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 liamcallanan.com.
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 thebonknessmonster.com
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 www.onelovepoetics.com

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

October 8, 2014


BONK! is back at the Racine Arts Council for its 6th birthday with a few homespun Wisconsin favorites!


Poet                      Nick Ramsey

Poet                      Jean Prestonton

Poet                      Max Garland


Don’t forget to pick up a free copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury at the Racine Public Library or one of the other locations listed here and attend as many events as you can for The Big Read! 

BONK! 73



316 6th STREET


6PM (doors open 5:30!)

Mark your calendars…
2014 Event Schedule

July 25, 2014



This month, BONK! is making the trek out to the Eco-Justice center once again!

There will be poetry and music and fluffy animals!




Poet/Music AM Ringwalt

Poet Joe Hall

Music Naomi Marie

AM RINGWALT is a writer and musician (Anne Malin) from Racine, Wisconsin and currently studying in Boston, Massachusetts. Most recently, her words have appeared in: “Whole Beast Rag;” “DUM DUM Zine: Punks and Scholars;” “The Interlochen Review;” and “BROWN GOD.” Last year, she was a YoungArts finalist in fiction and a US Presidential Scholar in the Arts semi-finalist. Ringwalt’s debut chapbook entitled “Like Cleopatra” is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. More information about her work can be found at annemalinringwalt.tumblr.com
JOE HALL is the author of three books of poetry: “Pigafetta Is My Wife” (Black Ocean 2010), “The Devotional Poems” (Black Ocean 2013), and, in collaboration with Chad Hardy, “The Container Store” Volumes I & II (SpringGun 2012). He currently resides with fellow poet Cheryl Quimba in Buffalo, New York where he is studying commons, excess, and waste flows. Learn more about his work at joehalljoehall.wordpress.com
NAOMI MARIE is a born and bred Midwestern minstrel of sorts. Transplanted from the rich musical culture of the twin cities, she has discovered a fresh folk sound and form from the third coast of Lake Michigan. Having recently released her first full length, Primary Colors, in May of 2014, she sets to connect with friends, fans and artists in continued pursuit of her music’s authentic expressions. For more information about her music and schedule go to naomimariemusic.org
Please check out this link for our friend Marco Jaimez’s Kickstarter and consider supporting so he can get his album recorded and share it with the world!
BONK! 71


6PM (doors open 5:00!)

June 11, 2014

This month, BONK! is bringing you not three, but FOUR fantastic artists.
Bring your 3D glasses because BONK! is happening in three artistic dimensions, with poetry, music, and visual art!
Poet                                   Hakim Bellamy
Poet                                     Peter Davis
Music                                 Milo & Otis
Visual Artist                   Walking Easel                    

HAKIM BELLAMY became the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque in 2012, at age 33. He is the son of a preacher man (and a praying woman). His mother gave him his first book of poetry as a teen, a volume by Khalil Gibran. Many poems later, Bellamy has been on two national champion poetry slam teams, a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion, and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico.  He has been published in numerous anthologies and on inner-city buses. An educator, musician, actor, journalist, playwright and community organizer, Bellamy has acquired many awards and accolades, including the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association and honorable mention for the Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize at the University of New Mexico. Bellamy is the founder and president of Beyond Poetry LLC. For more information on the author, please visit www.hakimbe.com.
PETER DAVIS  books of poetry are Hitler’s Mustache, Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! and TINA. He lives in Muncie, Indiana with his wife and kids.  More information is available at artisnecessary.com.
M&O:  In an era dominated by manufactured noise, M&O, fka Milo & Otis, have carved out a musical haven for listeners seeking an authentic respite. Jamila Woods (“Milo”—vocals, loop pedal, poetry) and Owen Hill (“Otis” — bass guitar, imagination, production) are the two behind this earthy sound, which harks back to the heyday of R&B with a blend of what can only be labeled “Adventure Soul.” Adventure Soul is a road trip for your mind, a whizzing subway car for your heart, and sometimes even a party limo for your tuckus.
WALKING EASEL is a movement that promotes freedom, individual creativity and artistic expression founded in 2013 by Racine residents Justin McKinley and Bradley Shaw.  Through inspiration received from their surroundings and culture, Justin and Bradley are able to transform their lifestyles into fine art and fashion.
BONK! 70




6PM (doors open 5:00!)


Be sure to mark your calendar for the 6th annual Dan Jam music festival! BONK! master Nick Demske will be performing, along with BONK! alumni such as Katie LaFond, Aaron Lundquist, Nick Ramsey, and Folkswagon.
All proceeds go to the Racine County Food Bank.


Mark your calendars…
2014 Event Schedule 
Saturday, August 23rd
@ The Eco-Justice Center
Anne Malin Ringwalt
Joe Hall
Naomi Marie
Sunday, September 7th
Root River Festival–details TBA
Saturday, November 22nd
Jericho Brown
J. Michael Martinez

Emily Lordi


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