Watershed: Bullets into Bells Reading

Every year tens of thousands of Americans—including more than 400 people in Wisconsin alone—are killed by guns. Those losses warp and sometimes shatter even more lives. A new anthology from Beacon Press, Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence, gives voice to the lived reality behind the devastating statistics. This reading marks the release of an important new anthology of poets and citizens responding to gun violence in America. The reading features Khary Penebaker whose mother died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, along with local poets Cynthia Marie Hoffman, Laurel Bastian, Dana Maya, and Angie Trudell Vasquez.

Books will be available for purchase at the reading, with thanks to A Room of One's Own, Madison's independent bookstore since 1975. 

Khary Penebaker

Khary Penebaker is a husband, father, and successful businessman who isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right. His strong moral values have served him well and shaped him into the tenacious leader he is today. After completing his bachelor’s degree from UW-Milwaukee, he embarked upon a successful, nearly twenty-year-long career in the roofing industry. He currently serves as President of Roofed Right America. In 2016, Penebaker challenged incumbent Jim Sensenbrenner for his Congressional seat. His campaign highlighted issues of education, jobs and public safety. When he was 20 months old, Khary’s mother shot and killed herself when she was only 27. Khary’s mother’s gun suicide is what sparked his advocacy with gun violence prevention. Additionally, he has been actively involved with education, from his own children’s educational achievements to worker skill training, as well as being a strong champion for women’s reproductive rights. Khary is a proud board member of Planned... Read More

Laurel Bastian

Laurel Bastian is a former Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing; while there she founded and taught with the Writers in Prisons Project. Her work has appeared in The Missouri Review, Drunken Boat, Cream City Review and other journals. She’s worked in civil rights enforcement and fair housing law, and currently teaches at the UW-Madison School of Business.

Cynthia Marie Hoffman poet

Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of Paper Doll Fetus and Sightseer, as well as the chapbook Her Human Costume. Her third collection, Call Me When You Want to Talk about the Tombstones, will be published in spring, 2018. Hoffman is a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Director’s Guest at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Her poems have appeared in jubilat, Pleiades, Fence, Blackbird, diode, The Journal, and elsewhere.

Madison WI Poet Dana Maya

Dana Maya is from the Mexican diaspora by way of Colorado. She did graduate studies in US minority literatures, Chican@ literature and culture, and queer theory. She’s been published in Feminist Formations, Volta, the anthologies Listen to Your Mother, and Basta: 100+ Latinas against Gender Violence, and is active in public writing projects such as the Spontaneous Writing Booth in Madison. Her work examines the dynamics of marginality and exclusion in race, gender, sexuality, mental illness, and, in a piece written for Planned Parenthood, abortion and mothering.

Angie Trudel Vasquez Wisconsin poet

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, the San Diego Poetry Annual 2015-2016, Subtle Forces, and Return to the Gathering Place of the Waters. She has work forthcoming in the Raven Chronicles and Cloudthroat. She was nominated for a Pushcart in 2014 for her essay, "The Making of the Latina Monologues." Since 2005 she has worked for the ACLU of Wisconsin and developed their youth poetry program. Her work has been performed on stage in Portland, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Her op eds have reached millions. She has her own press, Art Night Books, and has self-published two collections of her own work, The Force Your Face Carries and Love in War Time. Art Night Books will resume publishing other’s work now that she is done with... Read More

Ready to Visit?

Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.


Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Stay up to date on upcoming programs and opportunities through our monthly newsletter.