LSA’s English department has a history of poetic excellence, and has been home to many poets whose work you’ve probably encountered, even if you’re not a “poetry person.” Theodore Roethke, Robert Frost, Marge Piercy, Jane Kenyon, W. H. Auden, Donald Hall, Robert Hayden, and Lorna Goodison are just a few of the LSA alumni and faculty who are canonical poetic voices, not just in Michigan but in the literary world at large. 

And current LSA poetry students are writing the future of poetic letters. For National Poetry Month 2023, poetry students, both undergraduates and graduates, from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, were invited to recite their original work for a social media series. Diepreye Amanah, Bridgette Brados, Yanna Cassell, Matt Del Busto, Emilia Ferrante, Jenna Good, Caroline Knight, Sara Abou Rashed, Martha Schaller, and Jack Welsh present their exceptional work in this series.

In her poem “What I Hope to Leave Behind,” second-year MFA student Sara Abou Rashed writes of her journey to claim her identity as a poet:

I started to call myself

a language artist after struggling a while
to name my medium. Do you feel this?

I made this. With you, I’m making this.

Abou Rashed’s line, “With you, I’m making this,” underscores the importance of community for artistic expression. Poets are born by speaking into a community conversation of reading, recitation, listening, and responding. And LSA’s poetry programs grow this community. 

Watch the National Poetry Month 2023 video series on LSA's Youtube channel.


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Photography by Tatum Poirier