April’s Featured Poet: Jacob Sebastian Santiago

I am delighted to share this poem about the many forms of forgiveness—a concept that is so deceptively simple and essential to human beings. Jacob Sebastian Santiago, a current MFA candidate at the University of Mississippi, is certainly a poet to follow. I wholeheartedly welcome him to the Michigan Poet.

Click here to download press-quality PDF for printing.

Spring 2021 Featured Poem

I hope March has greeted you somewhat warmly. Believe it or not, the Spring poem has arrived.

Leland James contemplates splitting wood in “Splitting Time.” The poem’s speaker has a confident voice that sets me at ease. Amanda Humphrey provides an eye-catching illustration of stacked wood-meets-fungi. I truly appreciate the contribution of talent from both artists. I hope you enjoy the broadside:

February’s Poem

As I was spreading rock salt on the sidewalk yesterday, I thought about this poem. I shook a canister freeing each small, irregularly-shaped piece that had been “freed after eons of dark solitude” and thought about how they will eventually make their way back underground. I will likely think of the poem every time I salt the walk from now on. It’s a great poem on a subject that I had never contemplated much before. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Winter 2020 Poem

I am thrilled to present The Michigan Poet‘s latest poem, “What to Do About Winter” by  Joanna White:

I hope the poem prepares you for snowfall and frozen ponds that are soon to come. A full-size illustration by Katie Nealis accompanies Joanna’s poem. The illustrations from my talented friends and coworkers always impress me.

W0rking on The Michigan Poet has been a highlight of an otherwise rough year, and I appreciate Foster and Jon for trusting me with the publication. In the new year I plan to return to a poem-of-the-month format with eight digital poems and four seasonal broadsides in both print and digital formats. This method will allow me to share poems that do not fit the size or theme of the seasonal broadsides. Prepare for more poets in more formats next year.

Speaking of, submissions will re-open on January 1st, 2021. Go to https://michiganpoet.submittable.com/submit for more information. Please note that these submissions will likely be published the following year due to a number of submissions still in the queue. Simultaneous submissions and previously-published works are accepted as long as acknowledgment is provided. I look forward to reading your submissions.

Here’s to happy holidays and a brighter next year.

All my best,

Michael Hylton
Editor of The Michigan Poet

Fall 2020 Poem

I am pleased to present The Michigan Poet‘s latest poem, “Wait for Me” by  Randall Freisinger:


He also provided some thoughtful commentary on his craft and on his poem’s inspiration:
  “William Kloefkorn, State Poet of Nebraska until his death in 2011, defined a poem as ‘words nibbling at the edge of something vast.’ My poems attempt to say the unsayable, and do so with words that, ultimately, fail because, nibbling at the edge, they never truly equal the things to which they refer. But words are all I have, so I employ them as best as I can to connect with readers. Each of my poems amounts to a passenger bus. As driver of that bus, I intend to drive my readers somewhere, making our destination apparent and the ride itself pleasurable. A recognizable destination speaks to the poem’s accessibility. Pleasure along the way comes from energy and surprise, both of which derive from how well I handle subject matter and from such craft issues as fresh imagery, interesting syntax and line breaks, and engaging uses of sound. Good poems raise questions but need not answer them. Such poems typically leave the reader with important matters to ponder.
Many years ago, my best friend died suddenly at the age of 37. I left his memorial service convinced that all of his intelligence and energy must still exist somehow, somewhere. A stiff breeze animated the trees outside the chapel, and I imagined my friend astride that wind. A few years later I married the wife he left behind and became father to his two young sons. Much older now, and closer to Time’s unavoidable partings, I listen to the wind more intently, hear it continue to speak ineffably of continuity. ‘Wait For Me’ is my effort to nibble at this particular bit of ‘something vast.'”

That’s all for now. I wish you all a safe and bountiful Fall season. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring you poems from talented Michigan poets like Randall. Until the next issue coming later this year, happy reading.

All my best,

Michael Hylton
Editor of The Michigan Poet