Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Center for Poetry?

The Center for Poetry is an organization that opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community engagement, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community in the greater Lansing area.

We are housed within the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, a living-learning program for undergraduate students at Michigan State University (MSU). All of our events are free and open to the public.


Where is the Center for Poetry?

Our office is located at C220H-J Snyder in Snyder-Phillips Hall, on the North-East part of MSU’s campus. To find us, walk into either Snyder or Phillips and head toward the center of the building, where you will find an elevator just outside of The Gallery cafeteria. Take the elevator to the second floor and look for the long hallway opposite the LookOut Gallery. The C220 office wing is located at the end of the hall; enter, turn left, and go all the way to the back.


Where do events take place?

The majority of our events take place in Snyder-Phillips Hall, from the second- and third-floor classrooms to the LookOut! Gallery (second floor) to the RCAH Theater (basement, or T/Terrace level on the elevators). We have also held events in the MSU Main Library and (SCENE) Metrospace gallery, and at the Salus Center.


Where can I park on campus?

Meter spots are available outside of Snyder-Phillips Hall 24/7. Parking in staff/faculty lots is free after 6 pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday and can be found on either side of Snyder-Phillips and in the Psychology Lot across from Phillips Hall. There are also a number of parking lots on campus and in downtown East Lansing. Here is a map with more detailed parking and accessibility information.


Do I have to be a poet to come to events? Do I have to be a student to come to events?

No and no! We encourage folks from all walks of life to attend our events, and we’ve hosted everyone from middle school students to older community members. We strive to make poetry and the art of writing accessible and encourage you to join us for an event regardless of your background.


What are some events you have annually?

Traditionally, we have held Poetry Chalkings; Fall Writers Series & Spring Poetry Festival; Read a Poet, Write a Poem workshop series; Festival of Listening; Women’s History Month Poetry Potluck; Live Lit; and Edible Book Contest. Due to the high number of events we do every year though, we don’t always have the chance to do each and every one of those events listed. Make sure to check our Events page for the most up-to-date information. We also administer the Benvenuto High School Poetry Competition every year, the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize, and the Annie Balocating Prize for Poetry every Spring.


Do you offer workshops?

Yes, we offer a variety of writing workshops, which are free and do not require registration. See our Events for upcoming workshops.


I’m an MSU student. How can I apply for an internship?

When available, internships are announced through our website, our newsletter, and on MSU. The call for interns goes out every spring semester for the upcoming academic year. While you must be an undergraduate student to intern with us, you do not have to be an RCAH student. Interns work an average of 6-8 hours per week assisting with office duties, events, and projects. Internships for college credit can also be arranged.


I’m an artist. Who do I contact about booking a reading/performance/workshop at the Poetry Center?

Please send promotional materials to for consideration. Planning for our reading series begins as early as January of the preceding academic year. (So, for example, we started planning artists for the 2021-2022 academic year in the Spring of 2021.) Please note that the Center is closed during the summer, and the mailbox is checked less frequently. Rest assured, your inquiry will be answered.


Who are some of the poets/writers/musicians you’ve hosted in the past?

2022-23: Natasha T. Miller, Masaki Takahashi, Will "The Poet" Langford, Marion Starling Boyer, Carol V. Davis, CAConrad, Raquel Salas Rivera

2021-22: Laura Apol, Serena Chopra, JJJJJerome Ellis, Dennis Hinrichsen, Layli Long Soldier, Jonah Mixon-Webster, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, Divya Victor, avery r. young

2020-21: Reginald Dwayne Betts, Imane Boukaila, Hannah Emerson, Siddhartha (Sid) Ghosh, Yona Harvey, Chris Martin, Shara McCallum, Marilyn Nelson, Marcel (M.L.) Walker, Adam Wolfond

2019-20: Climbing PoeTree, Tess Gallagher, M. L. Liebler, Robert Fanning, Zilka Joseph, Keith Taylor, Russell Thorburn, Fleda Brown

2018-19: Russell Brakefield, Karin Gottshall, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Tyehimba Jess, Franny Choi

2017-18: Ocean Vuong, George Ella Lyon, Diane Gilliam, Crystal Good, Leila Chatti

2016-17: Juan Felipe Herrera, Chris Dombrowski, Francine Banwarth, Kate Snodgrass, Marcia Aldrich, Sara Marie Ortiz, Karen Vuranch, Tina Chang, Toi Derricotte, and Mark Doty

2015-16: Cindy Hunter Morgan, Michael & Carrie Kline, Marvin Bell, Nathan Bell, Simeon Berry, Brian Gilmore, Tarfia Faizullah, Lindsay Tigue, Robin Coste Lewis, Speak Like a Girl

2014-15: Robin Nott, Susan Tekulve, Richard Mulkey, Jim Minick, Jane Congdon, Linda Nemec Foster, Robin Silbergleid, Sami S. Chetrit, Dennis Hinrichsen, Terry Blackhawk, and Carolyn Forché

2013-14: Natasha Trethewey, Tracy K. Smith, Sofia Starnes, Ann Pancake, Barbara Presnell, Carolyn Gage, George Ellenbogen, Jamaal May, Diane Wakoski, Buddy Wakefield

2012-13: Jenny Factor, Natalie Diaz, Melissa Kwanzy, and Elizabeth LaPrelle, Li-Young Lee, Laura Kasischke, and Carl Phillips

2011-12: Traci Brimhall, Laura Apol, Andrew Hudgins, Jack Ridl, Jane Congdon, Susan Eisenburg, Lucy Ferriss, Luis Rodriguez, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Jane Taylor

2010-11: Diane Wakoski, Cynthia Huntington, Marcia Aldrich, Fourth Genre, Gerald McCarthy, Rebecca Dunham, Irene McKinney, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, Patricia Clark, Todd Davis, and Anis Mojgani

2009-10: Dunya Mikhail, Soheil Najm, Steve Lopez, Jane Congdon, Michael & Carrie Kline, Thom Jayne and The Nomads, Carolyn Smart, Thomas Lynch, Steve Healey, Christine Rhein, Cathy Bowman, Diane Wakoski, Jerome Rothenberg, Ruelaine Stokes, and Suheir Hammad

2008-09: George Ellenbogen, Robin Silbergleid, Luisa Igloria, Diane Gilliam, Harry and Sandra Reese, Laura Apol, Jeanine Hathaway, The Mayhem Poets, Elspeth Cameron, and Steven Haven

2007-08: Anita Skeen, Gordon Henry, Carolyn Forché, Diane Wakoski


How can I connect with the Poetry Center?

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wordpress, and Flickr.

We also send out an e-newsletter every two weeks; sign up for our newsletter here.

Our mailing address is 362 Bogue St., C210, East Lansing, MI 48825. Our phone number is (517) 884-1932 and our e-mail is We’d love to hear from you!


How can I donate money to the Poetry Center?

There are a few different ways to donate. Please visit our Donate page to learn more, and thank you for your consideration. We couldn’t do what we do without your generous support!


What if I have a question you haven't answered here?

Call (517) 884-1932 (during the academic year) or e-mail us at