WordView is a series of workshops and discussions exploring the practice of collaboration between the visual and literary arts, culminating in a juried exhibition in the LowellArts Gallery, from January 8 to February 19, 2022. Click the logo above to learn more.
WordView is presented in partnership with the International Society of Experimental Artists and the Poetry Society of Michigan with funding in part from Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment For the Humanities.
I am not going to say it is cold,
But when you milked the cows,
They gave ice cream,
And you could knock over
Any frozen goat.
The chickens hatched penguins,
And the horse snorted
The windows of the house
And as the inside heat
Melted the ice,
It became running rainbows.
Plunged to ten below zero,
And the trees exploded
Like cannon shots.
Now that was cold,
And if you believe me,
I will tell you another
Emory D. Jones / Iuka, MS
PSM IS DELIGHTED TO ADD 4 NEW SPONSORS THIS YEAR
The Detroit Writers’ Guild (DWG) is sponsoring a new category, “Music,” in honor of Faruq Z. Bey, a visionary of Detroit’s modern jazz scene, saxophonist, flutist, composer and poet. The Detroit Writers’ Guild was founded in 1983 for black authors in the Detroit Public School system. Today, the DWG has grown and now invites a diversity of community writers in the Detroit area to impact literary arts in all of its extraordinary forms and mediums. The DWG non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is led by M.L. Liebler as president. http://www.dwguild.org.
An endowed category recently added to the PSM Contest is “Women and Science” sponsored by Dr. Kathleen Decker. Poems should focus on the accomplishments and struggles of these women or even yourself. Lucile E. Thompson Decker was born in Grand Rapids in 1927. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Michigan State University in 1948, a Master’s degree in Chemistry from MSU and a PhD in Chemistry from MSU. Lucille and Kathleen were the first mother/daughter members of the American Chemical Society. She managed to raise two children while pursuing a full-time scientific career when many women were still homemakers.
Denise Sedman was great friends with Patricia A. Kearny and was an admirer of her poetry. Kearney passed at age 67 in March of 1999 and had a book of poetry published posthumously called “Skirting the Pain.” She was very active in the poetry scene and would often sing at readings. Denise Sedman is sponsoring the “Love” category in her honor. Denise has been a supporter of the Detroit Writers’ Guild since its relaunch in 2017, and a long-standing member of the Poetry Society of Michigan. Her poems are often written in prose about human issues in day-to-day living. She is an award winning poet and short story writer.
Honorary Chancellor Eric Torgersen taught Writing for 38 years at CMU. He has published seven books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently In Which We See Our Selves: American Ghazals, Mayapple Press; two novellas, and Dear Friend: Rainer Maria Rilke and Paula Modersohn-Becker, Northwestern University Press. He is married to the quilt artist Ann Kowaleski. He is sponsoring the 2021 “Chancellor’s Prize.”
If you have a poem written from one of Elizabeth Kerlikowske’s posts on this website or on Facebook that you would like to read at this meeting, please let Elizabeth know in advance. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shattering winter’s biting chill
is the songbird’s sonorous trill.
Piercing through it’s white landfill
is the ruby tulip, ready to kill.
Ransacking its icy rill
is the graceful swan’s orange bill.
Infecting its very spill
is the sun ray’s most treasured skill.
Niggling at its dreary shill
is the eternal hope’s cheery pill.
Generating a brand new will
is nature’s way to March uphill.
Radhika Iyer / Northville, Michigan
Her fine long legs, careful step by step
cross marsh and bog in slow dance
feeding on sweet morsels that rise
to greet sun and their demise.
A sound, she listens – one leg poised midair
towering above, still art – a comma,
a question mark buried in mud, messages
etched into the inner flesh of birchbark
still held by the curve of riverbanks
still layered with our relatives’
dust and their tarpaper shacks
still remembered by Ajijaak.
Nina I. Graig / Kalamazoo, Michigan
Michigan poets who have been appreciated internationally will be highlighted by having their poems enlarged in freestanding frames in downtown South Lyon and Paul Baker Park for the month of April, National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Cultural Arts Commission of South Lyon. Among the featured poets are MPS Honorary Chancellor, Eric Torgersen.
The free-standing frames, in which the enlarged poems will be housed, were provided by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs as part of a previous Art and Commerce Grant for holding artworks.
Poets whose work will be displayed are: Terry Blackhawk (Detroit; Mexico), Melba Boyd, (Detroit; China), Linda Nemec Foster (Grand Rapids; Poland), Tom Lynch (Milford; Ireland), Christine Rhein (Brighton; Italy), Jack Ridl (Saugatuck; Germany), Alison Swan (Ann Arbor, Ireland), Eric Torgerson (Mount Pleasant; Italy) and Melba Boyd (Detroit; China).
With In Which We See Our Selves, Eric Torgersen begins with the formal structure of the ghazal as popularized by Agha Shahid Ali and unapologetically makes a more American thing of it, arguing in his Afterword that this transformation is as inevitable as what happens when the children of immigrant parents pass through an American junior high school: not everyone is pleased with the result. “I’ve tried to avoid faux-Eastern themes and tones,” he writes. Fluently metrical and effortlessly rhymed, at times in short, hard-hitting lines with refrains as brief as a single word, these poems leap off the page with speech as American as this:
My gang all quit when I didn’t split the take right.
We crashed and burned when I didn’t hit the brake right.
(Click the cover photo to order from Mayapple Press)
Eric Torgersen was born in Melville, New York. He has a BA in German Literature from Cornell University; after two years in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, he earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa. He retired in the spring of 2008 after 38 years of teaching writing at Central Michigan University. He lives in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan with his wife, the quilt artist Ann Kowaleski. Since retiring, Eric has volunteered for the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. He enjoys fishing and foraging for wild mushrooms. He is available for workshops and readings.
Mr. Torgersen is presently serving a two-year term as Honorary Chancellor of the Poetry Society of Michigan.
Spindrift suggests stuff blown onto beaches, beaches of discovery in one’s mind. When these poems show a squirrel, a fish, birds, a beggar, an Irish pub, or a dish we see these as metaphors which conjure up ideas or feelings from our own familiarity with them. A poem that begins as an abstraction, like an enemy or peace or patience, becomes objectified. Spindrift is comprised of whatever little gems might be found along the shore, examined closely to become part of the reader’s experience. These jottings of spindrift take off from that experience like going to an airport when you want to be someplace else – or like poems which say one thing when they mean another.
Published by Atmosphere Press, 2021. 124 Pages, ISBN 163649532X
or purchase from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
Laurence W. Thomas is the founding editor of Third Wednesday Magazine. He has been around long enough to know the sting of rejection and the salve of acceptance. His shelves are lined with his own publications as well as the works of many other poets. He Chancelor Emertus of the Poetry Society of Michigan.