BONK! 102 – 15 Minutes Of Fame @ Preservation Hall


A very special evening of art and inspiring discussion. Part of the “Famous” Portraits Art Project by artist Deb Marett. Patterned after the TED Talks series. Our amazing cast of speakers will be sharing thoughts on making a difference in our everyday lives with our work and interactions. Live a life of purpose, intent, and impact. Don’t miss it! For more information, visit:
*Please RSVP for groups of more than 5, so seats can be reserved.




 Naomi Shihab Nye is an internationally acclaimed poet and children’s author. She refers to herself as a “wandering poet” because she has traveled the world to hold writing workshops and inspire people of all ages for about 40 years. She is an author of many poetry and children’s fiction books. Her poems are based on heritage and peace, and are connected to her experience as an Arab-American. Among her many awards, Naomi won the 2014 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature.


 Paul Willis is a poet and literature professor. Paul is a former Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, CA, and has been included in The “Best American Poetry” series. Paul will be speaking on the evolving nature of one’s creative path or calling.


 Timothy Westbrook is a fashion designer and fiber artist with a focus on sustainability. Former Project Runway contestant. Timothy will be speaking about  transforming big ideas into reality simply by believing in them, and how one starfish can save the world.


is a non-violent communication facilitator and advocate for peace and justice. Olu will be discussing addressing the epidemic of violence in our communities.


 Thea Kovac is a Milwaukee artist and teacher. Thea will be talking about the cyclical nature of creativity, and the need for allowing oneself time to rejuvenate.


Aszya Summers is a conservation education manager at the Racine Zoo. Aszya will be talking about crane conservation and the work of the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo.


Travis DuPriest taught Humanities and Creative Writing at Carthage College for 30 years. He published two scholarly editions of 17th-century writers and five creative Chapbooks of poems and essays. Travis will be talking about family, loss and reconciliation.


Nick Demske curates the BONK! performance series in Racine, and won the 2010 Fence Modern Poets Series Award. Nick will encourage everyone to think about how each of us is simultaneously the most important, and the least important, thing in the universe.

BONK! 101 @ Old Racine Arts Council Building


Poet         Kenzie Allan

Poet         Gint Aras

Music       Koku Gonza

Kenzie Allen is a descendant of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. She received her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, and she is currently an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow in the PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. Her work has been published in The Iowa Review, Indiana Review, Narrative, Drunken Boat, and other venues, and she is the recipient of fellowships from the Aspen Writers’ Foundation and Vermont Studio Center. She was born in West Texas, and spends time between her tribe’s reservation in Green Bay and her fiancé’s hometown in Norway.

Gint Aras is the author of two novels, Finding the Moon in Sugar (Infinity, 2009) and The Fugue (Tortoise Books, 2016), a finalist for the 2016 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award. His prose and translations have appeared in the St. Petersburg Review, Quarterly West, Curbside Splendor, STIR Journal, ReImagine and elsewhere. He’s a community college instructor and currently lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his family.

Koku Gonza thrives as an indie artist 24 hours a day. She shares her alternative soul sounds from the subways of New York to the modern day swanky socialites of Hong Kong. She has shared the stage with Dwele, Timothy Bloom and Isaiah Sharkey. Her song, Koku Gonza has completed two international tours in Europe ending 2016 with a artist residency in Hong Kong, receiving rave reviews from various media outlets like Rolling Out Magazine, Track Source, Soul Bag Magazine and the +D’Afrique. Koku Gonza’s music has been compared to the late legends Bob Marley and contemporary artists like Sade and Lianne La Havas. She has a new soul funk dance song to release in 2017 featuring grammy-award winning guitarist Isaiah Sharkey.