poet

Erin Iafrate

This week on Points North, March Madness is here. But for some in northern Michigan that means practicing their musical instruments – not college basketball. Plus, we meet the Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate and take a look at counterfeit money in northern Michigan.


Marty Achatz poses with a Sasquatch statue
Marty Achatz/Facebook

 

Marty Achatz was more than a little surprised to be nominated as the Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate for a second time.

"I was absolutely flabbergasted," he says. "Stunned for a couple days."

 

Regardless of what Achatz says, the Ishpeming native is a fan favorite for a reason. Reading his poems you can feel the pangs of heartache and moments of joy in equal measure.

When you think of a mermaid story, maybe an ocean comes to mind.

But couldn’t a mermaid live in the Great Lakes? Lake Michigan maybe?

Writers Linda Nemec Foster and Anne-Marie Oomen posed that question to each other ten years ago. Their new book is called The Lake Michigan Mermaid: A Tale in Poems.

The National Park Service printed Moheb Soliman's poems using the official colors and iconography.
Moheb Soliman

It’s a hot Saturday afternoon in Leland, Michigan. The sun is out and a lot of people are visiting Fishtown. Sonja Vanderveen is up visiting from downstate. She’s standing in front of a National Park sign, with poetry on it.

“There were towns, and beaches spooning," she reads. "There was longing, and belonging. There was plenty of parking, and abandon lots. There was sunset. Three scoops of peach high and as wide smeared." 


In a career that began in the 1960s — and brought comparisons to Faulkner and Hemingway — Jim Harrison wrote more than three dozen books, including the novels Dalva and True North, the novella Legends of the Fall and many collections of poetry. He died Saturday in Patagonia, Ariz., at the age of 78, his publisher has confirmed to NPR.

It’s National Poetry Month and in its honor, we are exploring the work and styles of Michigan poets.

Ken Mikolowski, a poet and poetry professor at the University of Michigan, has just released his fifth book, ThatThat. It’s a book that reveals this poet’s mastery of the short poem – no poem within the book is longer than three short lines.

“Haiku is much too long for me,” Mikolowski said.