For Poetry Lovers in Grand Rapids

Literary Life, my favorite bookstore in Grand Rapids, is hosting a special event this Thursday, April 9, 7pm as part of National Poetry Month. It will include a reading by Heather Sellers, poet and professor of English at Hope College, in Holland, MI. Sellers also served as judge for the 1st Annual Literary Life Poetry Contest and the winners of the contest will be announced that night as well. (I had the audacity to submit two poems but have absolutely no illusions about winning a thing.) I am looking forward to hearing Sellers and, I hope, hearing the winning poems as well.

Then on Thursday, April 16, 7pm, Literary Life's Third Thursday event will once again feature Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, Rodney Torreson. Torreson gave a reading last month and was delightful. He is wonderfully unassuming, almost timid, but his poetry sparkles. It is quintessentially "midwest" poetry--accessible, earthy, homespun, sacralizing the mundane. He finished that reading with "Don Larsen's Perfect World Series Game," from his collection, The Ripening of Pinstripes--a fantastic cresendo packed full of allusions. He is also a wonderful encourager of young poets (and even had one of his students, a freshman in high school, read five of her poems). I'm looking forward to introducing my son, Coleson (a gifted and--I hope--aspiring writer), to Torreson.

If you're in the vicinity, I'll hope to see you there!