MSUToday
Published: May 8, 2019

New Lansing poet laureate to engage tri-county community in the literary arts

Contact(s): Lauren Knapp College of Education office: 517-353-3429 laeknapp@msu.edu

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), the RCAH Center for Poetry at Michigan State University and the Lansing Poetry Club are proud to announce the appointment of Laura Apol as the second regional Lansing Poet Laureate.

As Poet Laureate, Apol will engage the tri-county region in the literary arts to promote poetry as an art form, expand access to the literary arts, connect the community to poetry and showcase poetry as a literary voice that contributes to a greater sense of place, which supports the attraction of global talent and business.

“The appointment of a poet laureate is both symbolic and tangible—an element that speaks to the value of this region’s place; connecting arts and cultural experiences into daily life—most certainly an amenity that draws and keeps talent in the region,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “The past two years with the inaugural Lansing Poet Laureate were wildly successful, and we are eager to see how Laura uses her expertise to connect our region to the world through poetry.”

Apol is a longtime Lansing resident and associate professor of literacy and curriculum at MSU’s College of Education.

“It’s an honor to be selected as the incoming poet laureate, and I’m looking forward to working with area poets to bring poetry into areas where perhaps it’s something new,” she said. “Poems are about community—they connect us to one another. I’d love for poetry to be part of the everyday life of the community, so that poems are encountered in unexpected places, and so people who don’t consider themselves to be poets find themselves enjoying poems and perhaps even writing some lines.”

With this appointment, the Lansing Poet Laureate will offer instructional workshops and readings with the public, working to engage all three counties within greater Lansing.

“I’m delighted that Laura will be our new Poet Laureate and will work within our communities to help us create poetry that explores the fabric of our lives and our deep connection to this region,” said Ruelaine Stokes, president of the Lansing Poetry Club. 

Laurie Hollinger, assistant director for the RCAH Center for Poetry at MSU, said that she is thrilled to see Apol as the newly-appointed Lansing Poet Laureate.

“The selection process was robust, with many excellent choices,” said Hollinger. “In the end, Laura’s stature as both a nationally renowned poet and her passion for poetry made her the best fit for this role. She will inspire future poet laureates, and I’m excited for our region to have such a gift.”

Information about the Lansing Poet Laureate and future events can be found on the Lansing Poet Laureate website.

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), the RCAH Center for Poetry at MSU and the Lansing Poetry Club are proud to announce the appointment of Laura Apol as the second regional Lansing Poet Laureate.