FELIX BLOG

About

FELIX: A Series of New Writing is dedicated to providing an audience in Madison, Wisconsin for new writing and experimental literary events. Founded in 2003, the series has been committed to showcasing the work of writers and editors involved in small or independent presses. In 2012, this mission was expanded to highlight our interest in new and innovative work by writers who experiment with publishing, genre, performance, new media and technology, and the boundaries between the arts and between disciplines. The FELIX series aims to create dynamic literary events for the university and larger Madison literary community.

The series is named after Felix Pollak, a poet and longtime UW-Madison librarian with a special love for and dedication to small literary magazines. Pollak, a Jew and a liberal anti-fascist, studied law and theater in his native Vienna before emigrating to the United States following the German occupation of Austria in 1938. Pollak earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan and worked for several years in the Northwestern University Library’s Special Collections before coming to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1959 as a curator of rare books. While at the UW-Madison, Pollak took on responsibility for developing the Sukov collection (now known as the Little Magazine Collection), one of the nation’s finest collections of small literary magazines, many of which were published by independent presses. He retired from this position in 1974, and remained active in Madison’s cultural and literary community until his death in 1987. Just after his death, Ron Wallace, the founder (in 1975) and co-director of the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published a detailed tribute to Pollak in the March 1988 issue of The Wisconsin Academy Review. Wallace is currently the Felix Pollak Professor of Poetry at UW-Madison and edits the University of Wisconsin Press Poetry Series, which, since 1994, has awarded an annual Felix Pollak prize.

The FELIX reading series is currently curated by a group of UW-Madison graduate students in the Literary Studies English Ph.D. program: Sunny Chan, Rachel Carroll, Sara Thomas, and Amy Gaeta. The series was founded in 2003 by David Pavelich and Barry Osborne, and past curators have included  Rebecca Steffy Couch, Anna Vitale, Jennifer Conrad, Lisa Hollenbach, Ray Hsu, Hai-Dang Phan, Laura Sims, and Steel Wagstaff. Previously supported through the generosity of the Friends of the UW-Madison Library, the FELIX reading series is now sponsored by the Department of English and the Anonymous Fund of UW-Madison.

Past readers for FELIX have included: Kara Candito, Linh DinhPatrick DurginJohannes Göransson, Andy Gricevich, Gabriel Gudding, Carla HarrymanMatt HartAnthony HawleyBrenda Hillman, Cynthia Marie Hoffman, Michael Hofman, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Kent JohnsonKimberly Johnson, Myung Mi Kim, Eric LorbererJoyelle McSweeney, Philip Metres, K. Silem Mohammad, Anna MoschovakisMark Nowak,  Hoa Nguyen, Peter O’Leary, Nate Pritts, Elizabeth Robinson, Jesse Seldess, Kerri Sonnenberg, Susan SchultzCole Swenson, Stacy SzymaszekG. C. Waldrep, William WaltzDana Ward, Tyrone Williams, Rebecca Wolff, and Matvei Yankelevich.

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  1. […] and “Our Lady of the Laundromat”. Read her work. When I started as a co-curator of the FELIX reading series, she was the first poet that I wanted to invite, but I was never able to locate […]

  2. The series was actually co-founded by me with Barry Osborne; I was interested in poetry (primarily), and Barry was interested in fiction. Barry moved away from Madison before I did, and I continued the series when he left, which is when it became almost entirely “poetry,” so called. According to the well-dressed and fob-carrying Mr. Thomas Garver, Barry had all the personality in our duo, I being a curmudgeon of the classic variety and a bit of an Eeyore. The first reading was a regional knock-out: Jesse Seldess, then editor of Antennae from Chicago, Kerri Sonnenberg, then editor of Conundrum from Chicago, and Stacy Szymazek, then editor of Gam and Traverse from Milwaukee.

  3. […] was particularly interested in this little literary spat because I’ve been a curator for the FELIX reading series I hadn’t read Pollak’s poem, and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about, so I went […]

  4. […] was particularly interested in this little literary spat because I’ve been a curator for the FELIX reading series I hadn’t read Pollak’s poem, and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about, so I went […]

  5. […] by the Anonymous Fund, the English Department, and the Art and Scholarship Mellon Workshop.   Read more about the Felix Series here. And please share this event with your friends, colleagues, and […]

  6. […] and “Our Lady of the Laundromat”. Read her work. When I started as a co-curator of the FELIX reading series, she was the first poet that I wanted to invite, but I was never able to locate […]

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