The Watershed Reading Series

New Poetry from the Midwest 2017

The Midwest is home to some of the finest poets in America, and New Poetry from the Midwest gives readers a chance to sample that work each year. This reading will launch the 2017 edition of the anthology and feature several of the poets included in the anthology. Whether you want to discover new poets or hear new work by some of your favorites, there's something here for everyone. David Bowen of New American Press will introduce readers and lead a Q&A after the reading.

Slow Lit Reading

We all know community-supported agriculture has played a vital role in supporting local farmers and providing healthier food in Madison. Now you can support local poets and feed your soul through Slow Lit shares at ALL! Three of our participating poets will read at our Slow Lit share-pickup event. 

The Pride Reading

June commemorates the Stonewall uprising of 1969, when gays, lesbians, and transgender people fought back against a police raid, demanding fair treatment. Prior to Stonewall, patrons of gay bars were frequently arrested for wearing fewer than three pieces of “gender appropriate” clothing, beaten, photographed, and fired. From Boston marriages to McCarthyism to the Compton’s Cafeteria protest to AIDS to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to marriage equality and beyond, the history of LGBTQ people is a history of the struggle for personal freedom in America.

Intersections: Writing Where You're From

All of us are a complex mix of identities that are, in large part, informed by where we have been—by the people and the places that we come from. Whether we identify as rural, urban, or suburban; as native, immigrant, or exile, we are marked by place and we make a mark on places we live by how we choose to live. This intersection of place and identity is reflected in the language we use and the stories we tell.

Nasty Women Reading

To celebrate Women’s History Month, ALL is hosting a Nasty Women Reading to benefit Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Readers will use mythical and historical figures as well as their own selves, mothers, daughters, sisters, and lovers to explore what it means to be identified as a “nasty woman.” As one poet writes, “We can learn from this, nasty women.” 

Our featured readers come from Madison, Milwaukee, and Athens, GA. They are Kara Candito, Cindy Carlson, Robin Smith Chapman, Dana Maya, Freesia McKee, Katrina Schaag, and Lindsay Tigue. 

My America

What does it mean to be an American in 2017? What has it ever meant? Join us as these five poets interrogate and celebrate America—our past, present, and future; our successes and heartbreaking failures; our color, our queerness, our desperation, and our hopes. 

Watershed Reading: Advice

According to Oscar Wilde, “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.” Come get some advice, both good and bad, from our lineup of poets. In the darkest times, poets remind us over and over again how to live, how to squeeze out meaning and hope from each day. In the words of one poet, “Find something in the near distance to look forward to.” Start here.


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.