Anita Skeen, Director
Anita Skeen is a professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) at Michigan State University, where she is the arts coordinator and director of the RCAH Center for Poetry. Anita began her teaching career at Bowling Green State University, where she received an MA in English literature in 1970 and an MFA in creative writing in 1971. She later taught in the MFA program at Wichita State University, where she received the Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching. She joined the Michigan State University Department of English in 1990. She has been the director of the Creative Arts Program at Ghost Ranch for 32 years and director of the Fall Writing Festival for 16 years. She is the author of six volumes of poetry: Each Hand A Map (1986); Portraits (1990); Outside the Fold, Outside the Frame (1999); The Resurrection of the Animals (2002); Never the Whole Story (2011); When We Say Shelter (2007), with Oklahoma poet Jane Taylor; and The Unauthorized Audubon (2014), a collection of poems about imaginary birds accompanied by the linocuts of anthropologist/visual artist Laura B. DeLind. With Taylor, she co-edited the literary anthology Once Upon A Place: Writings from Ghost Ranch (2008). Her poetry, short fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.
Favorite Poem: A Simple Poem for Virginia Woolf, Bronwen Wallace
Laurie Hollinger, Assistant Director
Laurie holds a B.A. in Arts and Humanities with a minor in Creative Writing from Michigan State University. A long-time Lansing area resident and former journalist, she enjoys performing poetry (both her own and that by published poets), crafting both nonfiction and poetry, and reading.
Favorite Poem: One Art, Elizabeth Bishop
Sarah Teppen, Intern
Sarah was born in Georgia but has essentially lived in East Lansing her whole life. She's now 21 years old and a senior majoring in Arts & Humanities and Anthropology, with minors in French, Korean, and Environmental and Sustainability Studies. She's loved reading and writing since childhood (she keeps a relatively constant journal with everything from snippets of dialogue to random doodles to detailed accounts of even the most monotonous events in her life), as well as cooking, playing around with all sorts of creative outlets, and exploring.
Favorite poem (prose poem): Yogurt & Clementines, Campbell McGrath
Grace Carras, Intern
Grace has been an enthusiastic writer for as long as she can remember. At 14 years old, she developed an interest in spoken word poetry, and it remains her one true love to this day. She is a self-proclaimed video game enthusiast, as well as a guitar player. Grace is a junior double majoring in RCAH and English with a creative writing concentration.
Alexis Stark, Intern
Alexis is a story teller and a social activist. Currently, she is in her second year majoring in RCAH and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. She has developed a strong passion for RCAH and works as a technician in the RCAH Theatre, when she is not in the Poetry Center or class or serving her fraternity Phi Sigma Pi. Outside of school, she enjoys writing and editing essays and poetry, watching movies, playing the viola and enjoying all the opportunities the university has to offer.
Arzelia Williams, Intern
Arzelia is a Detroit native who found poetry at three years old. When asked what first drew her to poetry, she credits her great-grandmother, who read poems to her, as a major influence. She is a sophomore double majoring in Social Relations and Policy and Arts and Humanities. She enjoys writing and performing poetry, reading nonfiction, and traveling. This is Arzelia’s first year with the Center for Poetry.
Sydney Meadowcroft, Intern
Sydney is a senior from Holland, Michigan with a strong Spartan family history. She did not plan on attending a school as large as Michigan State until she found the supportive and creative community of the RCAH and knew it was her home. She also has a minor in Sociology and a passion for literature and theatre. After years as a camper and staff member at Camp Miniwanca, Sydney loves to work with children and hopes to pursue a career in outdoor education and recreation.
Erin Lammers, Intern
Erin is a senior earning degrees in History and Arts & Humanities, as well as two minors in Museum Studies and Peace & Justice Studies. She loves discussing social justice issues and visiting museums - her dream is to help incorporate marginalized narratives into public spaces through educational outreach. Her love of reading teen fantasy novels is matched only by her love of reading and writing poetry (and possibly thrift shopping).