BONK! 129 @ Eco-Justice Center

This month’s BONK! performance series will be held at he Eco-Justice Center, 7133 Michna Road, on Saturday, August 3rd, at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. Featured performers will be: Latinx award-winning poet, Jacob Saenz; Pushcart nominee Erica Hughs; and eclectic jazz/soul/R&B duo B~Free and Quinten Farr.

Jacob Saenz is the author of Throwing the Crown, winner of the 2018 APR/Honickman First Book Prize. His work has appeared in Memorious, PANK, Poetry, Tammy and other journals. A CantoMundo fellow, he’s been the recipient of a Letras Latinas Residency, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship and a 2019 Latinx Scholarship from the Frost Place. He serves as an associate editor for RHINO.

Erica Hughes is an MFA+MA candidate in poetry and University Fellow at Northwestern University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Antigonish Review and BOAAT Journal, among others. And in 2018, she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Hughes has been a participant at the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Foundation workshop as well as the Tin House summer and winter workshops.

Multi-faceted husband and wife combo B~Free and Quinten Farr mark their debut at the Peck Pavilion for a lively duo performance! As fellow Milwaukee HS of the Arts alum, band leaders, educators and frequent fixtures of the local music scene, the pair will bring their modern technique and savvy musical experience to the venue by way of flute, voice, keyboard, synthesizer and loops. With a diverse repertoire steeped in jazz, soul and R&B, the act is sure to be a treat for music lovers of all ages.

BONK! 117 @ The Eco-Justice Center


This month’s BONK! performance series will be held at the Eco-Justice Center, 7133 Michna Road, Racine, WI, on Saturday, August 11th, at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. Featured performers will be modern jazz guitarist, Dave Miller; composer and saxophonist, Jonah Parzen Johnson; and spoken word musician, Discopoet Kari B.

Dave Miller is a truly unique musical product of both Brooklyn and Chicago. Dave Miller (Algernon, Cuneiform Records; Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, Delmark Recordings; Jazz at Lincoln Center; Joe Policastro Trio, Jeru Jazz) finds his newest instrumental iteration in the psychedelic-roots songwriting of Old Door Phantoms. Lingering melodies and vintage tones juxtapose against guitar experimentalism and jangly, hypnotic rhythms. Grammy-winning music journalist, Neil Tesser, cites Miller “among my favorite modern guitarists” ( The broad-minded musician’s “impressive flexibility” can range “from carefully structured improvisations to complementary texture and color” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader) while still “making a listener feel inches from the guitar” (Mark Keresman, New York City Jazz Record). For his summer 2018 tour in support of the release, Miller will be performing these songs in a very special intimate solo setting.

Jonah Parzen Johnson is a Brooklyn NY based saxophonist & composer. His third solo album was released by Clean Feed Records in July 2017. His solo music combines baritone saxophone with analog synthesizers to make unedited, un-looped, solo experimental music. He recently completed a successful European tour, as well as a complete North American releases tour, last July. Jonah has been featured in many press outlets including the NY Times, LA Times, Downbeat Magazine, XL8R, Impose Magazine, and All About Jazz. Highlights of the tour include headlining shows at Cultergest (Lisbon, Portugal), Union Pool (NYC), The Hungry Brain (Chicago), and Bootleg Theater (LA), as well as appearances at Suoni Per il Popolo Festival (Montreal), The CMG Improvisors Summit (Portland OR), Le Zorba in (Paris, France), Bar Mirwaar (Ghent, Belgium).

Khari B., also known as Discopoet Khari B. is a spoken word musician, author and educator working internationally in the literary art. He is the founder of Discopoetry Arts & Edutainment Collective. He’s recorded two albums, appeared on several others, produced and directed numerous multidisciplinary productions and has taught the art and lectured in schools across the world in the last ten years. A recent Chair of the Association for the Advancement of the Creative Musicians (AACM), Khari led the organization into their 50th anniversary, being instrumental in producing some of their most exciting, celebratory programming in years. Presently he is the Artist-In-Residence at the prestigious Purdue University while continuing to teach, create, produce and perform wherever he is called with his philosophy “Make it happen.”

BONK!sgiving All Ages Event


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.

BONK! 107 @ Eco-Justice Center


Come make some new animal friends as you enjoy poetry and music at the Eco-Justice Center! For more about the center, or for driving directions, click here.


Tom Montag, a poet and essayist from Fairwater WI, is the author of the memoir CURLEW:HOME and the poetry collections MIDDLE GROUND, THE BIG BOOK OF BEN ZEN, and IN THIS PLACE: COLLECTED POEMS 1982-2013. His other books of prose include KISSING POETRY’S SISTER and THE IDEA OF THE LOCAL. In 1982, Montag and his wife Mary founded the WISCONSIN POETS’ CALENDAR, which they edited and published for three years. His poem “Lecturing My Daughter in Her First Fall Rain” was incorporated into the design of the Convention Center in Milwaukee, along with the work of 50 other Wisconsin writers. With David Graham, he is editing an anthology of poetry about American small towns.

Angie Trudell Vasquez received her MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts in May 2017. In 2016, she was a poetry panelist at Split This Rock! Her poems have been published most recently in the Yellow Medicine Review, Raven Chronicles, the San Diego Poetry Annual 2015-2016, Subtle Forces and Return to the Gathering Place of the Waters. She has work forthcoming in the Taos Journal of Poetry and Cloudthroat. Her short stories have appeared most recently in Rumpus online and Basta! 100+ Latina Against Gender Violence. She was nominated for a Pushcart in 2014 for her essay, “The Making of the Latina Monologues.” She was the featured poet for the Latina Monologues from 2009 to 2011. She has her own press, Art Night Books, and will resume publishing other people’s work in 2018. She has been working with the ACLU of Wisconsin since 2005 and developed their youth poetry program.

Kai Andersen and The Pickups are an Americana indie rock band from Kenosha WI. Along with the front man of the self-titled group, the band also features Patrick Greer. They have been featured on stages in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Georgia, Arizona and all over the Midwest. The band released an EP, called Part 1, this past February — a collection of five songs that have an “overriding love theme with a twist.” Part 2 is slated to be released this fall.

BONK! 95 @ Eco-Justice Center

Writer                 Tara Betts
Music                  Mesha Arant                 
Writer                  Philip Metres
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.


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.

 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.


BONK! 95
6 PM (doors open 5:30)



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

BONK! 83 @ Eco-Justice Center



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!

BONK! 83





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

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