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GRCC Alum and Rockford Poet Eric Greinke Receives National Honor

Grand Rapids Community College alumnus Eric Greinke recently received an honorable mention for the 2012 Allen Ginsberg Awards at the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College – a high honor from an internationally-renowned organization.

Said Greinke, “It is a big honor, because the field is so big (over 10,000 submissions) and also because it is judged anonymously, so the poems are judged for themselves and not for who has written them.”

Geinke has been invited to read his winning poem Shooting Lessons at the Awards Ceremony in February 2013 at the Passaic County Community College Poetry Center along with the 39 other winners in all categories.  The winning poems will be published in the next annual issue of the Paterson Literary Review, one of the nation’s foremost literary journals.  Poems published in the Review have consistently been chosen for the annual Best American Poetry series, published by Scribners, as well as for the Pushcart Prize anthologies.

A native of Grand Rapids, Greinke is an internationally recognized poet whose books have been distributed in twenty-five countries and translated into eight languages.  Greinke recently participated in the inaugural Grand Rapids Poets Conference, hosted by GRCC this spring.   Greinke’s most recent and upcoming books include Traveling Music, The Potential Of Poetry, All This Dark – 24 Tanka Sequences (with fellow poet John Elsberg) and Conversation Pieces.   He is the recipient of numerous awards and received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for The Last Ballet in 1972.  He is a regular contributor to the California Quarterly, The New York Quarterly, the Home Planet News, The Pedestal Magazine and The Wilderness House Literary Review.

"Eric is an old friend whose work spans decades, ” said GRCC professor and Grand Rapids Poet Laureate (2011-2014) David Cope.   “He has done more than most to ensure that new experimental poetry finds its way into print, and it's fitting that he should win this award.”

A Washington Post review once described Greinke’s poetry in this fashion: “Eric Greinke's infinite variety has never staled nor withered.  His poems have the surrealistic magic of Magritte or the young Dali.  He is an eclectic poet for all seasons and all times of the day."

The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College is an internationally recognized organization founded by Poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan in Paterson, New Jersey, providing poetry resources, events, workshops, awards and publications.  The city of Paterson is well-known in the poetry community, as it is the home of two famous and influential poets:  William Carlos Williams, perhaps the most influential of the 20th century modern masters, and Allen Ginsberg, whose name this prestigious award bears.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.