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The RCAH Center for Poetry hosts annual Fall Poetry Chalking

September 20, 2018
<p>A student writes a poem in chalk on the sidewalk of the trail behind Shaw Hall on Sept. 19.&nbsp;</p>

A student writes a poem in chalk on the sidewalk of the trail behind Shaw Hall on Sept. 19. 

Photo by Rachel Hitchcock | The State News

The annual Fall Poetry Chalking, hosted by the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities Center for Poetry at Michigan State University, left River Trail marked with poetry Sept. 19.  

“We do this once a year just to let folks know we’re here. Poetry is here,” Laurie Hollinger, assistant director of the RCAH Center for Poetry, said. 

Hollinger said their mission for the Fall Poetry Chalking is “to get more poetry out in the world.”

The RCAH Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007.

“We think that poetry comes from this world and so we want to see it in this world,” Cindy Hunter Morgan, interim director of the RCAH Center for Poetry, said. “This is where poetry begins. It begins on sidewalks. It begins beside rivers. It begins where people walk and bike. It begins where we notice the world and so we want people to feel even just snippets of it here.”

Grace Carras, a student in RCAH and an intern for the Center of Poetry, spoke about writing poems in chalk and its significance. 

Her poem, “for the poets who gather here,” has been etched into the sidewalk outside of Blue Owl Coffee Co. in REO Town. 

Following its revealing, people have begun drawing the scenes in her poem with chalk next to the poem itself. 

“There’s something about seeing a poem in the ground that I think just inspires people,” Carras said.  

The Center for Poetry’s fall writing series is scheduled to begin Wednesday, Oct. 24 with a reading from poet Russell Brakefield.  

Free readings are held at 3:00 p.m. in the LookOut! Gallery in Snyder-Phillips Hall and in the RCAH Theater at 7:00 p.m. 

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