2018 Spring Poetry Festival



Generously co-sponsored by the MSU Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives


Cheryl Clarke is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is By My Precise Haircut (2016); the critical study, After Mecca: Women Poets and the Black Arts Movement (2005); and her collected works The Days of Good Looks: Prose and Poetry 1980-2005 (2006). With Steven G. Fulllwood, she co-edited To Be Left with the Body (2008), one of a series of art and literary publications for men of color having sex with men produced by AIDS Project/LA and GMHC. Her writing appeared in the iconic This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (eds. Anzaldua and Moraga, 1982) and Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (ed. Smith, 1984). She was an editor of  Conditions (1981-1990), a feminist magazine of writing with an emphasis on writing by lesbians, founded in 1977. For five years, she has served as one of the organizers of the annual Festival of Women Writers in Hobart, N.Y., the Book Village of the Catskills.



Cheryl Clarke on Gwendolyn Brooks, 3 p.m., LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall

An Evening with Cheryl Clarke, 7 p.m., RCAH Theater, Snyder Hall

                              Reception/book signing to follow in the LookOut! Gallery





March 28

Cheryl Clarke


April 4

RCAH Center for Poetry Turns Ten:

Stephanie Glazier,

Lia Greenwell, & Anita Skeen


April 11

Carolyn Forché

The RCAH Center for Poetry celebrates its tenth anniversary by reflecting on its establishment in 2007 with director Anita Skeen, and alumna poets and original assistants Stephanie Glazier and Lia Greenwell.


Poet and critic Stephanie Glazier was raised in northern Michigan. Her poems and critical prose have appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Iraq Literary Review, and in Reading and Writing Experimental Texts: Critical Innovations (Palgrave 2018) . She was a Lambda Literary Fellow in poetry, holds an MFA from Antioch University LA and serves as the poetry editor for Gertrude Press. She has conducted seminars and workshops for readers and writers of all ages at the RCAH Center for Poetry, The Interlochen Center for the Arts, Oregon's Poetry Association Conference and beyond. With a passion for the arts in public life, Stephanie has created community-based arts programs, including developing and launching Michigan's first Poetry in Motion campaign and creating a weekly radio segment called "Public Poetry Announcements" in Lansing, MI. Stephanie lives in Detroit.


Lia Greenwell is a poet living in Detroit, Michigan.

Her poems have appeared in the Missouri Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Poecology, and Witness among other publications. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and has received scholarships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Lia has taught creative writing to high school and college students through the Girls Write Now program in New York City and as the 2015 Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow at Warren Wilson College.


Anita Skeen is a professor in the RCAH, 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 MSU Department of English in 1990. 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), with visual artist Laura B. DeLind. Her poetry, short fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.


Reminiscing: From Basement to Book Series, 3 p.m., LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall

   Join Stephanie, Lia, and Anita as they chat about the Center’s beginnings in the basement of Abbot Hall, to Poetry in Motion and bringing world-class poets and writers to the RCAH, to its latest endeavor, the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize.


Reading, 7 p.m., RCAH Theater, Snyder Hall

                              Reception/book signing to follow in the LookOut! Gallery




MSU alumna Carolyn Forché’s first volume, Gathering the Tribes, winner of the Younger Poets Prize, was followed by The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour. Her famed international anthology, Against Forgetting, has been praised by Nelson Mandela as “itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against injustice,” and is followed by the 2014 anthology, The Poetry of Witness. In 1998 in Stockholm, she received the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award for her human rights advocacy and the preservation of memory and culture. She is currently at work on a memoir.


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

An Evening with Carolyn Forché, 7 p.m., RCAH Theater, Snyder Hall


                              Reception/book signing to follow in the LookOut! Gallery

April 18

Leila Chatti

Generously co-sponsored by the MSU Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives


RCAH alumna Leila Chatti was born in Oakland, California. A Tunisian-American dual citizen, she has lived in the United States, Tunisia, and Southern France. She is the author of the chapbooks Ebb (New-Generation African Poets) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors’ Selection from Bull City Press. She holds an M.F.A. from North Carolina State University, where she was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. The recipient of a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and fellowships and scholarships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, The Frost Place Conference on Poetry, and Dickinson House, her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Narrative Magazine, The Georgia Review, North American Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Third Coast, Nimrod, Southword Journal, and Best of the Net, Best New Poets, New England Review, Gulf Coast, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, and several other journals and anthologies. She currently serves as the Consulting Poetry Editor at the Raleigh Review and is the 2017-2018 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Afternoon Conversation: 3 p.m., LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall


Reading, with presentation of the Annie Balocating Undergraduate Prize for Poetry: 7 p.m., RCAH Theatre


               Reception/book signing to follow in the LookOut! Gallery





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