Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “HENRY CLAY, 1851” by Cindy Hunter Morgan

Cassat, knittingImage: Mary Cassat, “Old Woman Knitting”


Join us this week as we celebrate the release of Harborless, with a reading by Cindy Hunter Morgan. Wednesday, 7 p.m., RCAH Theater, Snyder Hall.




Lake Erie


Baled wool washed ashore for weeks.

At first, the appearance of each bundle

was sobering and macabre,

but after a few days, one woman

began to look forward to the surprise

and the wealth

of what drifted her way.

She ripped the jute bags

and pulled out the stuffing—wet, still

scented with grease and mystery.

She dried the wool, carded it, spun it,

wound it into skeins,

and made scarves and sweaters.

Sixteen men died when the ship sunk.

At least something would come

of the cargo they carried—

mittens for the children of friends,

caps for five nephews.

Sometimes, she wondered why

bales floated and men didn’t,

and what buoyancy meant

for her own life,

dry as it was.



Cindy Hunter Morgan, from Harborless (2017), Wayne State University Press.

Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: Knotweed


by Cindy Hunter Morgan

This morning the horses were cross
when I showed up to feed them.
They blocked the ladder to the hay mow,
would not meet my gaze.
You old stick in the mud, I said,
just like my grandfather, but they did not budge.
Still, I got their hay and fluffed the flakes
like Easter basket grass.
The horses bowed their heads, licking
their grain bins and flicking their tails.
I patted their rumps and left.

In the hospital, I saw my grandfather’s legs
for the first time: purple veins hardened
like the stems of Japanese knotweed, knees
swollen like nodes on the stem.
He told me of hallucinations, how
in the fog of delirium the geometry
of this world kept bleeding angles
when he tried to define the slope of the barn.
He asked about the horses, but only said
the names of the dead ones.

Now in the amber afternoon,
they stretch their heads over the rail
and nicker. I slip under the fence
beside their skinny legs, ropy
as blue beech. I could be among trees.
How mutable, the stuff of this world.
I feed them apples, one each,
and brush them until they shine,
their lost hair blowing away,
then settling like tufts of wintered grass.


Copyright 2014 The Harlequin

Posted in Fall Writing Series, news, visiting writers

Center for Poetry Fall 2015 Events – Save the Date!

Welcome back, poetry people! The RCAH Center for Poetry is excited to be up and running again, led by our new assistant director, Laurie Hollinger. Laurie graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Arts and Humanities and Creative Writing.

Also new to our team are interns Frances Master and Grace Carras. Frances is a freshman studying Arts and Humanities. Grace is a sophomore studying Arts and Humanities, English, and creative writing.

Sarah Teppen and Kelsey Block are our returning interns this year. Sarah is a junior studying Arts and Humanities, Anthropology, sustainability, and several languages. Kelsey is a senior studying Arts and Humanities and Journalism.

Take a minute to glance through some of our biggest Fall 2015 events, and be sure to keep an eye out for our bi-weekly newsletter!

September 17
Annual Book Sale
9 am – 5 pm, Farm Lane & N. Shaw lawn

September 30 or October 14
Fall Poetry Chalking
11 am – 2 pm, River Trail behind Shaw Hall

October 21
Fall Writing Series: Cindy Hunter Morgan (Poetry)
Conversation: Levity and Gravity: How Humor Serves Solemnity in Contemporary Poetry 3 pm, LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall
Reading: 7 pm, RCAH Theater

October 27-28
Fall Writing Series: Michael and Carrie Kline (Appalachian Music and Folklore)
Tuesday, Oct. 27: Conversation 3 pm, LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall
Wednesday, Oct. 28: Reading: 7 pm, RCAH Theater

November 11
Fall Writing Series: Marvin and Nathan Bell (Poetry and Folk Music), co-
sponsored by the MSU “Our Daily Work/Our Daily Lives” Program
Conversation 3 pm, LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall
Reading and Benvenuto Prize Winner announcement/reading: 7 pm, RCAH Theater

November 18
Fall Writing Series: Simeon Berry
Conversation 3 pm,LookOut! Gallery, Snyder Hall
Reading: 7 pm, RCAH Theater