Poem of the Week: “for the poets who gather here,” by Grace Carras

The RobinThe Robin Theatre in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood, and home to The Poetry Room. Photo by The Poetry Room

This week’s poem is by our own Grace Carras, currently in her third year as an intern here at the RCAH Center for Poetry, and co-founder (with Masaki Takahashi) of The Poetry Room, a wildly popular open mic now in its second year. We’re celebrating Grace this week in light of the news that she is the winner of the 2019 Ritzenheim Emerging Poet Award (administered by the Lansing Poetry Club and judged this year by Robert Vivian of Alma College), which includes publication of a chapbook of her poems by Finishing Line Press. For now, you can also find this poem down the street from the Robin Theatre, etched in the sidewalk at the northeast corner of South Washington Ave. and East South Street.


for the poets who gather here

with thanks to The Poetry Room and The Robin Theatre


this is for you,

who overcome the trembling

dance of your own pulse

to blossom in the stage light.

you, who dig your roots in deep

and sprout from rock bottom.

go forth and devour, you

conquerors of concrete,

who put the we in weeds,

you brilliant bouquets of breath;

i’ve seen you carry explosions

in your mouths.

you hungry poets,

i’m in love

with the shrapnel of your bravery,

with the way you become the light

that you need to grow.

Published by cpoetrymsu

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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