Poem of the Week: “Olive Jar,” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Olive Jar   By Naomi Shihab Nye In the corner of every Arab kitchen, an enormous plastic container of olives is waiting for another meal. Green tight-skinned olives, planets with slightly pointed ends— after breakfast, lunch, each plate hosts a pyramid of pits in one corner. Hands cross in the center of the table overContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “Olive Jar,” by Naomi Shihab Nye”

Looking Foward: Poets Laureate and The Spring Poetry Series

by Laurie Hollinger The RCAH Center for Poetry will be celebrating Poets Laureate in Spring 2014, with a visit by United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey on April 2, and Virginia Poet Laureate Sofia Starnes on April 16. A third visiting Poet Laureate has yet to be confirmed, but will be announced soon. It isContinue reading “Looking Foward: Poets Laureate and The Spring Poetry Series”

River of Words Poetry Workshop at Lansing STEM Academy

By Kelsey Block and Jenny Crakes Photos by Kelsey Block On November 8, the RCAH Center for Poetry was proud to sponsor a poetry workshop led by intern Jenny Crakes at Lansing’s STEM Academy.  Approximately ten students in grades 6-8 worked with Jenny, Kelsey, MSU Writing Center outreach coordinator Ashley Gulker, and mentor and volunteerContinue reading “River of Words Poetry Workshop at Lansing STEM Academy”

Documenting Barbara Presnell

By Kelsey Block Last week, the RCAH Center for Poetry was delighted to welcome North Carolina native Barbara Presnell to East Lansing. During her brief visit, Presnell conducted a workshop on documentary poetry and gave readings of her work. Presnell said she began writing when she was a child. As the youngest of three children,Continue reading “Documenting Barbara Presnell”

High School Poetry Competition Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 5th Annual Richard Benvenuto High School Poetry Competition! They visited the Center for Poetry last night to read their winning poems. From left: Jenna Wang, 2nd place (International Academy Central); Katie Peterson, 3rd place (Brighton High School); and Jessi Bowser, 1st place (West Bloomfield High School).

Barbara Presnell at the Fall Writers Series

Today, the RCAH Center for Poetry is pleased to welcome North Carolina poet Barbara Presnell to our Fall Writers Series. At 3 pm in Snyder C302, she’ll be leading a conversation about documentary poetry, which includes exploring family documents (letters, journals, and such), census reports, and family legends and giving them life on the page. Then,Continue reading “Barbara Presnell at the Fall Writers Series”

In Person with Carolyn Gage

By Kelsey Block The RCAH Center for Poetry was pleased to welcome Lesbian Feminist Playwright Carolyn Gage to East Lansing last week. During her visit, Gage visited several classes, conducted her workshop, “Interrupting Racism,” and gave performances of her work. Gage, 61, said she has been performing since the 1980s. She described the year 1986Continue reading “In Person with Carolyn Gage”

Poem of the Week: “The Unwearing: A Benediction” by Barbara Presnell

Then, at last, when machines shut down, the crank and clatter of their work quiet at this long shift’s end, when the bobbins are empty, whistles have stopped blowing, freight has been loaded on its beds and is gone, when sore backs and burly afternoons behind concrete walls have gone, when all the plants haveContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “The Unwearing: A Benediction” by Barbara Presnell”

The Winners of Our 5th Annual High School Poetry Competition

Congratulations to Jessi Bowser (1st Place), Jenna Wang (2nd Place), and Katie Peterson (3rd Place) for winning our 2013 High School Poetry Competition! We had over 250 poems submitted from high schoolers across Michigan, and the winners will read their selections on November 13 at 7 pm in the RCAH Theater in conjunction with aContinue reading “The Winners of Our 5th Annual High School Poetry Competition”

Carolyn Gage at the RCAH Center for Poetry

We’re thrilled to welcome playwright Carolyn Gage to the Center for Poetry. A feminist, lesbian playwright, she specializes in non-traditional roles for women, especially those reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or erased from history. Please join us for the following events surrounding Carolyn’s visit: Wednesday, November 6: An Evening of Lesbian Theatre withContinue reading “Carolyn Gage at the RCAH Center for Poetry”