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Monday, Dec. 8, 2008

Peel-Apart Poetry

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Poets are eminently resourceful. It seems they'll find inspiration anywhere: a well-shaped vase, a fertile patch of earth, even the unglamorous interior of a bus. It was while working as an office temp that Milwaukee poet and UW-Milwaukee graduate Keith Gaustad was provided with reams and reams of removable sticky paper, and it was while riding a bus that he finally figured out what to do with it. Inspired by the snatches of verse pasted to the luggage compartment, he decided to use his newfound stash to create a magazine made of poetry and prose that you could peel apart and apply anywhere.

Gaustad named the magazine Burdock after the paper it's printed on, and the first issue, published in fall 2006, featured the poetry and prose of both students and seasoned poets, including his friends Zach Pieper, Jim Chapson and the late James Liddy. The magazine's fifth issue, published a month after Liddy's death in November, pays homage to one of its first and most regular contributors. A picture of Liddy taken by Gaustad on a trip to Ireland-Liddy's native country-graces the cover, and the book contains Liddy's poetry as well as a tribute to the late poet written by Gaustad himself. Although he says that the magazine was largely put together before Liddy's death and isn't a full tribute, he notes that "[Liddy] kind of permeates the whole thing."

The Burdock release party takes place at Woodland Pattern Book Center on Friday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. Some of the contributors, including Chapson, Tyler Farrell and Paul Vogel, will be present as well as Gaustad. Copies of the new issue are available for purchase at Woodland Pattern and some Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops.

Also coming to Woodland Pattern this week is "Reflaction," an afternoon of language, movement and music by Theatre Gigante co-Artistic Director Mark Anderson, semi-retired dancer and choreographer Cate Deicher and composer, performer and impresario Thomas Gaudynski.

"Although we have known each other for 25 years, this is the first time we'll be working together," Gaudynski says.

He describes the event as "a simultaneity type of concept-we'll be performing independently but at the same time," he notes. In an effort to heighten its spontaneity, he adds, "We haven't rehearsed together, so we don't know what's going to happen 'til we perform it!"

"Reflaction" takes place Sunday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for members and $6 for the general public.