Events Calendar

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

March 24, 2015

Sami S. Chetrit

3 pm talk, "My Heart is in the East, and I in the Uttermost West: Writing Hebrew Poetry in America,"  Snyder C204

7 pm reading, RCAH Theater

Sami Shalom Chetrit is an Israeli poet of Moroccan origin who teaches Hebrew language, literature and culture, and Middle Eastern studies at Queens College in New York. Chetrit is the author of numerous articles and books on culture, society and politics in Israel, a novel and four books of poetry, as well as the director of three documentaries. His visit to MSU is sponsored by Jewish Studies in conjunction with the Israeli Film Festival, during which Chetrit will present his 2014 film Shattered Rhymes: The Life and Poetry of Erez Bitton on March 23 at 7 pm in Wells Hall room B-122. For more information, contact MSU Jewish Studies at (517) 432-3493 or



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. Prizes are provided by the Roethke House of Saginaw, Michigan.



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, 2015

Spring Poetry Festival: Terry Blackhawk

3 pm conversation, Snyder C204

7 pm reading, RCAH Theater

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.)


Afternoon conversation: Poetry’s Reach and Outreach

For twenty years, Detroit’s InsideOut Literary Arts Project has been bringing poetry into the city’s classrooms and celebrating the voices of  young people through publications and performances. iO's mission is to encourage Detroit youth to "think broadly, create bravely, and share their voices with the wider world." iO’s founding director poet Terry Blackhawk will discuss the ways that this work transforms individuals, classrooms and communities and why poetry is a necessary tool for learning and empowerment for young people.



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.


Afternoon conversation: "The Poet in the World: Witness in the English Tradition"

Carolyn will discuss her travels as a poet, meeting other poets in countries that have suffered through war, and the view of English-language poetry as written apolitically in the ivory tower.



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