High School Poetry Competition Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 5th Annual Richard Benvenuto High School Poetry Competition! They visited the Center for Poetry last night to read their winning poems. From left: Jenna Wang, 2nd place (International Academy Central); Katie Peterson, 3rd place (Brighton High School); and Jessi Bowser, 1st place (West Bloomfield High School).

Barbara Presnell at the Fall Writers Series

Today, the RCAH Center for Poetry is pleased to welcome North Carolina poet Barbara Presnell to our Fall Writers Series. At 3 pm in Snyder C302, she’ll be leading a conversation about documentary poetry, which includes exploring family documents (letters, journals, and such), census reports, and family legends and giving them life on the page. Then,Continue reading “Barbara Presnell at the Fall Writers Series”

Poem of the Week: “The Unwearing: A Benediction” by Barbara Presnell

Then, at last, when machines shut down, the crank and clatter of their work quiet at this long shift’s end, when the bobbins are empty, whistles have stopped blowing, freight has been loaded on its beds and is gone, when sore backs and burly afternoons behind concrete walls have gone, when all the plants haveContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “The Unwearing: A Benediction” by Barbara Presnell”

RCAH Center for Poetry Intern Jenny Crakes Visits Lansing STEM Academy

Center for Poetry intern Jenny Crakes visited the Lansing STEM Academy on Tuesday, Oct. 29, to conduct a poetry writing workshop for the students there. Here is her account. The Center for Poetry had a wonderful opportunity this week to collaborate with the Lansing STEM Academy, where middle school students are writing poems to enterContinue reading “RCAH Center for Poetry Intern Jenny Crakes Visits Lansing STEM Academy”

Poem of the Week: “Une Charogne (A Carcass)” by Charles Baudelaire

                          A Carcass My love, do you recall the object which we saw, That fair, sweet, summer morn! At a turn in the path a foul carcass On a gravel strewn bed, Its legs raised in the air, like a lustful woman, Burning and dripping with poisons, Displayed in a shameless, nonchalant way Its belly,Continue reading “Poem of the Week: “Une Charogne (A Carcass)” by Charles Baudelaire”

Poem of the Week: “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a treeToward heaven still,And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fillBeside it, and there may be two or threeApples I didn’t pick upon some bough.But I am done with apple-picking now.Essence of winter sleep is on the night,The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.I cannot rub the strangenessContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost”

George Ellenbogen at the Center for Poetry

The RCAH Center for Poetry is thrilled to welcome our first visiting writer of the Fall Writers Series, George Ellenbogen. He will be reading from his latest memoir, “A Stone In My Shoe: In Search of Neighbourhood” as well as that of his late partner, Evelyn Shakir: “Teaching Arabs, Writing Self.” If you’re around MSU’sContinue reading “George Ellenbogen at the Center for Poetry”

Poem of the Week: “Now it is fall” by Edith Södergran

Poem of the Week: “Now it is fall,” by Edith Södergran Now it is fall by Edith Södergran Translated from the Swedish by Averill Curdy when all the golden birds fly home across the blue deep water; On shore I sit rapt in its scattering glitter; departure rustles through the trees. This farewell is vastContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “Now it is fall” by Edith Södergran”

Poem of the Week: “No Map” by Stephen Dobyns

No Map   How close the clouds press this October first and the rain—a gray scarf across the sky. In separate hospitals my father and a dear friend lie waiting for their respective operations, hours on a table as surgeons crack their chests. They were so brave when I talked to them last as theyContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “No Map” by Stephen Dobyns”


The Residential College in the Arts and Humanities Center for Poetry at Michigan State University opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry. Our goal is to help facilitate a place for poetry in our everyday lives. Poetry allows us to read, write, and think expressively while teachingContinue reading “Welcome”