Poetry News

New Executive Director(s) Named at Woodland Pattern

By Harriet Staff
Woodland Pattern Book Center

This just in: Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one of the great poetry-centered bookstores and community spaces in the nation, has named not one, but TWO new executive directors to lead the organization. Congratulations to Jenny Gropp and Laura Solomon, who take over from founder and current ED, Anne Kingsbury. The announcement was made in an email newsletter and on the organization's Instagram feed. A little from the newsletter:

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you the new Executive Directors of Woodland Pattern, Jenny Gropp and Laura Solomon! Both Jenny and Laura come to Woodland Pattern from the Georgia Review in Athens, Georgia. They both have backgrounds in education, publishing, and arts administration, and as poets and enthusiasts for small press literature. We are very excited to bring their knowledge and passion to Milwaukee and Woodland Pattern!

​And you don't have to wait long to meet them in person, Jenny and Laura will be here with us this Saturday (January 27th) at our Annual Poetry Marathon! They will both be reading in the 4pm hour! Please join us in welcoming them to Woodland Pattern and celebrate with us, our present and future, together.

Laura first fell for Woodland Pattern when she visited in 2011 to give a reading. The next day, she spent hours in the bookstore trying to whittle down what to purchase before finally deciding on the first issue of a slim, stapled journal called Paper Nautilus from the UK that features work by three poets, one of them Alice Notley.

Jenny learned about Woodland Pattern years ago when she met now-former Woodland Pattern employee Robert Baumann through good friends from graduate school. She remembers looking up the center and thinking it was incredibly cool, and has followed its activities from afar ever since.

A few goals Laura and Jenny have as they step into the position are:

  • To continue developing the relationships already established by Anne, Karl, WP’s board, and current staff while also seeking new opportunities for local, regional, and national partnerships as well as community participation.
  • To work toward chronicling WP’s rich, vibrant history under Anne Kingsbury’s directorship and Karl Gartung’s co-foundership by means of a definitive critical text on the center’s first four decades.
  • To celebrate WP’s upcoming 40th anniversary in 2019 as a homecoming for all those who’ve passed through the center’s doors—whether as staff, volunteers, board members, or as visiting writers and artists.​

We're thrilled to see Woodland Pattern continuing on in good hands.

Originally Published: January 26th, 2018