Events Calendar

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

January 21, 2015


January 28, 2015


February 10, 2015


February 11, 2015

February 19, 2015

March 13, 2015

March 28, 2015

April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015

April 15, 2015

April 18, 2015

April 22-23, 2015

Read a Poet, Write a Poem: Lisel Mueller (Part 1)

7 pm, Snyder C201

Poet and translator Lisel Mueller was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1924. The daughter of teachers, her family was forced to flee the Nazi regime when Mueller was 15. They immigrated to the US and settled in the Mid-west. Mueller attended the University of Evansville, where her father was a professor, and did her graduate study at Indiana University. Her collections of poetry include The Private Life, which was the 1975 Lamont Poetry Selection; Second Language (1986); The Need to Hold Still (1980), which received the National Book Award; Learning to Play by Ear (1990); and Alive Together: New & Selected Poems (1996), which won the Pulitzer Prize. Her other awards and honors include the Carl Sandburg Award, the Helen Bullis Award, the Ruth Lilly Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She has also published translations, most recently Circe’s Mountain by Marie Luise Kaschnitz (1990). Continue reading at


Participants in this workshop should be familiar with the poems from Mueller's Alive Together: New & Selected Poems. Grand Rapids-based poet Linda Nemec Foster will join us to speak about her professional relationship with Mueller and lead discussion along with Professor Anita Skeen about Mueller's poems.



Read a Poet, Write a Poem: Lisel Mueller (Part 2)

7 pm, Snyder C201

In this portion of Read a Poet, Write a Poem, participants will write and share their own poems based on the discussion of Mueller's poems from Part 1. It is not necessary but highly encouraged to attend both sessions.



Translation Conversation

7 pm, Snyder C202




"Voicing Poetry" Showcase

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 inspired by the poems of Anita Skeen, Dorothy Brooks, Jenny Crakes, Justin Cook, Cindy Hunter Morgan, and Varun Ramadhyani.



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, please e-mail Poems need not be original.



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.



"Exploring our own Amazement: Learning the Language of Poetry" Conference for Michigan Teachers

9 am - 4 pm

RCAH Theater

This day-long conference is directed toward instructors who wish to expand their knowledge of poetry and learn techniques to engage students at the K-12 level in discovering the joy of reading, writing, and performing poetry. Registration is free, and a light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Contact Linnea Jimison at to register. Please include your full name, school, and e-mail address.




Edible Book Contest

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

Snyder 2nd Floor

To kick off National Poetry Month, the Center for Poetry will hold its ever-popular Edible Book Contest! 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 and will be judged by Center for Poetry staff.



Spring Poetry Festival: Dennis Hinrichsen

3 pm Conversation, Snyder C204

7 pm Reading, RCAH Theater

Dennis Hinrichsen is the author of seven collections of poetry: Rip-tooth (2011), Kurosawa's Dog (2009), Message to Be Spoken into the Left Ear of God (2004), Cage of Water (2004), Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights (2000), The Rain That Falls This Far (1991) and The Attraction of Heavenly Bodies (Wesleyan New Poets) (1983). He lives in Lansing, Michigan and teaches at Lansing Community College.



Spring Poetry Festival: Terry Blackhawk

7 pm, 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.)



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.



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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