Events Calendar

All events are free and open to the public

September 18


September 25


October 1


October 16

October 22

October 28

October 29

October 30

November 4

November 5

November 6

November 19

November 24

"Haunted Times Two: The Story of Mr. Joe" with Jane Congdon

4 pm, Snyder C304

Have you ever been haunted? The term haunting can describe the tune that stays with us, but does no harm; a hair-raising visit from a disembodied spirit; or even persistent, harsh reminders of our own imperfect past. Joseph Barnett was haunted by two out of three. The ghosts he saw as a school custodian made his heart pound, but a lifetime of perceived failures threatened to destroy his spirit: A ghost can haunt you for months on end, but your mistakes can haunt you all your life. Come join author Jane Congdon for an afternoon conversation about Mr. Joe, the writing of memoir, and the difficulties/delights of telling someone else's story.



Annual Book Sale

9 am - 5 pm, Farm Lane & N. Shaw lawn

Join us for our annual new & used book sale, where you can find donated books of all genres for as little as $0.50 per book! All proceeds benefit the Center for Poetry.



Fall Poetry Chalking

11 am - 2 pm, River Trail behind Shaw Hall

Come chalk a poem, meet the Center for Poetry staff, and have some apple cider. We provide the chalk; bring your favorite poem, or use one of ours!



Kiese Laymon Reading (Cosponsored by the MSU Department of English)

7 pm, RCAH Theater

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA from Indiana University and is the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Long Division was named one of the Best Books of 2013 by a number of publications, including Buzzfeed, The Believer, Salon, Guernica, Mosaic Magazine, Chicago Tribune, The Morning News, MSNBC, Library Journal, Contemporary Literature, and the Crunk Feminist Collective. Both of Laymon's book are finalists for the Mississippi Award for Arts and Letters in the fiction and nonfiction categories. Long Division is currently a finalist for Stanford's Saroyan international writing award. Laymon is an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College.



Fall Writing Series: Robin Nott (Storytelling)

Workshop: 3 pm, LookOut! Gallery (Second Floor Snyder)

Performance: 7 pm, RCAH Theater

Robin Nott combines storytelling and folk singing to awaken audiences of all ages to their authentic, personal, imaginative worlds. On the wings of a story and a song, Robin enables listeners to experience new worlds through the eyes of a child: pure, brightly colored, just, wonder-filled, and blessed with song. Robin will tell you his true story, while listening for and honoring yours. He has been storytelling and folksinging with audiences of all ages since 1983 and has told stories in schools, libraries, scout programs, state and national parks, churches, conferences, and festivals of all kinds.



"Oral Tradition (Storytelling): Our First Language"

In this session, you will be invited to connect with your "inner storyteller," discover storytelling networks, and acquire "secret formulas" for telling tales--not reciting them. This will be an active participation experience.



Dead Poets Contest

7:30 pm, Dublin Square Irish Pub (327 Abbot Road)

Dress in the spirit of a dead poet and bring their work back to life! Contestants will read one or two of a dead poet’s poems, for a maximum of five minutes. Poets can sign up in advance or at the door. Cash prizes of $100, $50, and $25 will be awarded to the top three contestants. For more information or to sign up, contact Ruelaine Stokes at or 517-267-0410.



George Ellenbogen at the RCAH Center for Poetry

2-3 pm: Reception with the Canadian Studies Center, 302 International Center

7 pm: Reading and Celebration, RCAH Theater

Poet and memoirist George Ellenbogen returns to the Center for Poetry to announce the Skeen-Ellenbogen-Shakir Center for Poetry Endowment Fund. Established as part of George's estate, this future endowment will provide support for the work that the Center for Poetry does. There will be an afternoon reception hosted by the MSU Canadian Studies Center, during which George will speak about his childhood growing up in the Jewsish neighborhood of Montreal. The evening will include readings by George in English, readings by guest speakers in French and German, and light refreshments.



Workshop with George Ellenbogen

2-3:30 pm, RCAH C210H Conference Room

Topic TBA



Workshop with Susan Tekulve

3 pm, Snyder C210H Conference Room

"Moments of Being and Non-Being: Finding Extraordinary Stories in Every Day Objects and First Homes"

In her essay, "A Sketch of the Past," memoirist and fiction writer Virginia Woolf maintains that we spend a good part of every day not living consciously.  We eat, sleep, work, and most of the time these daily activities are what Woolf calls "moments of non-being." Occasionally, there are times when we are shocked out of our every-day complacency to really see the world and all it contains. Woolf calls these shocks  "Moments of Being," and she contends that it is the job of a writer to identify and examine these moments, releasing whole stories that linger within these flashes of consciousness. This workshop is designed to help writers identify their own "moments of being," and to mine these experiences for material that lends itself to their most engaging narratives.



Fall Writing Series: Richard Mulkey and Susan Tekulve (Poetry and Fiction)

Workshop: 3 pm, Snyder C210H Conference Room

Joint Reading: 7 pm, RCAH Theater

Richard Mulkey is the author of five poetry collections, including most recently, Ravenous: New & Selected Poems, Toward Any Darkness, Bluefield Breakdown, and Before the Age of Reason. Rick has taught at universities and writing workshops in the United States and Europe, and he currently directs the low residency MFA program in Creative Writing at Converse College.

Susan Tekulve is the author of In the Garden of Stone, winner of the 2012 South Carolina First Novel Award and a 2014 Gold IPPY Award as the best novel published in the South by an independent press. She’s also published three short story collections: Savage Pilgrims, Wash Day and My Mother’s War Stories. An Associate Professor of English, she teaches in the BFA and MFA in creative writing programs at Converse College.



"The Muse Upon Their Shoulders: The Lives of Modern Writing Couples"

In this talk, Rick and Susan will discuss their writing processes, and how each has gone about developing the work in their most recent books. In addition, they will field questions concerning the novel versus the short story form and lyric poetry. Finally, these "scribbling spouses" will talk candidly about how two writers live and create beneath the same roof.



Workshop with Richard Mulkey

3 pm, Snyder C210H Conference Room

“Principles of Pattern: Inspiration through Emulation”

As writers we are always battling two forces—chaos and control. Our job is to balance those forces, to bring delight to a reader through the recognition of patterns and continuities, and to heighten that delight by introducing radical and unexpected adjustments to those patterns. By investigating Bop poems, blues poems, sonnets and techniques such as anaphora and lineation in the works of poets Lucille Clifton, Campbell McGrath and others, we will consider patterns and structures as something to try on, walk into, a temporary home, a borrowed manner or means of movement. We will complete writing exercises meant to help us think of form as a way to expand our vision as poets rather than limit that vision.



Fall Writing Series: Jim Minick (Non-Fiction)

Workshop: 3 pm, Snyder C203

Reading + Benvenuto High School Poetry Competition Winners: 7 pm, RCAH Theater

Jim Minick is the author of The Blueberry Years, a memoir that won the Best Nonfiction Book of the Year from Southern Independent Booksellers Association. Minick is also the author of two books of poetry: Her Secret Song and Burning Heaven; a collection of essays, Finding a Clear Path; and editor of All There Is to Keep by Rita Riddle. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in many publications, including Oxford American, Shenandoah, Orion, San Francisco Chronicle, Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Conversations with Wendell Berry, The Sun, and Wind. He teaches at Converse College and is the Fred Chappell Fellow and the Fiction Editor of the Greensboro Review at University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where he’s pursuing an MFA.



"The Writing of Food: A Farmer’s Perspective”

Though less than two percent of our population farms, we all eat, and thus we are all responsible for each bite we put into our mouths. Consider this in a conversation with a farmer who, along with his wife, created one of the first certified-organic, pick-your-own blueberry farms in the mid-Atlantic. Come hungry for good discussion.



Poetry Typewriter Lounge

8-10 pm, Snyder C230 Wing

What better way to celebrate poetry than with typewriters? Join the Center for Poetry along with RCAH professor Guillermo Delgado for a Typewriter Poetry Lounge! Bring your favorite short poems or use ours to type them out on a vintage typewriter, then read your poems to your friends. Poetry, typewriters, and hot chocolate provided. Bring your musical instruments to jam along.


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