Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: How To Be Alone

By Tanya Davis

Posted in Call for Readers

Readers still needed for Festival of Listening

Our Festival of Listening is this Tuesday evening, March 1, at (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing. You can view photos from last year’s Festival here.

This annual event, celebrating untranslated poetry from around the world, is an aural delight. The rhythms and cadences of languages with which we may be unfamiliar can transform us to other places.

At this time, we have readers signed up for French, German, Dutch, Friesian, Arabic, Hindi, and Portuguese.

With roughly 6,500 languages spoken globally, this represents a mere thousandth of the possibilities.

We are still accepting readers of any language aside from English to share a poem on Tuesday. You needn’t be fluent in the language, merely capable of reading it aloud.

To sign up to read, please visit here.

For event details, please visit here.



Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: Gravity Furnace

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 3.51.00 PM
By francine j harris

She wants to set the house on fire,
gas in both hands, gas on the wall.

It’d be like the sea torched from its floor. She’d run like light

from basement windows. or maybe
suck all arms to room ablaze, so housed

in gut piping. the copper hollowed, reaching to a
heated black rot at bottom. Like ants; maybe she crawl in the dark.

low on the belly maybe she thug out late, lay low
and ink eight walls. lay low like cold, she might

strip bare, black glass. sometimes strut, sometimes
hide late. she runs from house to ember,

a sum of sink. She breathes through flame
a room of spoons. one

bar brick, one black-eyed room splatter, one torch
spent for each arm, from coal to alley, she heaves

hue of concrete into each limb. A house of blue-ring flames
to mimic; someone better run.

image by jerry veldhuizen

Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: Levitation

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 11.00.11 AM
By Andrew Nicholson

First Childhood Miracle

Even an inch is sky.

We try it,
a toe at a time. I
falcon my ankle

to hunt a higher step.
The game of it—
two kids

trying to fly
by oak trunk, by nerve
and sunken sinew.

But the fall.
But you see me tumble
under all

you quicken above.
Oak limbs fan wide
like a lily awake.

Even an inch is sky.

How would they classify
what you are up there—
a human is more caged

than fluttered,
the fern-wren more instinct
than revelator you.

image by Rosilyn Young @

Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: Going Out In Style

By Carol Barrett

Reckon I’ll be gone in three months.

You never know. I’m trying

a social experiment. The ladies

come to supper all gussied up

well before the appointed hour, 

lined up in their finery like orchids

on a lean branch. But the men,

they come drab as the boondocks

like they just got off their horse

out near Lexington or Castle Rock.

And we all know the farm’s 

long gone, no stallion’s kicked

that field in twenty years.


What I’m fixing to do

is wear my bow tie down to dinner,

different one every night, see

if I can get a gentleman or two 

to follow suit, come to dinner

like they are going out on the town,

like they really mean it. The ladies

deserve some civility. We only have

so long.

image: “Luncheon At The Boating Party”, Pierre-August Renoir

Posted in Uncategorized

Sheila Kay Adams Performance Cancelled

Hello, Friends of the Poetry Center,

We were saddened to hear from Sheila Kay Adams this morning that an injury will keep her from visiting here during the week of February 15. Like you, we were eagerly anticipating her visit.

We hope, along with the Ten Pound Fiddle, that we’ll be able to bring her here next year sometime.

We’ll be keeping Sheila in our thoughts, and hope you will too.Sheila Kay Adams CANCELLED

Astros y fuentes y flores, no murmuréis de mis sueños,
Sin ellos, ¿cómo admiraros ni cómo vivir sin ellos?
Rosalía de Castro

We’re now accepting readers for the Festival of Listening – An Evening of Untranslated Poetry at (scene) Metrospace on Tuesday, March 1.

Any and all languages are welcome! In the past, we’ve heard Spanish, French, German, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Dutch, Korean, Chinese, Farsi, and more.

If you’re interested in reading, email with your name and the title and author of the poem by February 22. Try to keep your selection under three minutes.

Festival of Listening Flyer

Call for Readers – Festival of Listening