Events Calendar

All events are free and open to the public. You can also find events on our Facebook page.


February 10, 2015

Translation Conversation: "How Does Language Influence Experience?"

7 pm, Snyder C202

Using a second (or third) language is not merely a matter of learning new vocabulary. It’s not even just a matter of learning the ‘right’ phrases to use in different situations. Using another language requires us to shift our frame of reference, to alter our worldview. At this Center for Poetry event co-lead by the RCAH Language Mentors, we’ll discuss how an experience—perhaps an everyday, familiar event—changes as a result of the language used. How are our behaviors changed? How are we changed? Come to share your second language experiences—from shopping at the market to debating world politics.



February 11, 2015

Voicing Poetry Concert

7:30 pm, RCAH Theater (Snyder C20)

Voicing Poetry is a collaborative effort between the MSU Composition Department and the Center for Poetry. Join us for a performance of original pieces by composition students Philip Rice, Ryan Martini, Bronwen McVeigh, Reilly Spitzfaden, Joe Krycia, and Charles Cooper. Their works were inspired by the poems of Anita Skeen, Dorothy Brooks, Jenny Crakes, Justin Cook, Cindy Hunter Morgan, and Varun Ramadhyani, and both poets and composers will be present for a Q&A following the performance.



February 17, 2015

“A Celebration of Women” with the MSU Vagina Monologues and Old Town Poetry Series

Dublin Square Irish Pub, 327 Abbot Road

Doors 7:00 pm, Event 7:30 pm

$10 Suggested Donation at Door

The cast members of the MSU Vagina Monologues will join community members to read poetry & monologues from other works in celebration of women. Performances are open to all genders, as long as the content focuses on women, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The evening will also feature a raffle, including prizes like free tickets to see this year's Vagina Monologues, and a signature drink made just for us by Dublin Square. For more information or to sign up, please e-mail Janelle Moulding at with your name and piece you’ll be performing; please limit your piece to 3-5 minutes. All proceeds benefit The Firecracker Foundation, the beneficiary of this year’s Vagina Monologues performance on February 27 & 28 and a Lansing-based organization that provides holistic healing to child survivors of sexual trauma. View the Facebook event.


Febrary 19, 2015

Festival of Listening

7 pm, (SCENE) Metrospace

110 Charles St., East Lansing, MI 48823

Celebrate the joy of listening to poetry in this evening of untranslated poetry. Volunteers from the community come together each spring to read untranslated poems in any language other than English. To volunteer, click here. Poems need not be original.



March 5, 2015

Writing the Body: Women's Poetry and Ekphrasis with Robin Silbergleid

7-8:30 pm, LookOut! Gallery

Robin Silbergleid will read from her collection Frida Kahlo, My Sister, discuss ekphrasis (the phenomenon of one form of art commenting on another) in her work, and conduct a workshop on using visual art as inspiration for poetry. The event is part of the women's history month celebration but is open to writers and students of all genders.



March 13, 2015

Poetry Out Loud Michigan Finals

9 am, Dart Auditorium at Lansing Community College

500 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing, MI 48933

This poetry recitation program helps high school students across the U.S. master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The winner from this state final, sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, will go on to compete at the national level in Washington, D.C. Contact Judith Dworkin at (517) 372-7770 or for more information.



March 24, 2015

Sami S. Chetrit Reading

7 pm, RCAH Theater

Sami Shalom Chetrit is an Israeli poet of Moroccan origin who teaches at Queens College. He directed a film called Shattered Rhymes about an Israeli poet who originally moved to Israel from Morocco, and will lead a discussion after his film at the MSU Jewish Studies film festival on March 23rd. His publications include:


Doll's Eye, a novel in Hebrew.

Poems in Ashodian, a collection of poetry written between 1982 and 2002.

Al-Nidal al-Shaky Fi-Israil, written in Arabic.

Mizrahi Struggle in Israel



March 28, 2015

"Exploring our own Amazement: Learning the Language of Poetry" Conference for Educators and Writers

9 am - 4 pm

RCAH Theater

This day-long conference is directed toward writers and teachers of all levels who wish to expand their knowledge of poetry and learn techniques to engage students in discovering the joy of reading, writing, and performing poetry. Registration is free, and a light breakfast  will be provided. More information on the webpage; click here to register.



April 1, 2015

Edible Book Contest

12:30 pm: Open for submissions; 1:00 pm: Judging

Snyder LookOut! Gallery

To kick off National Poetry Month, the Center for Poetry will hold its ever-popular Edible Book Contest! Inspired by the International Edible Book Festival, there will be prizes for Best in Show, Most Literate, Most Edible, Most Creative, and Most Humorous. All you have to do is make an edible representation, sweet or savory, of a book or literary concept. The contest is open to the public.



April 1, 2015

Spring Poetry Festival: Dennis Hinrichsen

3 pm Conversation, Snyder C204

7 pm Reading, RCAH Theater

Dennis Hinrichsen's most recent works are Skin Music, co-winner of the 2014 Michael Waters Poetry Prize from Southern Indiana Review Press [forthcoming in autumn 2015], and Electrocution: A Partial History, winner of the Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Prize from Map Literary: A Journal of Contemporary Writing and Art [forthcoming in spring 2015]. His previous books include Rip-tooth (2010 Tampa Poetry Prize) and Kurosawa’s Dog (2008 FIELD Poetry Prize). An earlier work, Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights, received the 1999 Akron Poetry Prize. Recent work can be found also in a number of recent anthologies including Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in Poetry, New Poetry From the Midwest 2014 and Clash by Night. He has been the recipient of an NEA and two grants from the state of Michigan as well as prizes for work published in Poetry Northwest and Carolina Quarterly.


Afternoon conversation: "Teaching and the Mind of the Poet: Moving from Incandescence to Laser"

Young writers often see drafting a work as the entire process given the rush of discovery and all the scattered light there, but it's only one half of the effort. To finish a piece, writers need to think more thoroughly about revision--taking all that scattered light and with some guiding ideas--a prosody--find ways to sharpen and compress and fully transform that wild and raw music into a finished work of art, all without losing any of that wildness.



April 15-16, 2015

Spring Poetry Festival: Terry Blackhawk

4/15: 7 pm reading, RCAH Theater

4/16: 11 am conversation, Main Library Room W449

Terry Blackhawk is the founder and director of Detroit 's acclaimed InsideOut Literary Arts Project, a poets-in-schools program serving over 5,000 youth per year. She began teaching English in 1968 after graduating from Antioch College, and took up writing poetry, herself, when she was already teaching it to her students. Terry's poetry collections include Body & Field (Michigan State University Press, 1999), Escape Artist (BkMk Press, 2003), selected by Molly Peacock for the John Ciardi Prize; and The Dropped Hand (Marick Press, 2007). She has published two chapbooks, Trio: Voices from the Myths (Ridgeway Press, 1998) and Greatest Hits 1989-2003 (Pudding House Press). Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Marlboro Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Florida Review, Borderlands, Artful Dodge, The MacGuffin and Nimrod. Her essays have been published in Review Revue, An Emily Dickinson Encyclopedia, Language Arts Journal of Michigan and anthologies from the Teachers & Writers Collaborative. She was a finalist for the 2009 Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod Press for “Out of the Labyrinth” and other poems. She has received many recognitions for her teaching, including Creative Writing Educator of the Year from the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (2008), a Humanities Award from Wayne County Arts, History and Humanities Council (2008), and 2007 Detroit Bookwoman of the Year from the Women’s National Book Association. She is the recipient of the 2010 Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize from Nimrod International for her poem "Chambered Nautilus, with Tinnitus and Linden." Terry's latest poetry collection is The Light Between (Wayne State University Press, 2012.)



April 18, 2015

Haiku Hike with the MSU Science Festival

1-2:30 pm, Chemistry Building Room 109

Much like looking through a microscope, a haiku poem examines a moment in nature. In this interactive workshop, the Center for Poetry will give a brief overview of this ancient Japanese form of poetry and then lead a nature hike through MSU's campus, during which participants will use words to channel their observations of the natural world around them.



April 22-23, 2015

Spring Poetry Festival: Carolyn Forché

4/22: 7 pm Reading, RCAH Theater

4/23: 3 pm Conversation, Main Library W449

Renowned as a “poet of witness,” Detroit native and Michigan State University alumna Carolyn Forché is the author of four books of poetry. Her first poetry collection, Gathering The Tribes (Yale University Press, 1976), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. In 1977, she traveled to Spain to translate the work of Salvadoran-exiled poet Claribel Alegrí­a, and upon her return, received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, which enabled her to travel to El Salvador, where she worked as a human rights advocate. Her second book, The Country Between Us (Harper and Row, 1982), received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was also the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets. Her third book of poetry, The Angel of History (HarperCollins, 1994), was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. Blue Hour is her fourth collection of poems (HarperCollins, 2003). She is currently at work on a memoir of her years in El Salvador, Lebanon, South Africa, and France.



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