The Milwaukee Anthology


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The Milwaukee Anthology is a book on hope and hurt in one of America’s toughest ZIP codes. In these pages are the stories of a Grecian basketball superstar in the making against an unlikely backdrop; of Sikh temple services that carry on after one of America’s most notorious mass shootings; of an astronaut’s wish for kids in the same school halls where he formed a dream of space. You won’t find Summerfest or Laverne and Shirley herein, but you will find Riverwest, Sherman Park, and the South Side; Hmong New Year’s shows, 7 Mile Fair, and the Rolling Mill commemoration. Edited by Justin Kern, with personal essays, narratives, poems, Q&As, and art from more than 50 contributors including Dasha Kelly, Pardeep Kaleka, and Michael Perry, it’s a book about a place on the lake that can make you say “yes” and wonder “why” in the same thought.

Justin Kern is a nonprofit communications person and nonfiction writer who lives in Milwaukee with his wife and cats. His words have been published in three Belt anthologies as well as Utne Reader, Great Lakes Review, Buffalo Spree, Forth, Milwaukee Record, Longshot Island and daily newspapers in Wisconsin and western New York. He’s a proud uncle, lifelong amateur musician, and decent horseshoe pitcher.

Table of Contents

Introduction (a.k.a. That’s Their Hard Time) by Justin Kern

Every Day

About Leaving by Dasha Kelly

Gunshots and Carrots by Laura Richard Marshall

My Own Private Mary Nohl House by Cris Siqueira

Our Home in Havenwoods by Toni Edwards

Holton Street from Both Sides by Jabril Faraj

Moving to Milwaukee by Mariella Godinez Munoz

A Brief History of Milwaukee in Four Long Meals by Todd Lazarski

Last Call for Milwaukee’s South Side Taverns by Edgar Mendez

Milwaukee Bus Ride by Jan Chronister

On the Redlining Bus Tour in Milwaukee by Lauren Sieben

Tarzan and the Great River by Cheryl Nenn

Where love is love is love by Alex Rose

“Together We Rise”: on Painting a Sherman Park Community Mural by Tia Richardson

One Man’s Treasure: The Milwaukee Museum Built from Scraps by Rachel Seis

The New Brews That Make Milwaukee Famous by Henry Schwartz

Opening Day and Back Again by Matt Wild

On These Acres by Sue Blaustein

Milwaukee Day by Brent Gohde

Ghosts of Bay View by Ken Germanson

The Art of Labor: A Tour of the Conflicted Grohmann Museum by Callen Harty

The Horseman in Lake Park by Carl A. Swanson

Novices by Bryan Johnston

“How Colorful My Life Has Become”: Four Essays from Students at St. Sava Orthodox School

The Clarke Street School Playground by Frances Assa

From Kanty by Jim Kogutkiewicz

In Person

We Got This by James E. Causey

A List of Sounds That Can Be Heard in Milwaukee by Paige Towers

Hard Time by Elizabeth Harmatys Park

From Athens, with Hops: Giannis Takes Milwaukee by John Gorman

Shorty by Vianca Iliana Fuster

The Heartbeat of a World by Harvey Taylor

“Art is Collaboration”: Xavier Leplae and Riverwest Radio by Zack Pieper

Milwaukee’s Pacific Heritage by Ching-In Chen

Don’t Lose Yourself by Fefe Jaber

Notes from the Seasons by Mark Borchardt

You’re Falling Down on the Job by Matt Cook

Chardi Kala: Reflections on Family, Terror, and Purpose after the Oak Creek Sikh Temple Shooting by Pardeep Kaleka

Alchemy by Jude Genereaux

State of the Arts

Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse by Luke Chappelle

Mixed Feelings at City Hall by Luke Chappelle

Milorganite by Luke Chappelle

Pryor Avenue Iron Well by Luke Chappelle

Sherman Park by Reginald Baylor

Northwestern Mutual HQ by Dug Belan

The Fortress by Dug Belan

Soldier’s Home by Dug Belan

The Street Car by Dug Belan

Out There

Living Like Kings by Catherine Lanser

Exchange Students: Rufus King and Kaukauna High Schoolers Present a Play by Joanne Williams

Every City with a Side by Freesia McKee

More in Store by Maa Vue

A Stand-Up Walks into a Bar by Sammy Arechar

Everything Bruce Lee at Seven Mile Fair in Orange by Robert Earl Thomas

Goldmine; or, The Will and Testament of Gerald Pinski by Diane Reynolds

Words from the Black Box by John J. Mutter, Jr.