2017 Spring Poetry Festival





Tina Chang was raised in New York City. She is the first female to be named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn and is the author of the collections of poetry Of Gods & Strangers (2011) and Half-Lit Houses (2004). She is also the co-editor of the W.W. Norton anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (2008). She is the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Van Lier Foundation among others. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and she is also a member of the international writing faculty at the City University of Hong Kong.

Born in Oklahoma to Chinese immigrants, Chang was a year old when the family moved to New York City; not long after she and her brother were sent to live in Taiwan with relatives for two years.

In an interview given after 9-11, she said, “When pondering my identity as an American poet, it is more difficult than ever to place geographic restrictions on my influences and aesthetics….Perhaps to acknowledge an American Poetry is to acknowledge the most human and fragile self living in and among a global community. The idea of the porous nature of boundaries (geographic, cultural, metaphoric) evades and invades my imagination. In short, I am not alone in the word.”


Time & Geography in Poetry: 3 p.m., LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall

Reading: 7 p.m., RCAH Theatre



April 5

Tina Chang

© Tom Callan

April 12

Toi Derricotte


Toi Derricotte's most recent book is The Undertaker's Daughter.  Her honors include the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement and the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, the Paris Review, The New Yorker and Poetry. She co-founded Cave Canem in 1996.  She serves on the Academy of American Poets’ Board of Chancellors.


The Black Notebooks: Experiential Writing Workshop

                           3 p.m., LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall


Reading: 7 p.m., RCAH Theatre





April 19

Cindy Hunter Morgan

Cindy Hunter Morgan is the author of Harborless, a collection of poems informed by Great Lakes Shipwrecks, and just released by Wayne State University Press. Her chapbook,  The Sultan, The Skater, The Bicycle Maker won The Ledge Press 2011 Poetry Chapbook Award, and Apple Season won the Midwest Writing Center's 2012 Chapbook Contest, judged by Shane McCrae. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including Salamander, Sugar House Review, and West Branch.



Reading: 7 p.m., RCAH Theatre

April 26

Mark Doty

Mark Doty is the author of nine books of poetry, including Deep Lane (April 2015), Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the 2008 National Book Award, and My Alexandria, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK. He is also the author of three memoirs: the New York Times-bestselling Dog Years, Firebird, and Heaven’s Coast, as well as a book about craft and criticism, The Art of Description: World Into Word. Doty has received two NEA fellowships, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, and the Witter Byner Prize.


World into Word: Translating Experience into Language

                          3 p.m., LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall


Reading, with Balocating Prize for Poetry announcement: 7 p.m., RCAH Theatre




Made possible in part by a grant from the MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives


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