December to March
Wednesdays: 7 - 9 pm
writers read from & discuss their work
Writers in residence will read from and discuss their work Wednesday evenings from December 2020 to March 2021. It’s the perfect mid-week pause to reconnect with meaningful language.
Winter Writers Reading Series events are held Wednesdays, from 7-9 p.m. via Zoom. This is a rare opportunity to engage award-winning authors in small group conversation. Don’t miss out!
We are delighted to announce a nearly full schedule as follows:
December 9: Matt Blessing
January 16: David Southward
January 6: Krista Eastman
February 10: Kimberly Blaeser
February 24: Jacquelyn Thomas
March 3: Susan Martell Huebner
March 10: William Stobb
March 17: Thomas Davis
March 24: Dean Robbins
Other writers and/or open mic nights or special events may be scheduled on open Wednesdays during the Winter Writers Reading Series. Check here, follow us on Facebook, or better yet, sign up for the Shake Rag Alley News below and we’ll send you monthly updates!
Our Winter Writers Reading Series Partners
September to November
coming together to share a good book
Together with the Mineral Point Public Library and Mineral Point School District libraries, Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts invites the public to come together during the rescheduled NEA Big Read of “Citizen: An American Lyric” beginning Sept. 24 and running through November.
Originally scheduled for April, a month of activities had been planned around Claudia Rankine’s award-winning innovative work of poetry, prose, and art that addresses the individual and collective effects of racism. But when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the statewide shutdown this spring, the NEA Big Read was put on hold and a program of free and largely virtual events is being developed for this fall.
“When our NEA Big Read Committee chose ‘Citizen’ from among more than 30 books for its use of poetry and art to explore the impact words have on concepts of identity and inclusion, we could not have anticipated the nationwide protests against systemic racism touched off this summer by George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis,” said Shake Rag Alley Executive Director Sara Lomasz Flesch. “Claudia Rankine’s book remains as relevant as when it was first published in 2014 and turned a spotlight on the microaggressions that compound the trauma of racism.”
In preparation for the NEA Big Read, free copies of “Citizen” are available to program participants. Copies are available now at the Mineral Point Public Library and at Shake Rag Alley. Additional resources are available on the NEA Big Read page, including reading guides, video lectures and audio recordings of the Virtual Community Conversation series on systemic racism hosted in June-August.
September to November events are mostly virtual and include:
• Virtual Kick-off Event
• Guest Talk: Writing About Race
• Guest Talk: James Baldwin in Paris
• Book Discussions
• Women’s Art Parties
• Panel Discussion: Citizen Author and the American Story
• Youth make-and-take art kits
• Additional Virtual Community Conversations as they develop
For more information and to register for NEA Big Read events, use the button below, visit our catalog of free events, send an email, or call (608)987-3292.
Friday - Sunday
write alongside other writers
Join us for the fourth annual Writing Retreat at Shake Rag Alley, open to writers of all levels. Enrich your talent and prospects in this charming art community and old mining town. Choose one of three genres taught by either Patricia Ann McNair (Memoir and Personal Essay; Retreat Artistic Director), Christine Rice (Short Story), or Shawn Shiflett (The New Novel) for an in-depth workshop that will challenge you across the three days. These workshop directors are award-winning published authors and active, experienced teachers of writing.
Interwoven around these main workshops will be optional and inspiring creative activities, including talks on Writing About Race with Eric May, and Baldwin in Paris with Philip Hartigan, a panel discussion on Alternatives in Publishing, a Faculty and Local Author Reading, Open Mics, and a craft talk on narrative distance with Sarah Hammond that will make for a retreat jam-packed with opportunities to learn, share, network and write.
Manuscript consultations are available with instructors on a first sign up, first served basis, at a very affordable price.
We are pleased to work in partnership with Hypertext Magazine & Studio, a social justice writing nonprofit organization.
2 – 4 pm
workshop poems & deepen your craft
Driftless Poets meet on the second Saturday of each month at 2 pm either virtually via Zoom or on the Shake Rag Alley campus.
New poets are always welcome, but only those who have submitted work one week prior to the workshop will receive feedback and critique. Poets take turns leading the workshops by sharing a poem that demonstrates a form or craft technique and monitoring time.
What to Expect
In a writing workshop, a group of people engage in intensive discussion during a time set aside to focus on and improve one’s craft. Driftless Poets meet monthly to learn from one another by listening carefully to feedback on work submitted to the group.
How to Participate
The Driftless Poets workshops are free and no registration is required, but an email RSVP is appreciated.
For more information: (608) 987-3292.
Readings & Resources
Creative Writing Library
Several shelves of writing related books are available in the Art Cafe. Most are available for circulation, and include:
- literary & small press journals
- poetry, fiction & nonfiction anthologies
- craft & marketing guides
Meeting outdoors for social distancing.
Hold Your Own Events at Shake Rag Alley
Campus Map: Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts
18 Shake Rag Street
restrooms4 of 32 restrooms 5 of 32
Open Air Parking6 of 32
Lind Pavilion Parking7 of 32 Roadside Parking
allowed on Commerce Street 8 of 32
Smejas’ Studio parking9 of 32
30 Doty Street
as indicated 11 of 32
with curb cut
Alley Stage13 of 32
1830 Log Cabin
Federal Spring19 of 32
Monarch Garden20 of 32
411 Commerce Street
two blocks to
High Street & Commerce Street
Restaurants, Shops & Galleries
622 Dodge Street 23 of 32
Street Parking with Additional Parking behind Smejas’ Studio24 of 32 The Green
open air park 25 of 32 Stair Steps
Cabinet Shop & Lind Pavilion 26 of 32 Stair Steps
to Alley Stage 27 of 32 Stone Bridge
Federal Spring 28 of 32
223 Commerce St.29 of 32
223 Commerce St.30 of 32
The Sardeson Pottery Studio
225 Commerce St.31 of 32
Weaving & Fiber Arts Studio
Cannery Row Arts Incubator
121 Water St.
ADA compliant buildings: Lind Pavilion, Coach House, Smejas’ Studio