Poets say Lansing club all about building relationships – Noise
Gary StephensÃ¢Â€Â™ words chimed through Michigan Institute for Contemporary Artgallery.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThe meeting had a leaden tone,
Mind-numbing from the constant drone.
Time stretched out like an endless loop.
My eyelids lost their will to droop.
I open eyes with starting jerk.
Surprised to find IÃ¢Â€Â™m still at work…Ã¢Â€Â
This was a meeting of the Lansing Poetry Club. Stephens of Eaton Rapids was reading his poem Ã¢Â€ÂœMeeting, The Challenge,Ã¢Â€Â during the eventÃ¢Â€Â™s open mic.
Ã¢Â€ÂœItÃ¢Â€Â™s an odd situation being a poet,Ã¢Â€Â he said. Ã¢Â€ÂœIf you donÃ¢Â€Â™t share it, nobody ever hears it, so you have to have a little bit of ego to get it out to the public, but you donÃ¢Â€Â™t want to be an egomaniac about it, either. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s a line you walk.Ã¢Â€Â
ItÃ¢Â€Â™s a line that Lansing Poetry Club members have been walking since 1938.
When Ruelaine Stokes wrote her first poem in high school, she had no idea it would develop into a lifelong passion.
Ã¢Â€ÂœPoetry has tremendously enriched my life,Ã¢Â€Â Stokes, a Lansing resident, said. Ã¢Â€ÂœI think all of the arts make our lives much richer, and they make it possible for us to transcend the really hard and tough aspects of life.Ã¢Â€Â
Now, Stokes is the president of the Lansing Poetry Club.
Ã¢Â€ÂœIÃ¢Â€Â™ve been writing poetry and coordinating for a really long time in the area, and I was drafted,Ã¢Â€Â she explained. Ã¢Â€ÂœThe club was looking for leadership, and I had come to a few meetings, and I didnÃ¢Â€Â™t intend to take a position here, but itÃ¢Â€Â™s a wonderful organization.Ã¢Â€Â
Stokes is fairly new to the club. She took on the role of vice president in May and was voted president just this month. The club
meets the third Tuesday of every month at in Old Town at the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art.
Attendance at the monthly meetings is free and open to the public. Audience members are treated to a poetry reading from a featured guest, followed by an open mic reading.
The featured guest last week was Dan Matson of DeWitt, who gave a reading titled Ã¢Â€ÂœThe Art of Art,Ã¢Â€Â after his book by the same title.
Ã¢Â€ÂœIÃ¢Â€Â™ve taken all the disciplines of art and made poetic statements about them in my book,Ã¢Â€Â said Matson, who has been a member for 20 years. Ã¢Â€ÂœReading here gives me an opportunity to share the work IÃ¢Â€Â™ve done.Ã¢Â€Â
New members are very welcome. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s a chance to not only experience great poetry, members say, but to build meaningful relationships.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWeÃ¢Â€Â™re all trying to get down on paper our impressions and feelings and sense of place for our poetry, so just being together means a lot to me,Ã¢Â€Â said Leonard Peterson of East Lansing, a member for two decades, Ã¢Â€Âœand IÃ¢Â€Â™ve always felt that very strongly.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœI always look forward to coming.Ã¢Â€Â
How to go: The Lansing Poetry Club meets at 5:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month at MICA Gallery in Old Town at 1210 Turned Street, Lansing. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/lansingpoetryclub.
Lansing Poetry Club president Ruelaine Stokes reads her poem “I remember the far-off sky, blue and blazing.”