Kalamazoo Poets

If you like poetry and you like Michigan, check out a recent post (Awesome Mitten, Michigan Books Project) that includes a short review of four books of poetry, each with strong Michigan connections. The first of the four reviewed is Writer-in-Residence Di Seuss’s award-winning Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open. Other poets featured are John Rybicki, Laura Kasischke, and Jared Randall. Rybicki and Kasischke have done poetry readings on campus.

And in other news of Kalamazoo poets, Gail Griffin, the Ann V. and Donald R. Parfet Professor of English, won the annual poetry contest sponsored by FOLIO, a literary magazine published by American University (Washington, D.C.) Gail’s submission was her first ever “glosa,” a Spanish form of four 10-line stanzas based on a quatrain from another poem. Gail wrote, “I took some lines from a news story that particularly disturbed me and broke them into four lines of poetry. I’ve been working for a few years on poems and short prose inspired by weird, funny, or otherwise outrageous news stories.”

The contest judge was Martha Collins, a widely published poet who is affiliated with Oberlin College. Collins wrote, “I greatly admire the way [Griffin’s] ’Glosa: Man Held in Burning of Homeless Woman in Los Angeles’ moves through time, going back to Adam and forward to a ’millennium hence’ to elucidate a bit of news. The glosa form and a Genesis-inspired movement through the week are among the poetic strategies the author uses to create a richly-collaged reflection on the (gendered) need ’to love and loathe,’ as well as more generally disturbing aspects of our contemporary society.”

We look forward to sharing Gail’s poem when it is published in FOLIO later this year.