Laura Apol photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR/MSU

For two years, Dennis Hinrichsen has served as Lansing’s first Poet Laureate. As his term ends, a new poet laureate has been named. Laura Apol is an associate professor of literacy and curriculum in the Michigan State University College of Education. 

Old Town Lansing
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

Thirty-three high school students from across Michigan will face off in the state finals of a poetry recitation contest.

Jamie Paisley / WKAR-MSU

If you’ve gone walking around Lansing over the past couple of weeks, you might have seen something on the sidewalk: Poetry. WKAR’s Jamie Paisley has more about this public art, the Lansing Sidewalk Poetry project.

Courtesy Rina Risper

Thursday night, a crowd will gather at the steps of the Michigan State Capitol Building. They won’t be there to hear a political stump speech though, it is poetry that brings these people together.

Courtesy Dennis Hinrichsen

Over the past few months, the search was on to locate the inaugural Lansing Poet Laureate. Today, Weds. April 19th, that individual was announced. Hear the Lansing Poet Laureate describe their craft and read a new poem.

Jamie Paisley

Only 6 states in the U.S. do not have a Poet Laureate, and Michigan is one of them.
After attempting to make that happen a few years ago, a group of mid-Michigan organizations have shifted to a smaller scale.

A new recording project features Lansing artists working in the realm of spoken word music. Scott Pohl talks with Tyler Jenson, the musician responsible for “Speak Life: The Spoken Word Collection Vol. 1,” and one of the artists, Twyla Birdsong.

GLCL building photo
Courtesy photo / GLCL

Remember what Iambic Pentameter is? We preview the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters sonnet competition, which closes appropriately on the Ides of March.

Clayton Eshleman photo
Courtesy photo / Clayton Eshleman

Current State's Jamie Paisley speaks with a National Book Award winner and Guggenheim fellowship recipient, the Ypsilanti-based poet Clayton Eshleman, about his newly released ‘Sulfur Anthology.”

Andrea Scarpino photo
Courtesy photo / Andrea Scarpino

Andrea Scarpino of Marquette has been named poet laureate of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Scott Pohl talks with her about her work and life in the U.P.

Jeanne Van Wieren of Williamston is a poet and artist who has published a holiday-themed book inspired by life in Michigan. We talk with her about “Solstice Dance."

Public Poetry Announcement: Irene McKinney

Nov 25, 2015

During tough times in your life, it’s helpful to keep a little bit of silliness around to cheer you up. This week’s Public Poetry Announcement is a good option for that.

MSU Center for Poetry Director Anita Skeen reads “Frivolous” by Irene McKinney.

Our Public Poetry Announcements are produced in partnership with the MSU Center for Poetry.

Public Poetry Announcement: Robert Gibb

Jul 9, 2015
chipmunk photo
Flickr - phrawr

Current State's latest Public Poetry Announcement with Anita Skeen, Director of the Center for Poetry at MSU.

Courtesy The Poetry Foundation

While poetry is often thought of as a way to capture the beauty of the world in words, it has also long been a vehicle for political dissent and social criticism. From Walt Whitman to Pablo Neruda, many of the world’s most famous poets frequently drew inspiration for their poetry from their politics. Carolyn Forché is carrying that legacy of socially engaged poetry into the 21st century.

April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring poetry! This is National Poetry month and poetry-related events are taking place in cities across the country. That includes MSU’s Spring Poetry Festival right here in East Lansing. One of this year’s guests is Terry Blackhawk, an award-winning Detroit poet who is also the Executive Director of InsideOut Literary Arts Project.