About The Event

This month’s BONK! event will be held on Saturday, November 11th from 6 pm to 8:00 pm at The Racine Public Library (75 7th Street, Racine, WI 53403) and streamed on Facebook Live at the BONK! Facebook page. Hosted by Esteban Colon, the show will feature poets Ayesha Montgomery, Kathryn Gahl, and Alex Reilly as well as musical duo, Wattle & Daub.

About The Performers

Ayesha Montgomery is the creator and sole contributor to the blog 300triedbywater.com. A master of arts graduate from Western Illinois University, she is a published and performing poet with four books and four journals. Her book, Bright Side of the Pale Moon was accepted into the Indie Illinois Author collection for poetry via BiblioBoard. She has been featured in spoken word events in Illinois and Wisconsin. Currently, She is hosting a poetry program at Racine Library called Thoughtful Words Poetry Workshop.

Kathryn Gahl began writing as a farm kid and kept writing through dual degrees in English and nursing, a career as nurse manager, and parenting a daughter and son, alone. Her multi-genre works appear in many journals and have won numerous awards, including Outstanding Achievement by the Wisconsin Library Association for The Velocity of Love. Another book, The Yellow Toothbrush: A Memoir of Trauma and Mercy, was shortlisted for Best Poetry Book of 2023 by the Wisconsin Library Association. Cornerstone Press selected Messengers of the Gods for its Portage Poetry Series. Other books include Hard Life, Hard Love and Life Drawing Class. An avid ballroom dancer, Kathryn believes in the power of dark chocolate, deep sleep, and red lipstick. Learn more about her at www.kathryngahl.com

Alex Reilly has been writing poetry since they were young. Now, their work blends prose and slam styles, often tackling poignant social justice issues. Alex’s poetry has been published in “Left of the Lake” literary magazine and “Wisconsin’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology” A dedicated member of the BONK! community since 2016, Alex assumed the role of assistant director in 2021. Their passion for social justice issues led them to first participate, then coordinate the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event at BONK! multiple years in a row. Outside of BONK!, Alex indulges in their love of the written word through reading and writing both poetry and fiction as well as playing videogames, making arts and crafts, and running an online haven for those in the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.

Wattle & Daub, a folk music duo hailing from northern Illinois, embodies a genuine acoustic sound deeply rooted in their unwavering passion for folk music traditions. Comprising husband and wife singer-songwriters, Tim and Susan Mocarski, their mission is to preserve and invigorate folk culture through active participation, social commentary, and entertainment. They’ve graced stages at prominent festivals like the Newport Folk Festival, Tall Tales Music Festival, Woodstock Folk Festival, and the Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Festival, and are regular performers at Midwest folk music venues. Their debut album “Struggles and Love” received critical acclaim, and their subsequent works, like “Middle of the Road” and “Trees in the Breeze,” continue to explore personal experiences and reflections on the world. Their music, characterized by simple vocals and minimal instrumentation, invites audience participation and evokes the storytelling traditions.

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