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Grand Rapids poet joins Center for Poetry for writing workshop

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By Kelsey Block

“Even if there was a tornado outside, nothing could keep me from sharing the work of Lisel Mueller.”

Linda Nemec Foster, Grand Rapids poet, joined the Center for Poetry during the annual Read a Poet, Write a Poem workshop. Foster studied under German-born Poet Lisel Mueller as a master’s student at Goddard College in Vermont in the 1970s. Since then, Foster has published several books of poetry; her most recent is Talking Diamonds: Poems.

Participants in the workshop read excerpts from Mueller’s book and composed poems emulating her style.

Center for Poetry Director Anita Skeen said she loves to teach Mueller’s work.

“You can explain everything you need to know about poetry using Lisel Mueller,” she said.

Haeja K. Chung, a regular participant in Center for Poetry events, feels the beauty of Mueller’s work lies in its accessibility. “She speaks to me, she speaks for me, she inspires me to write,” Chung said.

The title poem of Mueller’s book, “Alive Together,” captures her unique humanitarian consciousness, Chung added, saying that “Mueller is a poet without borders of any kind.”

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The Center for Poetry 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 outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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