Anita Skeen, Founder, and Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize Series Editor
Anita Skeen is a professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) at Michigan State University. 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
Cindy Hunter Morgan, Interim Director
Cindy Hunter Morgan is the author of a full-length poetry collection and two chapbooks. Harborless (Wayne State University Press) is a 2018 Michigan Notable Book and the winner of the 2017 Moveen Prize in Poetry. Apple Season won the Midwest Writing Center's 2012 Chapbook Contest, judged by Shane McCrae. The Sultan, The Skater, The Bicycle Maker won The Ledge Press 2011 Poetry Chapbook Award. She writes regularly for Murder Ballad Monday, a blog devoted to the exploration of the murder ballad tradition in folk and popular music. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including Tin House Online, Salamander, The Pinch, and West Branch. She has a BA from Albion College and an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. If you can’t find her in the Poetry Center, she might be making books in the art studio or camping in the upper peninsula.
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
Grace Carras, Intern
Grace is a 22-year-old spoken word poet from Michigan. She is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University, where she double majors in the Residential College of the Arts and Humanities and English, with a concentration in creative writing. She is the co-founder of The Poetry Room reading series in Lansing, and was a semifinalist in the 2018 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. She is a long-time lover of video games, punk rock, and taking nothing too seriously.
Alexis Stark, Intern
Alexis is a senior RCAH major at MSU, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. For the Center she manages the blog, photographs events and collaborates with other interns on many projects. Outside of the Center for Poetry, Alexis is a Feature and GA reporter for The State News. After graduation, she hopes to further pursue a career in journalism, while still writing poetry in her free time. Alexis is an avid reader, writer, editor, movie watcher and dog walker and is always looking for opportunities to impact the world with the written and spoken word.
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 senior pursuing a dual degree in Social Relations and Policy and Arts and Humanities with a minor in Public Relations. She enjoys writing and performing poetry, reading nonfiction, and traveling. Her goal is to visit every continent by the time she is thirty. This is Arzelia’s third year with the Center for Poetry.
Allison Costello, Intern
Allison has wanted to write for a living since the third grade, and is turning her dreams into reality by majoring in Professional Writing. As a young woman from Traverse City who loves the environment, she also works as an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Community Sustainability. She enjoys learning new styles of poetry, producing audio and visual content, gaming, camping, and pine trees.
Lydia Barron, Intern
Lydia is a sophomore student in the College of Arts and Letters. She began writing at a young age and has since been published in literary journals such as Half Mystic, Hypertrophic Literary, and Figroot Press. She now enjoys creating outreach and education programs with the RCAH Center for Poetry, playing Animal Crossing, studying at the Broad Museum, and making new friends by performing poetry in southeast Michigan.
Amy Potchen, Intern
After graduating from just down the road at Okemos High School Amy continues her studies with a major in Arts and Humanities and a minor in Spanish. Amy is now a sophomore trying to find how her studies will end up playing a part in a career. Regardless, writing has always been a passion. Before the Center for Poetry, elements of poetry best showed up in her life in the form of fun word play in informal conversations with friends. Away from the classroom, Amy enjoys MSU Outdoors club, ASMSU, and playing with her roommate's cat.
Elizabeth Sauter, Intern
Elizabeth is a senior double majoring in Arts and Humanities and Political Science with a minor in Anthropology. These help her learn more about different cultures, which she can then weave into the things she writes. She first started reading poetry in early elementary when she got her hands on an Edgar Allan Poe book, and she hasn't stopped reading since! Elizabeth enjoys reading, writing, photography, and traveling, along with being on the staff for The Roial Players and the Star Wars club.
Estee Schlenner, Intern
Estee is a senior majoring in English. She sparked an interest in poetry in high school, but didn’t begin seriously writing it until freshman year of college. Now, it’s one of her favorite ways to express herself. Aside from writing poetry she enjoys reading, cooking, going on walks around campus, and drawing.