Bitch in the Brew City

woodland pattern

I am in love with Milwaukee (and the poetry chapbook collection at Woodland Pattern, part of which is shown above). 

Thank you, Milwaukee folks, for making the last stop of my tour around the Midwest so incredible. I met (and reconnected with) so many amazing people doing great work, particularly in community organizing, education, union organizing, and independent publishing. I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with three incredible independent bookstores: Broad Vocabulary, an awesome feminist bookstore (and when they say feminist they don't mean limited to "books for women by women" – they also hold a comprehensive collection of radical political texts) where the Feminism In/Action discussion was held; People's Books, a a 30-year-old-but-newly-collectivized radical bookstore of which I got a tour and history lesson; and last but certainly not least, Woodland Pattern, where the Bitch fundraiser was held, a beautiful nonprofit bookstore that houses over 25,000 small press titles otherwise unavailable in the area.

Huge thanks to long-time Bitch supporter/contributor Jackie Lalley, who organized an amazing weekend of events, including the benefit at Woodland Pattern.


Lucky for us, Faith Levine's incredible art exhibit devoted to craft was also opening the same weekend, and Faith shared some remarks about the show. Titled Devotion to Thread, Faith curated an array of artists using sewing, needlework, and hand and machine embroidery. Not surprisingly, the highlight for most visitors was the embroidery featuring women snorting cocaine. Wow. 

embroidered cocaine

Huge thanks to performers Stephanie Rearick, who came from Madison to play again and Heidi Spencer, part of Milwaukee's local music scene. And huge thanks to everyone who came out to support our work. 

The previous night Jackie hosted another evening of fundraising for us, which included a hilarious competition of Guitar Hero. Now I know I tend to live under a rock when it comes to video games, but seriously, I'd never seen anything like this. It was pretty awesome. (And I love Courtney's shirt, below.)


And we also busted out the Bitch temporary tattoos. Here's Brian modeling his...


I can't wait to come back. Thank you all so much again!   

by Debbie Rasmussen
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