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'Poetry Unplugged' marks 20th anniversary with reunion showcase

Milwaukee Film

This story first appeared on HYFIN. For more, visit

Milwaukee’s longest-running poetry open mic is celebrating 20 years of language and compelling narratives in the Cream City. I sat down with the remarkable founder and host of Poetry Unplugged, Kwabena Nixon, to embark on a deep dive into the impact of the decades-long, esteemed event.

Salam Fatayer and Poetry Unplugged founder Kwabena Nixon
Salam Fatayer and Poetry Unplugged founder Kwabena Nixon

Use the player at the top of the page to listen to the conversation that explores the roots of Poetry Unplugged, and its ties to the 1997 movie Love Jones and Nina Simone. You’ll also learn about the event's influence on Milwaukee’s creative community and why now, more than ever, a gathering of spoken-word artists is a movement.

In partnership with Milwaukee Film’s Cultures and Communities Festival, Poetry Unplugged will celebrate its 20th anniversary Wednesday, Oct. 11 at The Cooperage. It promises to be a curated evening with an array of captivating performances. The lineup features a stellar cast of both local and nationally acclaimed poets, accompanied by special guest performers. Find tickets here.

Audio Storyteller / 88Nine On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee