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Lansing poet kicks off Fall Writing Series

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By Kelsey Block

Lansing poet Cindy Hunter Morgan joined the RCAH Center for Poetry last week as the first guest in the annual Fall Writing Series. Hunter Morgan’s visit was co-sponsored with MSU’s Our Daily Work, Our Daily Lives series.

Wednesday afternoon, Hunter Morgan facilitated a conversation on solemnity and humor in contemporary poetry. That evening, she read from her two chapbooks, The Sultan, The Skater, the Bicycle Maker and Apple Season, in addition to sharing some work from her forthcoming book.

Cindy Hunter Morgan teaches creative writing at Michigan State University, a class she always starts with a poetry unit.

“I think that everything we talk about when we talk about poetry can inform and influence all of our writing,” she said. “What I love about poetry is the way it enacts thought without conclusion. I love how metaphor is at work in so much poetry, how metaphor helps us find connections between things that are wildly unalike in this world.”

Her new book, featuring poems on Great Lakes shipwrecks, will be released in spring 2017.

“I grew up here, I grew up around all of our lakes, swimming in them, camping by them. And, my great grandfather sailed on a US corps of engineers tug to earn money to send my grandmother to college here (Michigan State College)… I think the lure of the lakes is pretty irresistible here,” she said.

Hunter Morgan also created a collection of collages about her shipwreck poems.

“I love working with paper, so for me, it’s another and different medium. It’s a different way of feeling absorbed in the work,” she said.

The collection is on display on the second floor of Snyder Hall until Oct. 28.

Hunter Morgan is also very active in the Lansing poetry scene. She was recently named the new chair of the Center for Poetry’s Community Council.

“I think the Center for Poetry is doing really important work for this community and for this state. The programs that are offered here and the poets who come and visit — these things are tremendous resources for anyone who wants to think more deeply about what it means to read and write poetry,” she said, adding that she plans to help grow the Center’s visibility throughout the state as well as the country.

The Fall Writing Series continues tonight with a performance by Appalachian Folklorists Michael and Carrie Kline at 7 p.m. in the RCAH Theater, Snyder Hall.

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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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