By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 18, 2003 at 5:04 AM

Woodland Pattern Book Center hosts two top-notch poetry readings by four poets with backgrounds in different genres and cultures and who have lived in places from Racine to Europe.

First, Todd Thilleman and Basil King read Sat., Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. King, a London-native, came to the U.S. in 1947 to study painting and writing at Black Mountain College. In the early 1970s, he and two others founded Mulch magazine and Mulch Press, which later published one of Beat writer Allen Ginsbergs' works.

Thilleman, born and raised in Racine, moved to New York at the age of 18 and worked for a brief period with Pace Editions.Years later, he started the reading series at CBGB's 313 Gallery on the Bowery and now produces (with his wife, Katya Edwards) fiction, poetry and art books through their small press Spuyten Duyvil.

Poets Nathaniel Mackey and Michael Zerang tag-team a reading on Sat., March 1 at 7 p.m. Mackey, who is also a novelist, intertwines the poetry and music of many cultures. A noted scholar of jazz, African, Latin American and Caribbean mythologies and histories, the ritual energies of these cultures inform his poetry, which question boundaries and enact a correspondence across these cultures.


Zerang, who was born in Chicago in 1958, is a professional musician, composer and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition and international musical forms. He has collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in theater. He has over forty titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally with and ever-widening pool of collaborators.

Both readings have a $6 cover ($5 for members) and take place at the Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 N. Locust St. in Riverwest. Call (414) 263-5001 for more information.