Oscar Mireles

“This will be the first-ever ‘Share the Word’ event. We’ve invited a lot of people and it is open to the public,” says Madison’s Poet Laureate Oscar Mireles. “We really want this to be a very diverse event.”

“Share the Word” is a gathering of Madison-area poets, writers, spoken-word performers, hip-hop artists, and storytellers that will bring the Madison writing community together to share ideas, showcase their works, and, hopefully, spawn innovative collaborations. The event will take place at Central Library in downtown Madison on Friday, May 5, 5-7:30 p.m.

One of Mireles’s responsibilities and pleasures as Madison’s Poet Laureate is to look at ways to bring poetry to the community as well as bringing the community to writing, in general, and to poetry, in particular. He is adamant about wanting to help bring the writing community together as a whole.

“That includes writers and poets, arts organizations, individuals on campus,” Mireles tells Madison365. “It will be an opportunity to network and to hopefully forge new and interesting collaborations and partnerships.”

In conjunction with the Madison Public Library, “Share the Word” is a brand-new event that has a whole lot of potential.

“Part of the geneis of ‘Share the Word’ was that the public library had a competition for the ‘Library Takeover,’ to get more ideas from the community and then pull them together,” Mireles says. Library Takeover was designed to encourage the community to take over the library by providing space, time, and resources for community members to host their own events, helping to set the stage for future library programming that involves and reflects all of Madison.

Dana Maya
Dana Maya

The Share the Word Library Takeover team includes Mireles, Diana Gonzalez, Joey Phelps and Zora Beach. Library Takeover is funded through a grant from the Madison Public Library Foundation and managed by Madison Public Library.

The event will kick off with a social hour featuring artists who will perform at the event including:
• Paul Weigel, a local poet and owner of Fox River Poetry Company, who is dedicated to providing quality, customized poems.
• Dana Maya will have a Spontaneous Writing Booth set up for writers/poets to participate in. Maya is originally from Colorado, has family roots in Mexico, and has lived for the last 11 years in Madison
• Golpe Tierra will perform acoustic music. Golpe Tierra, which in Spanish means “beating the earth,” bases its sound on just that philosophy.

Golpe Tierra
Golpe Tierra

“There will be a brief program of about 40 minutes, and then we will have people sitting around tables talking about collaboration,” Mireles says. “It will be a chance to talk about possibilities and to move forward from there. There will be food, music, drinks.”

The program will feature Rob Dz, who will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies. Rob Dz combines elements of jazz, R&B, funk and Gospel with a talented wordsmithing to make a sound unlike any other in music.

Rob Dz
Rob Dz

Buggin Malone will perform at the event. His musical writings and production are reflections of his life experiences, his passions, and his philosophy on life. While very proud of being Oneida, he never fails to forget that he is of blended tribes – Prairie Band Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Stockbridge-Munsee.

The program will also feature Fabu Phillis Carter, professionally known as Fabu, who was appointed Madison’s Poet Laureate in 2008 and served in that position until 2011 and Australian-born Katrin Talbot, who has published two books including Freeze-Dried Love (Finishing Line Press) and St. Cecilia’s Daze (Parallel Press).


Co-sponsoring organizations for “Share the Word” include the Madison Arts Commission, Dane Arts, First Wave Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), Wisconsin Book Festival, Arts + Literature + Laboratory (ALL), Madison Public Library and Madison Public Library Foundation.

You don’t have to be a spoken-word artist or a poet to come to the event, Mireles says. You just have to be a fan.

“It’s Gallery Night that night so you can come to this event and still have a chance to see some of the other events at Gallery Night,” Mireles says. “’Share the Word’ should be an interesting time full of entertainment, networking and fun. If you’re new to town, you will meet a lot of interesting people that are involved in writing.”

Registration is required for “Share the Word.” Register online here or call 608-266-6300.