In the copious annals of independent bookstores, there seems always to be many more stories of brutal defeat than glorious triumph. Over the past 20 years, this supposition has become so much of a hard truth that the inherently happy-go-lucky chroniclers and archivists of the history of print purveyors often turn despondent and grumpy, and even a cup o' tea and a catnap won't snap 'em out of it.
Well today we have good news for the afore mentioned bedraggled lot, and for anyone else who cherishes the warm atmosphere, personal service and distinctive smell of local bookshops: Woodland Pattern Book Center is turing 34 years old and it ain't going anywhere, folks!
"34 years?!" I hear you cry. "How many is that in human years? Like, a thousand?" Uh, close. Not quite, but close.
Anyhoo, founded by Anne Kingsbury and Karl Gartung, Woodland Pattern has been an intellectual and artistic hub in Milwaukee since 1979. The Center's longevity can be ascribed to two things: 1) a laser focus on small press literature that can be found nowhere else in town, and 2) a complete dedication to the arts through exhibitions, live music performances, workshops, and lectures. Ask Amazon if it can do all that. HAHA! Nope, it can't.
To celebrate this grand history and an equally grand future, a gala--that's a fancy shindig--will be held this Friday, November 14. This year's Honorees are author/former Woodland Pattern board member Martha Bergland and tireless, long-time Woodland Pattern supporter Maureen Magee.
Taking the stage as the main event will be poet/activist/musician Edward Sanders with composer/musician Steven Taylor. Never heard of 'em? Well, lemme fill ya in.
Sanders is a founding member of the legendary--and I mean LEGENDARY--group The Fugs, an underground rock band started in 1964 in New York City. At that same time, Sanders was the owner of Peace Eye Bookstore and publisher of the awesomely titled literary journal, Fuck You/A Magazine of the Arts--well, all right! Over the years, Sanders has published numerous books of poetry and prose.
For Steven Taylor's part, he became a member of the Fugs a bit later on and his additional claim to fame is nothing short of fabulous, having worked as a composer performing with none other than Allen Ginsberg for many years. What?! Yeah, you heard me.
Okay, so the Woodland Pattern Anniversary Gala is Friday, November 14, 2014, at the Kenilworth Studios, Sixth Floor Raw Space, 1915 East Kenilworth Place in Milwaukee. There is a reception beginning at 5:30PM and the program begins at 7PM.
I have it on the ultimate authority--and that is via Woodland Pattern's Director of Marketing & Development, Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey--that tickets are still available. Call 414-263-5001 or click on over to the WP website. You can, of course, also stop by the Center itself at 720 E. Locust Street to get your tix and bask in the glow of a bookstore that keeps right on going.
Sounds Take Shape & Courage