Public Poetry Announcement: Introduction and poet Robert Hayden

Feb 7, 2013

Michigan poet Robert Hayden was the first African American to be named, what is now called, poet laureate.

Today we’re starting a new recurring segment on Current State. It’s called Public Poetry Announcement.

We’ve partnered with the Center for Poetry at MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities to find the funniest, the darkest, the most heartwarming, even the most heartbreaking poetry out there.  Please note, this is not the kind of stodgy poetry you learned in your high school English class that scared you away forever. It’s also not your neighbor’s rhymes about sunsets and dogs. The poetry we’ll be featuring will be from among the greatest ever written.

Moving forward, these PPAs, as we’ll be calling them, will not be chosen at random. Through their subject matter, or their place in history, or the poet’s biographical relevance, these poems will, we hope, add another dimension to the conversations we’re already having here on Current State. Sometimes they will come with a short background about the poet or a little discussion about the poem. But other times, we will just let the words speak for themselves.

To kick off our Public Poetry Announcements, Current State producer Joe Linstroth speaks with Stephanie Glazier, the acting director of the RCAH’s Center for Poetry, about the often misunderstood art form and their first featured writer, Michigan poet Robert Hayden.