Photo credit: Khary Mason

Nandi Comer stands at the intersection of art and advocacy, using her poetry as a lens to explore the complex tapestry of Detroit's history and the broader themes of race, gender, and identity. As Michigan's Poet Laureate, she brings a unique voice and perspective to the state's literary scene, drawing on her experiences growing up in the city to inform her work.

Comer's literary journey is marked by a commitment to amplifying marginalized voices and challenging traditional narratives. Her poetry collections, including "American Family: A Syndrome" and "Tapping Out," have garnered critical acclaim and prestigious awards, such as the 2020 Society of Midland Authors Award and the 2020 Julie Suk Award. Through her role as a poetry editor for Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, she continues to champion diversity in literature. 

Beyond her own writing, Comer is deeply involved in arts education, serving as a writer-in-residence in Detroit Public Schools and collaborating with organizations like YArts and InsideOut Literary Arts Projects. These experiences have shaped her into not just a poet, but a mentor and advocate for young writers, empowering them to find their own voices and tell their own stories.

One of the highlights of Comer's upcoming engagements is the Annual RC Robertson Lecture, where she will serve as the keynote speaker. This event promises to be a celebration of poetry, community, and creativity, as Comer shares her insights and inspirations with a captivated audience. Whether you're a poetry enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates the power of storytelling, the Annual Robertson Lecture with Nandi Comer is an event not to be missed.

In a world often divided by differences, Nandi Comer's poetry serves as a bridge, connecting us to our shared humanity and reminding us of the power of words to heal, inspire, and transform. 

Nandi graduated from the Residential College in 2001.