Live @ MTM: Poetry Night with Bent Paddle Press

Wednesday, April 05th

Time: 6:00p CT

Where: Mystery to Me (seats are limited, Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Join us for an evening with Bent Paddle Press Poets!

B.J. Best

About B.J. Best

B.J. Best is a poet, writer, interactive fiction creator, game designer, artist, and musician.  He has published seven collections of poetry, most recently “Everything about Breathing” from Bent Paddle Press.  He teaches at Carroll University in Waukesha.


Cover for Everything About Breathing


About In Everything about Breathing

In Everything about Breathing, B.J. Best transmutes the quotidian into the extraordinary through the lens of everyday weather.  Here, thunderstorms record in the studio, gas stations explode into love, and lawn mowers and puddles might whisper prayers.  Through deft imagery and figurative language, Best asks how holiness thrums beneath the daily cycles of our lives.


Thomas Erickson


About Thomas Erickson

Thomas J. Erickson grew up in Kohler, Wisconsin.  He received a B.A. in English Composition from Beloit College and a law degree from Marquette University.  He is an attorney in Milwaukee where he is a member of the Hartford Avenue Poets.  HIs most recent book of poetry is “Cutting the Dusk in Half” (Bent Paddle Press, 2022). 


Cover for Cutting the Dusk in Half


About Cutting the Dusk in Half

“Cutting the Dusk in Half” is full of crisp little stories: courtroom stories, travelling stories, love stories, dog stories and even an incantation to the Gods. One is called “True Stories,” but I suspect they all are that (with room for a little poetic truth stretching, of course). Erickson is candid, philosophical and down-to-earth. He weaves his signature dry humor throughout, knowing exactly how to end a poem with a perfect punch.


Mark Kraushaar


About Mark Kraushaar

Mark Kraushaar’s work has been included in Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, and Yale Reviewwas well as the web site Poetry Dailyand Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, and has been a recipient of Poetry Northwest’s Richard Hugo Award. A full-length collection “Falling Brick Kills Local Man” was published by University of Wisconsin Press as the winner of the 2009 Felix Pollak Prize. His collection, “The Uncertainty Principle” (Waywiser Press), was chosen by James Fenton as winner of the Anthony Hecht Prize. His newest work is “The Ring Toss Lady Breaks a Five (Bent Paddle Press).


Cover for The Ring Toss Lady Breaks a Five


About The Ring Toss Lady Breaks a Five

As the poet Alan Shapiro put it, Kraushaar’s work “is the best counterargument to the specious claim that narrative poetry is either old fashioned, ‘linear’ or predictably ‘conventional.’ His poems have all the excitement and complexity of life as we live it now, together with a depth of speculation that is positively stunning in the light it casts on the intimate nooks and crannies of social experience that all of encounter but either fail to notice or find words for.”

Richard Merelman


About Richard Merelman

Richard Merelman is Professor of Political Science, (Emeritus) University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has published four volumes of poetry including “Sensorium” (Bent Paddle Press) and “A Door Opens” (Fireweed, 2020), which received an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2021 from the Wisconsin Library Association.


Cover for Sensorium


About Sensorium

In “Sensorium,” Merelman finds a way into the human condition with storied, deeply layered poetry. Merelman cares about his poems the way an expert woodsmith does his cabinets. He is an adept wordsmith and exquisite craftsman and polishes his works till they shine.