August 20, 2015




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



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.




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!



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6 PM (doors open 5:30)


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


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.




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  

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


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

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6 PM (doors open 5:30!)

May 16, 2015

Enjoy the outdoors with BONK! on June 13, courtesy of the Racine Urban Garden Network

In the event of rain, we will instead convene at the Racine Arts Council.



Poet                       Timothy Liu

Musician              Samuel “Savoir Faire” Williams

Poet                       Parneshia Jones


TIMOTHY LIU is the author of nine books of poems, including Don’t Go Back To Sleep, a finalist for this year’s Lambda Literary Award. He has appeared in Best American Poetry and the Pushcart Prize, and his poems have been translated into a dozen languages. He lives in Manhattan and Woodstock, NY.
SAMUEL “SAVOIR FAIRE” WILLIAMS is a Living Chicago Urban Legend—he earned this reputation as a classically trained professional jazz violinist. His first performance was at the age of 5, and he went on to study with great violinists such as Milt Jackson, Johnny Frigo, Harold Geller, and many others. He has mastered the art of violin making and owned and managed the Violin Shop for three years while establishing a name as a first call studio recording session violinist for artists including R. Kelly and famed arrangers like “Tom Tom” Washington. Samuel continues to perform with his group Savoirfaire Jazz Quartet and has been invited to record for numerous albums and perform at International Jazz Festivals worldwide.  Savoirfaire continues to trail blaze as a composer, producer, and arranger breaking down industry barriers by integrating contemporary jazz with other forms of music such as hip hop, rock, and world music.

PARNESHIA JONES was raised on the Midwestern North Shores of Evanston, IL and spent her childhood in the Evanston Public Library and her mother’s kitchen. Jones earned her BA in English/Creative Writing at Chicago State University and her MFA from Spalding University.  Currently, Parneshia is the Sales and Subsidiary Rights Manager and Poetry Editor for the TriQuarterly Books imprint.  Recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Margaret Walker Short Story Award, and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award, Parneshia is a Ragdale Fellow and published in several anthologies. Jones is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, a collective of Black voices from Appalachia and serves on the board of Cave Canem and GlobalWrites.  Her first collection, Vessel, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions (April, 2015).



May is jam-packed with artistic events! Here are the previews:  

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

May 23rd is the next Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair–in Kenosha this time


BONK! 81


6 PM


Mark your calendars…
2015 Event Schedule

April 21, 2015


Another BONK! is coming up fast, in conjunction with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) book

sale, which will be open before and after the performance.

To access this location, enter the lobby of CVS and take either the stairs or elevator to the lower level or take the

outside stairs along the east side of the building. 




Writer                  Liam Callanan

Poet                       Siwar Masannat

Musician              Julian Lynch


LIAM CALLANAN is the author of the novels The Cloud Atlas, a finalist for an Edgar Award, and All Saints, a Target Bookmarked Breakout book. A frequent public radio essayist, Liam has taught at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Los Angeles, he now calls Wisconsin home. He’s on the web at
SIWAR MASANNAT is an Arab writer from Amman, Jordan. She holds an MFA in poetry from George Mason University. Siwar co-founded Gazing Grain Press, an inclusive feminist chapbook publisher in the DC metro area. Her first book, 50 Water Dreams is forthcoming from Cleveland State University in 2015. Her poems and articles have appeared in Denver QuarterlyHayden’s Ferry ReviewGargoyle, and 7iber, among others. Siwar is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
JULIAN LYNCH has been recording and releasing solo music under his own name since 2008, and under various monikers for several years before that. His vinyl discography includes four LPs and three EPs. Julian lives in Madison, WI, where he is working towards a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
2015 Button designed by David Holmes

Don’t forget to check out the preview party & the rest of the awesome studio tour for Get Behind The Arts this weekend!


Our friend Marcie Eanes is having a book signing at the Racine Public Library May 16th 1-3 pm.

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6 PM (doors open 5:30!)


March 31, 2015


Help us share the good news of BONK! with Kenosha at this special event. This will also be the release of our very own Nick Demske’s next chapbook, so be sure to snag one!


Dasha Kelly had to cancel because of another fabulous opportunity, so Mexico City is Sinking (Marco Jaimez) stepped up to fill in. 

Watch out for news about another BONK! event coming up fast–on April 25th we will BONK! again at the Racine Business Center for Get Behind The Arts.




Musician               Brent Mitchell 

Musician               Mexico City is Sinking

Poet                        Nick Demske

Emcee, Artist       Nicolas Moore             

BRENT MITCHELL worked for five or six years as a cowboy in Texas after dropping out of high school to hitch-hike the country. During that time he began playing his music and soon he was playing it throughout the US, Mexico, and the UK. His kudos include a 2005 Grammy listing for his song Hand of God, and spots on PBS’s Texas Music Cafe, SXSW, and on a number of festivals including a number of appearances at the Kerrville Folk Festival. His songs are included on the soundtrack of the movie Partners in Crime and have been recorded by Colin Boyd, Bonnie Whitmore, and other Austin and Nashville artists, and he has shared the stage and studio with a long list of top, Americana, blues, and country acts over the years. Of all these, he is especially fond of his work with jazz bass player Drew Phelps on Phelps’ debut, which they later performed in Texas and New York. He now resides in Kenosha with his wife Stephanie, who teaches at Carthage College, and his four children.
MARCO JAIMEZ has been playing music under the moniker MEXICO CITY IS SINKING since he was exactly 1 and a half years old.  Paxia Records released his first album in 2013, titled “Michi Gami.”  He recently successfully crowd-source-fundraised over $3,500 to fund a new EP titled “The Queen of Monster Island,” which was recorded at Skies Fall Studios (located just near the Kenosha/Racine county border), and will be released in late Spring.  Marco also plays in the hardcore band “Anchors of Empires.”

NICK DEMSKE lives in Racine and works at the Racine Public Library. He is the author a self-titled collection of poetry, which was picked by Joyelle McSweeney for the 2010 Fence Modern Poets Series prize. He is also the author a chapbook, Skeetly Deetly Deet (Strange Cage press, 2012) and has a chapbook forthcoming in April of 2015 from Spork Press. Nick was featured in 2011 as one of fifteen emerging poets to watch for by Poets and Writers magazine and his self-titled book was chosen as one of the 10 Best Books of Poetry in 2010 by a Believer Magazine reader survey. In 2011, he completed a month-and-a-half-long book tour that traveled over 10,000 miles across the whole of America. His work has been taught at Notre Dame, Columbia College, Illinois Wesleyan, Marquette, Emory, Cleveland State and dozens of other schools across the country.  In Racine, he curates the BONK! performance series and occasionally blogs for
NICOLAS MOORE is a singer, actor, dancer, and spoken word artist. Born in Racine, he has lived in Kenosha most of his life. Nicolas has been performing and sharing his art (as he prefers to call it) for over 12 years. He has traveled to many places around the country sharing art with various students, organizations, churches, random crowds at open mics, and the people who life finds it necessary for him to connect with. Nicolas believes that life is to be lived and love is to be shared. His expression of art is a reflection of that message.

7979 38TH AVE


6PM (doors open 5:30!)

February 27, 2015


BONK! is a many-splendored thing, and so are your March performers:




Poet                        Ross Gay

Musician               Jordin Baas

Poet                        Adam Gottlieb


ROSS GAY is a kettlebell instructor and orchardist. His books are Against Which (CavanKerry, 2006), Bringing the Shovel Down (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006), and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015). He’s a founding editor of the online sports magazine Some Call It Ballin’. He is working on his garden right now.
JORDIN BAAS brings a fresh clear-toned voice to songs of sadness, wistful hope, and wry social commentary, accompanied by languid acoustic guitar and raucous harmonica. Hailing from Milwaukee, she is currently attending music college and performing both solo and with a back up band. She has many other side projects including a Pop/Rock group called The Quiet Time, and an Electronic project called Novelty. Baas writes, records, and produces all of her material in her home ‘studio’. She enjoys longboards on the beach and can make a mean smoothie.
ADAM GOTTLIEB is a poet-emcee/teaching-artist/singer-songwriter/revolutionary from Chicago. As a teen, he was featured in the 2009 documentary film “Louder Than A Bomb,” about the world’s largest youth poetry slam festival by the same name. Since then, he has gone on to perform and teach widely throughout Chicago, the U.S., and even the world, working as a facilitator of safe spaces for creative expression, cultural community-building, and social activism.





BONK! 78


6PM (doors open 5:30!)

January 13, 2015


Wave goodbye (and good riddance) to February with us on the 28th.



Poet                       Kimberly Blaeser

Musician              Clayton Strasburg

Writer                  Rev William Grimbol 

KIMBERLY BLAESER is the author of three collections of poetry: Apprenticed to JusticeAbsentee Indians and Other Poems, and Trailing You.  A Professor at University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee where she teaches Creative Writing and Native American Literatures, Blaeser is Anishinaabe, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe who grew up on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota.  She is the editor of Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose and Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry.  Her writing has been widely anthologized, most recently in The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Selections of her poetry have been translated into several languages including Spanish, Norwegian, Indonesian, and French.  Blaeser, is currently at work on a collection of “Picto-Poems,” bringing together her work in photography and poetry.
CLAYTON STRASBURG is a singer/songwriter who has been a part of several Milwaukee based bands including Kingdom Nada, D.C. Monroe and Lemon Pie. He has produced two EPs and three full length albums, including his most recent eponymous album, to be released in February 2015. He will be performing an acoustic set with poet/singer Emily Hall from the folk group Lyra Vega.
REV WILLIAM GRIMBOL was minister of Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Racine for many years after being confirmed and ordained there. He spent 25 years at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in New York where he ran a community center and worked with adolescents, then he returned to Racine to spend a couple more years preaching and retire. Rev Grimbol has written plays, books for teens, and Idiot’s Guide books on spiritual subjects. He loves to paint, and prints greeting cards with his paintings on them. He also blogs.

Please check out Nick Ramsey’s Kickstarter for his new album and promotional tour. Incentives include the album, admission to the CD release party, Nick’s poetry chapbook, custom verses written just for you, and a homemade dinner! He needs to raise $6,000 by March 10th. FAMILY POWER!

BONK! 77
6PM (doors open 5:30!)

December 16, 2014


Start the year off right with another BONK! at the Racine Arts Council.




Poet                        Daniel D’Angelo

Musician               Fumi Nishikiori-Nakayama

Poet                        Darlin Nikki


DANIEL D’ANGELO’s poems have appeared in The Collagist, H-ngm-n, Alice Blue, B O D Y, NOÖ Journal, and elsewhere. A former Poetry Editor of Phoebe, he is from eastern Iowa and lives in Arlington, Virginia, where he works as an editor.
“DARLIN NIKKI” JANZEN connects with youth and adults through her honest, vivid poetry.  She found spoken word poetry as a great means to inspire and encourage all human beings to connect and find joy in healing through poetry and other art forms. This two time Grand Slam Champion of Milwaukee was also the Women of the World Haiku Slam Champion in 2008. Currently, she co-hosts two shows in Milwaukee: Beat Poetry & Music Series & Express Yourself Youth Open Mic. She has graced the stage of the Mansion in Miami in the Slam Bush Contest hosted by Chuck D, competed on 5 National Slam Teams and continues to lead writing, poetry, publication and social justice workshops for both youth and adults and provides art & poetry residencies throughout Milwaukee   Her latest poetry recording project “Healing Broken” can be downloaded on iTunes or purchased from

FUMI NISHIKIORI-NAKAYAMA is an ardent and accomplished student, teacher, composer, conductor and performer of both piano and harpsichord.  With degrees from both Roosevelt University’s Chicago Music College and Indiana University, as well training in eurhythmics and Dalcroze, she is often inspired to teach rhythm and music expression through movement and improvisation.  She currently teaches locally at Carthage where she is adjunct faculty member, and at UW Parkside.



BONK! T-shirts make an excellent stocking stuffers! They are available every day at the Racine Public Library and, of course, at every BONK! event. Happy holidays!


BONK! 76


6PM (doors open 5:00!)

November 24, 2014


Another BONK! is just around the corner!


Poet                        Heiko Julien

Musician               Kiran Vee

Poet                       LaTasha N Nevada Diggs

Heiko Julien is an American poet, short-story writer, musician, and Internet personality. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Julien ‘s stories, poetry, and essays have been published in n+1, Thought Catalog, Pop Serial, Shabby Doll House, and The Lifted Brow. His work has been described as being preoccupied with memes, media, and online community. Julien has cited authors Mark Leyner, Ben Brooks, Tao Lin, and blogger Steve Roggenbuck as central influences.
Kiran Vee (aka Q the Sun) is a songwriter/producer/performer from Milwaukee. For the past 6 years he has been recording and releasing music, performing, and touring with his group Fresh Cut Collective. Kiran and his group have shared the stage with national artists such as The Roots, De La Soul, Nelly, Ludacris, and Atmosphere, among others, and have received multiple awards. Kiran has used his diverse creative/professional experiences with FCC to create a multi-media youth arts program, Living Reflections, which provides opportunities for young people to process and share their experiences, emotions, and concerns through creative expression. He teaches practical, collaborative skills like music and video production, and encourages young people to seek knowledge of self through self-reflection and critical analysis of mass media and popular culture.
LaTasha N Nevada Diggs is more than an artist: as a vocalist, writer, sound artist, curator, director, and editor, Diggs has been widely published and featured at many galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art. She is the author of a book of poetry called TwERK, three chapbooks, and the album Televisíon. She was born and raised in Harlem, and her work concentrates on languages, media, history, and culture.

BONK! 75





6PM (doors open 5:00!)

Mark your calendars…
2014 Event Schedule

October 30, 2014



BONK! will be heating things up at Hot Shop glass November 22!


Professor   Emily J. Lordi

Poet            J. Michael Martinez

Poet            Jericho Brown


JERICHO BROWN is the recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts.   His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The NationThe New YorkerThe New Republic, and The Best American Poetry.  His first book, PLEASE, won the American Book Award, and his second book, THE NEW TESTAMENT, was recently released by Copper Canyon Press.  

J. MICHAEL MARTINEZ received the Walt Whitman Award from theAcademy of American Poets and he is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  His latest book, from the University of Arizona Press, is In the Garden of the Bridehouse. He is the Poetry Editor of NOEMI Press and his poetry has been anthologized in Ahsahta Press’s The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral, Rescue Press’s The New Census: 40 American Poets, and Counterpath Press’ Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin @ Writing.

EMILY J. LORDI is an assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature (Rutgers UP, 2013). Her music reviews and other works of cultural criticism appear on New Black Man, The Feminist Wire, The New Inquiry, and The Root. She is writing a book on Donny Hathaway (Bloomsbury 33 ⅓ series) and a musical-literary history of the concept of “soul.”


BONK! 74





6PM (doors open 5:30!)

Mark your calendars…
2014 Event Schedule

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