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GRCC Opens First Grand Rapids Poets’ Conference Today - Organizers Announce Mayor Heartwell to Preside Over Opening

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell will preside at the opening of the first-ever Grand Rapids Poets' Conference today at 1 PM, delivering remarks on the citywide importance of poetry as a cultural art form. Poets from Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Aquinas and Calvin colleges, as well as all four Grand Rapids Poets Laureate, will converge on GRCC’s campus today through Thursday to spotlight the wealth of writing talent in our area.

The event, a long-held goal of GRCC Professor and current city Poet Laureate, David Cope, will include open readings, structured readings by area prize-winning poets, information for independent poets, discussions and more.  Some discussions focus on teaching poets how to publish their pieces and use media, such as websites, to display their work.  

All events are free to the public and supported by GRCC, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids. 

The conference kicks off today, April 2, at 1 p.m. in Sneden Hall on GRCC’s DeVos Campus, 415 E. Fulton with Mayor Heartwell’s opening remarks followed by Cope speaking about poetry in our time, and a panel of poets.

Most of the events will take place in Sneden Hall or the GRCC Library, but more information on the conference times and events can be found atwww.grcc.edu/grpoetsconference  

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 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.