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MSU honors National Poetry Month with Spring Poetry Festival

April 14, 2016

The month of April is National Poetry Month, and MSU is recognizing the month through the Spring Poetry Festival.

Sponsored by the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and the Department of English, the festival is a span of three weeks in April on Wednesdays and has been going on since 2007.

At the April 13 event, poet Tarfia Faizullah read from her book “Seam," which featured poems inspired by her life as a Bangladeshi-American.

Faizullah, who is currently a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, started writing poetry early in life and went to graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin to further pursue it.

“In some ways, in one way or another, trying to understand who I am,” Faizullah said. “What my relationship is to the world and my cultural heritage is one of many aspects of that.”

Faizullah also shared original poems, such as one titled “1971.”

Laurie Hollinger, assistant director of the RCAH Center for Poetry, helped decide on Faizullah as the first guest poet for the festival.

“The work that’s encompassed and seen in her book of poems are so relevant to the things we do here,” Hollinger said. “She seemed like a really good fit.”

Arabic sophomore Brandon Parker said he came to see Faizullah perform after he discovered her work online.

“Her poetry is deep and personal,” Parker said. “I like how she relates her life to her work and you can feel the emotion through her words.”

Robin Silbergleid, director of the Creative Writing Program, said she thinks the program is beneficial to the community.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for students, faculty and community members to come together and really celebrate the best of language and books that are available right now,” Silbergleid said.

The Poetry Festival continues on April 20 and 27 with guests Lindsay Tigue and Robin Coste Lewis.

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