BONK! 116 @ The Nurturing Center

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William Stobb is the author of five poetry collections, including the National Poetry Series winner, Nervous Systems, and Absentia, both from Penguin Books. He works on the editorial staff of Conduit and teaches English at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
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Denise Sweet is faculty emerita, having taught Humanistic Studies, Creative Writing, and First Nations Studies for the UW-System. Her books of poetry include Know By Heart (Rhiannon Press), Songs For Discharming (Greenfield Press), Days Of Obsidian, Days Of Grace (Poetry Harbor), and Nitaawichige (Poetry Harbor; the latter a four-author collection). In 1998, Songs For Discharging won both the WI Posner Award for Poetry, and the Diane Decorah Award, given by the North American Indigenous Writers Circle of the Americas.. In 2004, Gov. James Doyle appointed Sweet as WI’s
Poet Laureate (4-year term); the 2nd laureate named for the state of Wisconsin.
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Brent Mitchell has done a little bit of everything, including working for five years as a cowboy on a Texas ranch. As a teenager, he traveled the country on foot, and for decades he traveled extensively as a musician. He’s written songs for movies, and for recording and publishing companies including Sony and Decca, one of which was Grammy listed in 2005. He was featured on PBS’s Texas Music Cafe, and at a number of major music festivals including South by Southwest, and over the years has recorded a number of CDs. In 1999, Brent and his wife Stephanie moved from Texas to Oxford England, and in 2002 came to Carthage College where she teaches as an historian of Latin America. They and their four children live still in Kenosha, where Brent recently completed two years as Kenosha’s poet laureate and published his first collection called Mermaids, Cowboys, and the Lord of Death. Along with writing and performing poetry, music, and “doing all sorts of other stuff,” he teaches World Religions at Carthage College.
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Want More Cool Art Stuff?
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Please RSVP at ArtRoot.org/Events.  If you have already RSVPed you should have received a confirmation email.

BONK!athon – A Talent Marathon Fundraiser

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BONK!athon is a pledge-driven fundraiser where people raise money for a 5-minute performance slot on stage to perform a poem, song, dance, short story, monologue, skit, comedy routine, Etc. This marathon of talent continues for 4 to 6 hours. There will be food and beverage available as well as a 50/50 raffle.

Admission is $10 per person. Children 12 and younger are free. Performers and donors who contribute $35 or more before the event will also gain free admission. There will be food and beverage available as well as a 50/50 raffle.

We are looking for performers and artists of all ages and types to collect pledges and perform at the event. $35 must be raised for each 5-minute slot. All the proceeds will go towards curating new performers and supporting our volunteers.

If you are interested in performing at BONK!athon or if you have any questions, please contact us via email at bonk.racine@gmail.com or call us at 262-989-2930 between the hours of 10 am and 10 pm. You can also find out more about BONK!athon at https://bonkperformanceseries.wordpress.com/bonkathon-2018/

BONK! 114 @ 6th Street Theater

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This month’s BONK! performance series will be held at the 6th Street Theater, 318 6th Street, on Saturday, March 24th, at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. Featured performers will be: UW-Madison professor and poet, Timothy Yu; Chicago blues poet, Vida Cross; and Chicago folk duo, Jeremy David Miller and his wife Bekah Miller.

 

Timothy Yu is the author of the poetry collection 100 Chinese Silences, an editor’s selection in the NOS Book Contest from Les Figues Press.  He is also the author of three chapbooks: 15 Chinese Silences, Journey to the West, and, with Kristy Odelius, Kiss the Stranger.  His writing has appeared in Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, TYPO, and The New Republic.  His scholarly work includes Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Poetry since 1965 (Stanford) and an edited collection, Nests and Strangers: On Asian American Women Poets (Kelsey Street).  He lives in Madison, where he is professor of English and Asian American studies at UW-Madison

 

Vida Cross is a blues poet.  Her work references her ancestry as a third generation Chicagoan, a Bronzeville resident, the artwork of Archibald J. Motley Jr. and Langston Hughes.  She received an MFA in Writing and an MFA in Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a MA in English from Iowa State University and a BA in English-writing and History from Knox College.  Her book of poems, Bronzeville at Night: 1949, was released in 2017.  She is a Cave Canem Fellow.  Her work has appeared in The Creativity and Constraint Anthology for Wising Up Press, A Civil Rights Retrospective with the Black Earth Institute, Tabula Poetica with Chapman University, Transitions Magazine at the Hutchinson Institute, the Cave Canem Anthology XII: Poems 2008-2009, The Literary Review with Fairleigh Dickinson University, Reed Magazine at Reed College, and The Journal of Film and Video from The University of Illinois, Chicago.

 

Jeremy David Miller has been writing his own style of folk songs for some 15 years.  Along with help from partner and wife Bekah Miller, the two deliver everything from charming love songs to wandering lyrical quests of death with ease and entertainment.  From Chicago, IL The Millers have built a musical repertoire that keeps fans interested and never disappointed.

BONK! 113 @ The Grind Cafe

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This month’s BONK! performance series will be held at The Grind Cafe,7300 Washington Avenue, on Saturday, February 24th, at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. Featured performers will be: Southeast Wisconsin poet, Manar Mohammad; and Madison poet and lecturer, Adam Fell.
Manar Mohammad is a poet who began writing poetry as a way to better piece together her identity after experiencing life abroad and in the U.S. She hopes her work offers a perspective on the narrative of the Muslim American identity while simultaneously breaking down media stereotypes and open doors to dialogue and understanding. She spends most of her time studying medicine between working on poetry, and she hopes to practice medicine while simultaneously using her skills in language as a way to bridge different cultures and backgrounds while documenting the stories of those who will shape her into a physician.
Adam Fell is the author of two books of poetry: Dear Corporation, (H_NGM_N Books, 2014) and I Am Not a Pioneer, winner of the Posner Best Poetry Book Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers (H_NGM_N Books, 2011). He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (M.F.A., 2008) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.A. 2003), and currently teaches creative writing, composition, and literature at Edgewood College in Madison, WI where he also co-curates the Monsters of Poetry reading series.

3rd Annual Mary Finley and Marcie Eanes Memorial Black History Month Read-In

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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 Third 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 Thursday, February 22nd from 6 til 8:30pm.

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.  Here’s how it will work: anyone interested in signing up is given 5 minutes to read a piece (or an excerpt of a piece) of writing written by someone from the black diaspora.  

Because the purpose of this event is to highlight the copious, diverse contributions of all black people to literature, and because we want to illustrate the great breadth of those contributions as much as possible in two and a half short hours, we will not be having ANY repeats of authors.  Sign up fast so you can be sure you’ll get to read from the author you want to celebrate most!

To respect everyone’s time, there is a limited number of only 20 spots we can fill.  Anyone is welcome to sign up, but do so now because spots won’t last.  To sign up, please RSVP with the following information:

  1. Your name, e-mail and phone number
  2. If you are younger than 21, your age
  3. Name of your Author
  4. Name of the piece you’ll be reading from
  5. If your piece is child appropriate or not (this will help us decide where in the evening to slot you

Please RSVP or send any further questions to Ciara Hartzog at ciarahartzog@gmail.com or contact Nick Demske at 262-631-0021.

See you there!

*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 last year 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.

BONK! 112 @ Gallery on 16th

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BONK! 112
SATURDAY, JANUARY 20TH, 2018
GALLERY ON 16TH
1405 16TH STREET
RACINE, WI
6PM (doors open at 5:30pm)



Esteban Colon is one of the 2018 co-poet laureates of Kenosha. His work has found print in a variety of journals and anthologies. The writer of “Things I Learned the Hard Way,” he is also the author of chapbooks This Frankenstein Union (Crisis Chronicles Press), Edgar Avenue (Naked Mannequin Press) and Between Blue Lines (Exact Change Press). His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, chapbooks and anthologies. Co-founder of the Waiting 4 the Bus poetry collective, he’s graced a wide variety of stages in the Chicago land area and southern Wisconsin.



Carly Anne Ravnikar
is a punk artist native to South Eastern Wisconsin. 2017 co-poet laureate of Kenosha, she is an eloquent hoarder of poems and crafts who struggles to remain within the confines of society. She works professionally in higher education, semi-regularly as a yoga instructor, and constantly as a poor schmuck strung out on manic creative energy.



Kenyatta “The Lyrical Lioness” Turner spent 25 years of successfully performing across the Midwest as a dancer, Hip Hop artist and actress, Kenyatta took a break from it all to peruse professional goals. She would subsequently be reintroduced to the stage at the Jus Joking Comedy Club in Waukegan, IL. where she rekindled her love affair with words. She has now evolved into poetry. Since this transition, Kenyatta has been named Princess of Poetry and is currently the 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, UniverSoul Circus and was selected as a featured performer for the legendary group “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” and released a powerful poetic single entitled “G Girl”. Attributing to her accolades, Kenyatta was named the 2015 POET/HOST of the year, 2016 National Poetry Award winner for Video of the year and the 2016 Best Female Spoken Word Artist of the Year. Kenyatta is the 2017-2019 Poet Laureate of the city she now calls home; Racine, WI!

BONK! 111 @ Hot Shop Glass

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Poet         Adwoa Nyame Asentu
Poet         Mario “The Poet” Willis

Adwoa Nyame Asentu; 24; born and raised in Racine, WI; an artist who uses the written word, spoken word and visual art to plant seeds of liberation. She showcased her first body of artwork entitled “The Butterfly People” during the Fall of 2016 in UW-Parkside’s Foundation Gallery. She has presented original poetry at a number of venues, including the American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference and the Lake County Black Lives Matter Banquet. Adwoa is also a student at UW-Parkside and will be graduating Fall ’17.

Mario Willis is a freelance writer and former slam poet. A Milwaukee native and two time member of Milwaukee’s National Slam Team. After 7 years in the business of spoken word he has had the pleasure of featuring throughout Milwaukee and the Midwest. A member of P.S.I (Poetry Slam Incorporated), a PU (Poetry Unplugged) All-star, and a community activist. Mario’s voice represents the least fortunate and the hard working trying to bridge the gap between the classes with a irreverent style and original perspective. An unapologetic liberal and free thinker Mario’s work is a delightful excursion into the mind’s eye with his unflinching realism and artistic integrity, Mario the Poet is a story teller and poet of the highest order. His CD can be purchased at http://www.mariothepoet.bandcamp.com

The November Criminals create a raucous, energetic atmosphere with powerful melodies, head-nodding beats and fierce, conscious lyrics comprised of emcees Brümeister, Spade One and NTSC. Formed in 2011 from an unlikely collaboration, the band uniquely embodies what it is to be from the Midwest and Milwaukee in particular. They draw equally from the tenets of hip-hop and the roots of European, Slavic and Baltic musical traditions. There is nothing ironic or tongue-in-cheek about what they do. They are earnest, honest and viscerally raw in every performance. The band recently celebrated the release of their second full-length album, The Great War.

Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Calendar – Submission Opportunity

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  • The theme for the 2019 calendar is “Celebrating Wisconsin People,” which includes Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, Spanish-Speaking Americans, Bi-racial and Multi-racial Americans.
  • Shorter poems have a better chance of getting in. I want to include as many poems as possible.
  • To aid me in publishing as many as possible, there will be a strict 30 line limit, including stanza breaks. Lines longer than 60 characters count as 2 lines.
  • Poems celebrating inclusions, racial and cultural diversity will have a slight advantage. Poems should also be accessible as the calendar speaks to not just other poets but to all of the people in Wisconsin.
  • Submissions are open to all with a connection to Wisconsin, but strong preference will be given to those who are year-round (or almost year-round) residents.
  • Poems will be accepted in other languages, as long as an English translation is also submitted. There is a 15 line limit for each version (30 line limit in total).
  • Send no more than TWO poems, previously published is ok, but credit publisher and include year of publication.
  • Poems should arrive between September 1 and December 1, 2017. Poems before September 1 or after 11:59pm on December 1, 2017, will not be considered.
  • Email 1-2 poems in one (1) Word or Word-compatible file (no PDFs) to: 2019wfoppoetscalendar@gmail.com.
  • If you prefer, you may mail poems to: James Roberts, 324 Kedzie Street, Apt. 30, Madison, WI 53704. He will type and email to me. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelop for him to send you your final version.
  • Include, with email or mail submission. a short bio; a strict 30 word limit will be enforced.

For more information go to www.wfop.org 

BONK!sgiving All Ages Event

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Hey BONK!ers. This month we are doing something super special. We are teaming up with Family Power Music and What’s Up Racine and Eco-Justice Center for an all-ages BONK! Family celebration of food, fun, and music.

The event will be held at the Eco-Justice Center, 7133 Michna Road, Racine, WI; from 6pm until 8pm with doors opening at 5:30pm. Parking will be available, and carpooling is encouraged. The event is free and open to the public, however, donations to the Eco-Justice Center are preferred.  Kids are welcome to wear their Halloween costumes.

BONK!sgiving will be a potluck event. Please bring your favorite dish to pass, especially vegan food. Vegan food doesn’t have to be fancy. To be considered vegan, a dish cannot have any meat, dairy, eggs, honey, or animal products (such as most gelatin). A few outlets will be available for hot food. Cups, plates, silverware, beverages, and supplies for S’Mores will be provided.

There will also be a cake to celebrate and give thanks for Sister Janet Wyeker’s 13 years of service with Eco-Justice Center as executive director and volunteer coordinator. A book will be available for you to share your memories and photos of Sister Janet.

Children will be able to participate in a host of campfire games and activities. Starting at 7pm, there will be a large drum circle where everyone can come together and make music. Feel free to bring your own percussion or acoustic instruments. Other instruments will be provided to those who don’t have one.