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About meWoodland Pattern Book Center was founded as a non-profit organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Riverwest neighborhood by Anne Kingsbury and Karl Gartung in 1979. The name "Woodland Pattern" was chosen from a passage in Paul Metcalf's Apalache: "South of Lake Superior, a culture center, the Woodland Pattern, with pottery but without agriculture..." Thanks to the hard work and sustained effort of volunteers, Woodland Pattern became a nationally recognized cultural hub, and the staff (we are paid now!) is still working hard to uphold this vitality.

The center houses a bookstore with over 25,000 small press titles otherwise unavailable in our area. Because we are nonprofit, our inventory decisions aren't dictated by commercialism. As booksellers and as presenters of art and literature, we want people to know that there is more than what you see at your chain book store, more than you are taught in school, more than what is reviewed in the papers. We hope to act as a catalyst, putting readers together with small press literature. Come browse our selection of poetry, chapbooks, fine print materials, broadsides, and multicultural literature. We think you'll be impressed!

Our space also includes an art gallery where we present exhibitions, artist talks, readings, experimental films, concerts and writing workshops for adults and children.

About my libraryWoodland Pattern's bookstore specializes in literature from small and independent presses and is well-stocked with over 25,000 titles.

The poetry section is among the best in the world, and has a comprehensive blend of classics and contemporary works, translations, and poets from all schools. Several ethnic sections include (but are by no means limited to) more poetry from African American/Black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Native American writers. Nearly half (roughly 12,000 titles) of our space is devoted to poetry, a commitment that few organizations can claim to match.

Thanks to the loving care of our distribution manager, Carolyn Elmer, the Native American section is also quite well known. With special attention given to regional tribes, we have a full offering of literature, art, history, and contemporary thought from Native writers. Because of our association with the Indian Summer Festival and the We Indians School of Milwaukee, we keep an up-to-date catalog of Native American titles on hand; call for a free copy.

Because we are not driven by profit, we prefer to archive books and keep them in stock at their original prices rather than return them to publishers, which means that you can, if you have the time to spare, find a great buy in almost every section. At the same time, over 700 increasingly collectible books and periodicals have been culled for our expanding Rare Books section. These titles are by and large available by way of ABE Books, and a list of titles is on-hand behind the front desk for general perusal.

We also are very proud of our fine press and broadside collections. Notably, we have a number of broadsides that were printed exclusively for Woodland Pattern in association with poet/author appearances, including pieces by Robert Duncan, Michael Ondaatje, Ron Silliman, Carl Rakosi, Lyn Hejinian, Helen Adams, Jerome Rothenberg, Leslie Marmon Silko, Wendell Berry, Diane Glancy, and many more. The Fine Press drawers contain handmade books by book artists from all over, beautiful letter pressed pieces, delicate chapbooks, and a selection of broadsides from contemporary poets.

Finally, Woodland Pattern has always supported local writers and artists, and has space reserved specifically for work from Wisconsin natives. It is important to us that our neighbors have a place to sell and display their books, especially those who are just beginning to make their mark in the literary world. If you're from the area and you're a poet, bring your book on by: chances are we have some room for it.



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Real nameWoodland Pattern Book Center

Location720 E. Locust Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212

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URLs /profile/woodlandpattern (profile)
/catalog/woodlandpattern (library)

Member sinceAug 26, 2008

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