BONK! 99 @ HOT SHOP GLASS

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As the nights grow longer and the wind grows colder, nothing is better than getting together with family and friends, indulging in simple pleasures, sharing in time-honored traditions, and curling up next to a roaring fire. Here at BONK!, we would like to take the opportunity to share with you some of the best things about this time of year. On December 3rd, join the BONK! family for our 99th performance, the last one of 2016. Feast your ears on wonderful poetry and music Enjoy the warm glow of the glass blowing furnaces. Celebrate community and friendship with us at Hot Shop Glass and have a warm and wonderful holiday.


FEATURING:

POET: Tyehimba Jess
POET: John Murillo
MUSIC: Auralai

Tyehimba Jess is the author of Leadbelly and Olio. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, published in 2016, has been called “Encyclopedic, ingenious, and abundant…” by Publisher’s Weekly’s starred review, and a “daring collection, which blends forthright, musically acute language with portraiture” by Library Journal. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference. Jess is Poetry and Fiction Editor of African American Review and Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.

John Murillo is the author of the poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie, finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award. His honors include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He teaches at Hampshire College and New York University.

Auralai combines the best of classical beauty with pop-esque rhythm and melody with Stephanie Tschech providing a foundation of cello and voice, complemented by mulit-instrumentalist Nate Lehner. Stephanie’s abstract but vivid lyrics, and complex yet catchy rhythms and melodies are often described as “transporting”, sometimes haunting, sometimes hilarious, always fiercely engaging. No slave to both conventional songwriting and classical cello form, Auralai brings a much needed fresh breed of indie-pop music that is nothing short of captivating.

BONK! 98 @ 6TH STREET THEATER

This BONK! blogger’s brain went on vacation so this post is really late. But for these amazing artists, it’s better late than never. Drum-roll please…

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FEATURING:
Poet                     MATT HART
Poet                     ROBERTA J. HILL
Musician             B-FREE


Matt Hart’s most recent books are Radiant Action (H_NGM_N Books, 2016) and Radiant Companion (Monster House Press, 2016). 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 is Associate Professor in Creative Writing and the Chair of Liberal Arts at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He plays guitar and shouts in the bands TRAVEL and THE LOUDEST SOUNDER.

Roberta J. Hill (Oneida) is a poet, fiction writer and scholar. Her most recent publications include Cicadas:  New and Selected Poetry (Holy Cow! Press, 2013) and “Reading the Streets,” a short story in the International Writing Program’s online journal, Narrative Witness #2, “Indigenous Peoples:  Australia-United States” online:  https://iwpcollections.squarespace.com/nw2-roberta-hill.  She edited the July 2014 issue of the Black Earth Institute’s journal, About Place, “Enlightened Visions,” available online:  http://aboutplacejournal.org/enlightened-visions/ .  She is a Professor of English and American Indian Studies and is affiliated with The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

B~Free reemerges with her sophomore project, the “Ode 2 A Luv Affair LP.” With sound inspirations from Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, J-Dilla & Jill Scott., it is a conceptual album that traverses the ups and downs of romantic relationships. vulnerability, passion and compromise. Hailed by The Shepard Express as an “immaculately constructed R&B record,” with a style rooted in 90s R&B/Neo Soul & traces of present day influences, Ode not only represents the many trials & turmoils of love, but the personification of an artist’s loss & reclaiming of her gift.

BONK! 97 (8 YEAR ANNIVERSARY)

  
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FEATURING:
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Poet                     KENYATTA “THE LYRICAL LIONESS”
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Poet                     BRENT MITCHELL
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Poet                     JESSIE LYNN MCMAINS
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Musicians            FEATherWOLF  
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Kenyatta “The Lyrical Lioness” is the current president of the WI chapter of P.O.E.T (People of Extraordinary Talent). She is frequented on the local and national circuit; inclusive of performing on the main stage at the Black Women’s Expo as well as being selected as a featured performer for the Last Poets. She is a published author having five (5) pieces published in the P.O.E.T anthology Volume 1 entitled “Closed Mics Don’t Get Fed”.She also opened for the legendary Strawberri Taylor and the Verbal Intercourse staff; performing at venues around country. Her most recent accomplishments are being named the 2015 POET/HOST of the year, 2016 National Poetry Award winner for Video of the year and the first poet to ever perform at the UniverSoul Circus.
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Brent Mitchell grew up in Texas with his hedonistic father—a poet who could, and tended to recite almost anything imaginable from his encyclopedic catalogue of memorized classic poems as long as his mind was sufficiently lubricated with tequila. Brent has been a Texas rancher, a street person, worked every kind of job imaginable, and lived and worked around the U.S. as well as the UK. At 17, he dropped out of high school to wander the US on foot. In 2016 he obtained a Master’s degree in theology— or what he calls “the science of pretending to know a lot about things that can’t be known.” He has been writing poetry for close to forty years. He now resides in Kenosha Wisconsin where he is the Poet Laureate.
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Jessie Lynn McMains (aka Rust Belt Jessie) is a writer and zine-maker, and the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Racine, Wisconsin. She has been self-publishing her work in zines and chapbooks since the mid-‘90s, and has been performing spoken word across the U.S. and Canada since 2001. Her words have recently appeared in The ChapessNew Pop LitRising Phoenix Review,Voicemail Poems, and Paper & Ink, amongst other places. When not writing or performing her own work, she teaches workshops on memoir, zines, and poetry.
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FEATherWOLF is a duet project based out of Wisconsin, consisting of Sam Luna and Shaun Marie. Meeting in late 2015, both musicians decided to collaborate and began writing together as a duo. Both bring a unique sound to their shows by singing their own originals of different genres, while then coming together to perform original, old country-style duets. Both coming from different parts of the country, they have recently just finished their debut album, To: You, From: Me, a conceptual album that follows the universal story of a relationship between a man and a woman. In addition, they have made a personal commitment to raising money to provide underprivileged students the chance to rent or buy instruments, as well as receive music lessons, through their Making Noise program.
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BONK! 96 @ Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church

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This month’s BONK! performance series #96 joins the world-wide celebration of 1000,000 Poets for Change Global Movement.   Poets from every country you can imagine will be writing, spitting and spewing words and lines addressing social justice issues facing people of all faiths, beliefs, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations.  Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church will host the event this Saturday, September 24th, at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. Instead of bringing in featured poets, we will be filling the time with twenty local poets reading their own original work.
 
If you wish to be featured in this month’s BONK!, please e-mail Alex Reilly at areilly2930@gmail.com with the subject heading “BONK! 96 Set List” or call them at 262.989.2930
 
Created to expose the public to both local and nationally recognized artistic talents, the BONK! series showcases poets, writers, musicians, filmmakers and all sorts of talent in between.  Founded in fall of 2008, the BONK! series has been running with an event every month for over eight years. A completely free program, BONK! Is a roaming performance series showing up in a different location every month to help introduce people to the many amazing businesses, venues and historic institutions sites throughout Racine County.
 
BONK! is made possible by the Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, Rapcine, the Friends of the Racine Public Library, The Racine Arts Council, the Racine Community Foundation, and Olde Madrid restaurant. For more information or to view video of past BONK! performances please visithttp://bonkperformanceseries.wordpress.org.
You may also contact Nick Demske at the Racine Public Library: 262.619.2570 ornick.demske@racinelibrary.info. If you would like to receive monthly email updates about the BONK! series, please send a blank email to the address above with the subject heading “BONK! Email.”
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Mark your calendars…
Sat Nov 19 @ 6th Street Theatre
 
Need to get your live poetry and music fix before the next BONK?
Check out:
GRASSROOTS Open Mic Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday @ Racine Arts Council

BONK! 95 @ Eco-Justice Center

  
FEATURING:
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Writer                 Tara Betts
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Music                  Mesha Arant                 
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Writer                  Philip Metres
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TARA BETTS is the author of Break the Habit and Arc & Hue. Her chapbooks include Never Been Lois Lane7 x 7: kwansabas, and THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali. Her writing has appeared in POETRYEssence, HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and other journals and anthologies. Tara teaches at University of Illinois-Chicago.

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PHILIP METRES is the author of Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), Sand Opera (2015), A Concordance of Leaves (2013), and To See the Earth (2008), etc. A recipient of the Lannan, two NEAs and two Arab American Book Awards, he is professor of English at John Carroll University. http://www.philipmetres.com

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 MESHA ARANT, who currently resides in Chicago, is a singer-songwriter from Jefferson, South Carolina. She describes her singing as a mix of folk and soul, a combination of the music she grew up listening to. Although she has been singing for much of her life, she began seriously performing in 2015, after receiving her graduate degree in religion. Her love of religion has influenced the way she sings; she strives to bring people into a meditative state with her soft melodies and gentle runs.

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BONK! 95
 SATURDAY, AUGUST 27th
ECO JUSTICE CENTER
7133 MICHNA ROAD
 RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)

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Mark your calendars…
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(location TBD)
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Sat Nov 19 @ 6th Street Theatre

BONK! 94 @ Racine Art Museum

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Alright, BONK! Family– send out good weather vibes because this month we are planning on hosting 3 raw features on the outside patio of the Racine Art Museum!  Of course, if it rains, that just means we’ll be surrounding by gorgeous art inside the museum for the event.  But this is one you do not want to miss, so mark it on your calendars and check out the dope line up we’ve got below:

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FEATURING:
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Writer                 Jennifer Morales
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Writer                 Scott Woods
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Music                   Oh My Love
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JENNIFER MORALES is a multi-genre writer (poetry, fiction, nonfiction) and a performance artist. In her writing, she wrestles with questions of gender, power, identity, complicity, and harm. Even so, she still finds the world beautiful.  Meet Me Halfway, her collection of short stories about race relations in Milwaukee, was published by University of Wisconsin Press in spring 2015.  Morales lived for more than twenty years in Milwaukee, where she raised children and served on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors—the first Latino/a elected to it. She earned her MFA from Antioch University–Los Angeles. She now lives in Viroqua, Wisconsin, and is a board member of the Driftless Writing Center.
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SCOTT WOODS is the author of We Over Here Now (2013, Brick Cave Books) and Urban Contemporary History Month (2016, Brick Cave Books).  He has published and edited work in a variety of publications. He has been featured multiple times in national press, including multiple appearances on National Public Radio. He was the President of Poetry Slam Inc. and emcees the Writers’ Block Poetry Night, an open mic series in Columbus, Ohio. In April of 2006 he became the first poet to ever complete a 24-hour solo poetry reading, a feat he bested with six more annual 24-hour readings without repeating a single poem.
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OH MY LOVE is an electronic pop duo out of Madison, WI comprised of Hannah Luree and Christian Lisser. Oh My Love’s sound is driven by powerful vocals, glistening melodies, driving synth, and heavy-hitting, hip-hop, electronic beats.  Their third release, “Ghosts & Bubblegum,” was released in May of 2016 to abundant critical acclaim.  All of their albums can be heard at http://ohmylove.bandcamp.com/ or visit them at their website http://www.ohmylovemusic.com .

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BONK! 94
 SATURDAY, JULY 23rd
RACINE ART MUSEUM
441 MAIN STREET
 RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)

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Mark your calendars…
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Sat August 27th @ Eco-Justice Center
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Sat Nov 19 (location TBD)
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BONK! loves you🙂