Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Center for Poetry?

The Center for Poetry is an organization that opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community in the greater Lansing area.


We are housed within the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, a living-learning program for undergraduate students at Michigan State University (MSU). All of our events are free and open to the public.


Where is the Center for Poetry?

Our office is located at C220H-J Snyder in Snyder-Phillips Hall, on the North-East part of MSU’s campus. To find us, walk into either Snyder or Phillips and head toward the center of the building, where you will find an elevator just outside of The Gallery cafeteria. Take the elevator to the second floor and look for the long hallway opposite the LookOut! Gallery. The C220 office wing is located at the end of the hall; enter, turn left, and go all the way to the back.


Where do events take place?

The majority of our events take place in Snyder-Phillips Hall, from the second- and third-floor classrooms to the LookOut! Gallery (second floor) to the RCAH Theater (basement, or T/Terrace level on the elevators). We also have events in the MSU Main Library and (SCENE) Metrospace gallery.


Where can I park on campus?

Meter spots are available outside of Snyder-Phillips Hall 24/7. Faculty spots are free after 6 pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday and can be found on either side of Snyder-Phillips and in the Psychology Lot across from Phillips Hall. There are also a number of parking lots on campus and in downtown East Lansing.


Do I have to be a poet to come to events? Do I have to be a student to come to events?

No and no! We encourage folks from all walks of life to attend our events, and we’ve hosted everyone from middle school students to older community members. We strive to make poetry and the art of writing accessible and encourage you to join us for an event regardless of your background.


What are some events you have annually?

Every year, we have the Annual New & Used Book Sale; Poetry Chalking; Fall Writers Series & Spring Poetry Festival; Read a Poet, Write a Poem workshop series; Festival of Listening; Women’s History Month Poetry Potluck; Live Lit; and Edible Book Contest. Due to the high number of events we do every year though, we don’t always have the chance to do each and every one of those events listed. Make sure to check our Events Calendar for the most up-to-date information. We also have the High School Poetry Competition every Fall and the Annie Balocating Prize for Poetry every Spring.


Do you offer workshops?

Yes, we offer a variety of writing workshops, which are free and do not require registration. More info here. We also support the One Book, One Community initiative and its writing workshops, which do require registration. More info here.


I’m an MSU student. How can I apply for an internship?

When available, internships are announced through our website, our newsletter, and MSU Career Services. While you must be an undergraduate student to intern with us, you do not have to be an RCAH student. Interns work an average of 7-10 hours per week assisting with office duties, events, and projects. Internships for college credit can be arranged with Interim Director Cindy Hunter Morgan, or Assistant Director Laurie Hollinger.


I’m an artist. Who do I contact about booking a reading/performance/workshop at the Poetry Center?

Please send promotional materials to for consideration. Planning for our Fall Writing Series (September through December) and Spring Poetry Festival (April) begins as early as January of the preceding academic year. (So, for example, we start planning artists for the 2014-2015 academic year in the Spring of 2014.) Occasionally, we have opportunities for readings outside of the Fall Writing Series and Spring Poetry Festival. Please note that the Center is closed during the summer, so any requests during this time should be sent directly to Interim Director Cindy Hunter Morgan.


Who are some of the poets/writers/musicians you’ve hosted in the past?

2018-19: Russell Brakefield, Karin Gottshall

2017-18: Ocean Vuong, George Ella Lyon, Diane Gilliam, Crystal Good, Leila Chatti

2016-17: Juan Felipe Herrera, Chris Dombrowski, Francine Banwarth, Kate Snodgrass, Marcia Aldrich, Sara Marie Ortiz, Karen Vuranch, Tina Chang, Toi Derricotte, and Mark Doty

2015-16: Cindy Hunter Morgan, Michael & Carrie Kline, Marvin Bell, Nathan Bell, Simeon Berry, Brian Gilmore, Tarfia Faizullah, Lindsay Tigue, Robin Coste Lewis, Speak Like a Girl

2014-15: Robin Nott, Susan Tekulve, Richard Mulkey, Jim Minick, Jane Congdon, Linda Nemec Foster, Robin Silbergleid, Sami S. Chetrit, Dennis Hinrichsen, Terry Blackhawk, and Carolyn Forché

2013-14: Natasha Trethewey, Tracy K. Smith, Sofia Starnes, Ann Pancake, Barbara Presnell, Carolyn Gage, George Ellenbogen, Jamaal May, Diane Wakoski, Buddy Wakefield

2012-13: Jenny Factor, Natalie Diaz, Melissa Kwanzy, and Elizabeth LaPrelle, Li-Young Lee, Laura Kasischke, and Carl Phillips

2011-12: Traci Brimhall, Laura Apol, Andrew Hudgins, Jack Ridl, Jane Congdon, Susan Eisenburg, Lucy Ferriss, Luis Rodriguez, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Jane Taylor

2010-11: Diane Wakoski, Cynthia Huntington, Marcia Aldrich, Fourth Genre, Gerald McCarthy, Rebecca Dunham, Irene McKinney, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, Patricia Clark, Todd Davis, and Anis Mojgani

2009-10: Dunya Mikhail, Soheil Najm, Steve Lopez, Jane Congdon, Michael & Carrie Kline, Thom Jayne and The Nomads, Carolyn Smart, Thomas Lynch, Steve Healy, Christine Rhein, Cathy Bowman, Diane Wakoski, Jerome Rothenberg, Ruelaine Stokes, and Suheir Hammad

2008-09: George Ellenbogen, Robin Silbergleid, Luisa Igloria, Diane Gilliam, Harry and Sandra Reese, Laura Apol, Jeanine Hathaway, The Mayhem Poets, Elspeth Cameron, and Steven Haven

2007-08: Anita Skeen, Gordon Henry, Carolyn Forché, Diane Wakoski



How can I connect with the Poetry Center?

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wordpress, and Flickr. We also send out an e-newsletter every two weeks; click here to sign up. Our mailing address is 362 Bogue St., C210, East Lansing, MI 48825. Our phone number is (517) 884-1932 and our e-mail is We’d love to hear from you!


How can I donate money to the Poetry Center?

There are a few different ways to donate. Please visit our Donate page to learn more, and thank you for your consideration. We couldn’t do what we do without your generous support!


How and when can I donate used books to the Poetry Center? What genres do you accept?

We accept new and gently used books of ALL genres (cookbooks, literary journals, children’s books, dictionaries… you name it!) at any time of year. Books we don’t sell in a given year are put back into storage to be used at the next sale. Please contact us at (517) 884-1932 or to arrange a time for you to drop off your books. We are happy to provide a receipt of your tax-deductable donation upon request.

More questions?

Call (517) 884-1932 or

e-mail us at


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