chipmunk photo
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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.

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April is poetry month and it seemed like the perfect time to bring back our occasional series of Public Poetry Announcements. In keeping with the weather, we have a spring themed poem.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Plenty of musicians have drawn inspiration from famous poems. “Golden Slumbers” by the Beatles, for example, was based on a lullaby by Elizabethan poet Thomas Dekker. But while lots of musicians have been inspired by writers like Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson, they probably never got a chance to actually talk to them. A new collaboration between the Center for Poetry at MSU and the MSU College of Music is giving musicians a chance to actually interact with their poetic muses.