Lyrical Sanctuary

Lyrical Sanctuary: Be inspired. Speak your mind. Leave an impression.

Lyrical Sanctuary is UWM’s monthly open mic night, featuring a standout spoken word artist, live music and art, and YOU! It is a campus tradition that brings students and community members together to share their passion for poetry and creative self-expression. Prior to each performance, the monthly featured artist leads a creative writing workshop open to anyone willing to put their pen to the page.  

Various Wednesdays | Workshop, Open Mic & Performance
7-7:45pm | Writing Workshop | Inclusive Excellence Center (Union 119)
8-10pm | Open Mic & Performance | UWM Union Fireside Lounge
Free and open to the public.


Lyrical Sanctuary Features for Fall 2022

Denzel Taylor
Milwaukee | Wednesday, September 14

About the feature:

Denzel Taylor is an alum of UW – Madison and the First Wave – Hip Hop and Urban Arts scholarship program. Since graduating in 2018, Denzel has worked as a theater actor and completed a teaching residency with Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Most recently, Denzel made his Black Arts MKE. debut as Jesus in “Black Nativity” and a return to Skylight Music Theater as Asagai in “Raisin”, the musical adaptation of “A Raisin in the Sun.” You can now hear him as a radio host for the segment All Things Considered on 89.7 WUWM, Milwaukee’s NPR.


Iris De Anda
Oakland, CA | Wednesday, October 12

About the feature:

Iris De Anda a Guanaca Tapatia poet, speaker & musician who has been featured with KPFK & KPFA Pacifica Radio, organized with Academy of American Poets, performed at Los Angeles Latino Book Festival, Feria del Libro Tijuana, Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba and is named one of Today’s Revolutionary Women of Color. Author of Codeswitch: Fires from Mi Corazon & Roots of Redemption: You have No Right to Remain Silent.



Milwaukee, WI | Wednesday, November 9

About the feature:

There are many words that can be used to describe the Music Multihyphenate that is B~Free: Flutist. Vocalist. Pianist. Songwriter. Producer. Music Curator. Born in Chicago, IL, and raised in Milwaukee, WI, she began singing and playing piano in her early years and has been writing and composing music since the age of 7. Majoring in music at the Milwaukee High School of The Arts, Lincoln University of PA & VanderCook College of Music, she has been trained in a multitude of genres including jazz and classical flute, voice, and piano. Her latest release is self-produced House single, “Hate 2 Luv” feat. Durand Bernarr, & the nostalgic, summer 2021 bop, “This Could Be Us.” @bfree2music


Deana Dean
Milwaukee, WI | Wednesday, December 7

About the feature:

Deana Dean has been a powerful voice for many intersections that speak to the Black diasporic experience. Writing and performing poetry for the better part of 2 decades all across the united states, she has solidified her position as a poet, author, community builder and advocate for women and children. Dean’s style is plain spoken and matter of fact. She continues to challenge and provoke thought.  While observing the world around her, she is inspired most by her peers within the Chicago art and poetry community. She has authored three novels “Boy Crazy 1 and 2” as well as “Call me Toni” (all available on Amazon).  Her most recent work, “Merrill Avenue…Poetry, Prose and Magic”, is a return to her roots as a poet and a daughter of the Southside of Chicago, showcasing why she is the powerhouse that she is today.



For more information about all Lyrical Sanctuary events contact:
John Contreras
Sociocultural Programming Manager
(414) 229-6998

Sponsored by Sociocultural Programming