Final Tally and Thanks From the Grand Rapids Poets’ Conference

David Cope, Program Coordinator for the recent GRCC Poets’ Conference collected these statistics from the event that happened over April 2-5, 2012.


  • Events: 16 total events
  • Tally of audiences: 837 people attended the events (head count)
  • Performing Poets: 44 (14 featured poets, 30 poets at open mics)
  • Special Note: Mayor Heartwell’s welcoming speech at opening


1. The Humanities Council of Grand Rapids, The Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids (with special thanks to Caroline Older and Angela de Luca Placencia for all their help and guidance through this entire 10 months of work).
2. The Grand Rapids Public Library (especially Tim Gleisner and Chris Byron), the Kent District Libraries (Cheryl Garrison).
3. The fourteen featured poets and 30 poets who performed at the open mics.
4. Presidents Ender and Haas (GVSU) and Mayor George Heartwell, for their letters of support. Also, to Cheryl Garrison (KDL), Linda Patterson (Dyer-Ives Foundation) for additional letters of support.
5. The Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs
6. Judith Larsen and Lisa Dopke, for their advice and patience in helping me write the grant.
7. Provost Gilda Gely and Dean Laurie Chesley.
8. The GRCC English Department, especially my department chair (Janice Balyeat) and support committee (Maryann Lesert, Kim Wyngarden, Katie Kalisz)
9. Klaas Kwant and the recording technicians at GRCC
10. Custodial staffs at Sneden Hall and the GRCC Library (especially Mike Rowe, Dewayn Faber, and Bryan Wible).
11. Becky Yoder, for her careful and supportive work in finding venues for the conference.
12. Raul Alvarez, Vicki Hudson, Dan Syckle, and Andrew Schmidt, for superb help in developing the conference website, the conference poster, and for timely press releases and promotion.
13. Ric Underhile, for oversight on my work as a whole for the period from May 2011 to May 2012.
14. Chief Rebecca Whitman for her advice on parking.
15. Nan Schichtel and the GRCC Library for organization and promotion of the event, and for their Selected Bibliography of Grand Rapids Poets’ Works.
16. Printing Services for the poster.
17. Ben Wright and Todd Torrey for audio-visual and technology at the sessions.
18. Heath Chelesvig for audience response forms.
19. Dan Zehr and other food service personnel for refreshments provided at evening readings.
20. Vicki Janowiak for advice on venues, parking, other concerns, and—with police and custodians—for moving a tornado drill so that it wouldn’t conflict with an important panel.
21. The Literary Life Bookstore (Zachary Tomaszewski) and WYCE Electric Poetry Radio Show (Deirdre Chervenka Cunningham), for their help with the reading series conference.
22. The students and staff of Through the 3rd Eye poetry website for their stellar discussions of how the website works and educates young poets in aspects of the craft.
23. James Holyfield, accounting.
24. Amy Kirkbride, for help in solving countless large and small concerns as the conference developed.
25. Laszlo Slomovits, Hungarian guitarist who came from Ann Arbor to perform with Linda Nemec Foster.
26. Ron Pederson, sculptor, who performed with his wife, poet Miriam Pederson, in their ekphrasis lecture and demonstration.
27. Stewart Krulikowski, for book sales at all four readings.

Media: Announcements, Interviews and articles as follows:

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