qualify Sarah Vos as a musician and songwriter most is her deep and vivid life-long relationship with music. Born in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan- and singing herself to sleep before she knew how to talk- Sarah was raised in Wisconsin with her four siblings. Raised on Bible hymns and stories, Sarah has been expressing herself through music and song her entire life. In 2010, she helped form folk band, Dead Horses. Since then, Dead Horses have released three records and have performed with the likes of Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, and most recently, The Who. Tireless touring has proven to be a fulfilling muse for Sarah as she continues to travel, play music, and write new material reflective of herself and everything around her.
Jonathan Moody received his MFA degree from the University of Pittsburgh and has been published in numerous literary journals such as African American Review, The Common, Crab Orchard Review, and Harvard Review Online. He is the author of two poetry collections: The Doomy Poems and Olympic Butter Gold which won the 2014 Cave Canem/Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize. For the past ten years, Moody has taught English at Pearland High School. Moody lives in Pearland, Texas, with his wife and three sons. He is also a rapper and a music video director who goes by the alias Fluke Ellington. His first single and video “Effervescence” featuring Houston underground rap legend K-Rino is available on YouTube.
Beatrice Szymkowiak is a French-American writer. She graduated with a MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2017. She now teaches English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing. She is poetry assistant editor at Cream City Review. Her work has appeared in several poetry magazines, including Birds Piled Loosely, the Berkeley Review, the Borderlands Texas Review, OmniVerse, Permafrost magazine, the Portland Review, and Ellipsis. She is also the winner of the 2017 Omnidawn Single Poem Broadside Contest. Exploratory and experimental, her poetry investigates the new environmental trajectory of the Anthropocene. Her first chapbook RED ZONE was released in Fall 2018. It constitutes the first chapter of her investigations.
The event will be held at OS Projects at 601 6th Street in Racine, WI. OS Projects is a contemporary art gallery in downtown Racine featuring visual artists in solo and small group exhibits. The gallery’s primary focus is on artists living and working in the Chicago-Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee urban corridor. While the range of media the gallery presents is broad—encompassing painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video/film and installation—the exhibited artists are unified in their engagement with topical issues, experimentation with materials and processes, and adherence to craft.
Currently, OS Projects is hosting an exhibit by artist Diane Levesque. Ms. Levesque will be present at the BONK! event and give an introduction to her exhibit at the start of the event. For more information on the artist and the exhibit, visit the OS Projects website.
Racine – This month’s BONK! performance series will be held on Saturday, September 28th, at 1504 Washington Avenue in Racine, BONK! will be at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. We will have twenty local acts performing their own original work as well as featured poet, Matt Hart.
This month’s event will be part of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a grassroots organization that brings communities together to call for environmental, social, and political change within the framework of peace and sustainability. An event that began primarily with poet organizers, 100 Thousand Poets for Change has grown into an interdisciplinary coalition with year round events which includes musicians, dancers, mimes, painters and photographers from around the world.
Matt Hart is the author of nine books of poems, including most recently Everything Breaking/for Good (YesYes Books, 2019) and The Obliterations (Pickpocket Books, 2019). Additionally, his poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, including The Academy of American Poets online, Big Bell, Cincinnati Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Harvard Review, jubilat, Kenyon Review online, Lungfull!, Mississippi Review, Ovenbird, POETRY, and Waxwing, among others. His awards include a Pushcart Prize, a 2013 individual artist grant from The Shifting Foundation, and fellowships from both the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band NEVERNEW: http://www.nevernew.net.
The event will be held at Punjabi Banquet Hall at 1504 Washington Avenue in Racine. Run by the owners of Kebab and Grill, Punjabi Banquet Hall will have food and beverages available for sale so come hungry!