Poet Laureate

About the Program

The Poet Laureate is an ambassador of poetry for the City of Grand Rapids, creating programs and projects to foster the writing and reading of poetry by the public. During the three-year term, the Poet Laureate engages the community through three distinct projects.

The Grand Rapids Poet Laureate has a love of and commitment to poetry. They are passionate about acting as an ambassador of poetry and have a strong desire to engage Grand Rapidians of all ages and from all walks of life in projects and programs.

About the current Poet Laureate 

Christine was born and raised in Grand Rapids and has been writing since the third grade. Poetry has long been a source of self-expression and validation, having won places in GVSU's Oldenberg Writing Contest, the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition, and the McGuffin Michigan Poet Hunt. She is published widely in magazines and journals and is currently completing a full-length book for publication.

Stephens-Krieger has been active in the poetry community in Grand Rapids since the early 1990s, with her connection to the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition beginning with a win, then acting as a preliminary judge, and finally as coordinator. In her 14 years as coordinator, she developed connections throughout the poetry community and in 2018 was instrumental in bringing the poetry contest to its new home at the Grand Rapids Public Library. At the library, she created the first database collecting information about 50 years of the competition. She used this database and conducted several interviews to create a brief history about the Competition that was published in the 50th anniversary special publication of Voices.

Stephens-Krieger kicked off a project in 2021 that she created and produced, called An Oral History of Poetry in Grand Rapids with the intention of documenting and archiving stories from Grand Rapids poets. Over the course of the next two years, with Funding from Hank, Liesel, and Lena Meijer as well as from John Hunting, and The Diatribe acting as her fiduciary, with Justin Razmus of 616Media as the videographer, Christine filmed a total of 50 people in 29 individual interviews and 5 group interviews, producing 27 hours of footage that has been delivered to the archives at the Grand Rapids Public Library in early 2024. She is currently uploading the material to the YouTube channel, called An Oral History of Poetry in Grand Rapids. Stephens-Krieger lives in Eastown with her husband, the poet and writer Scott Krieger, and two cats.

Past Poet Laureates

    • Ericka "Kyd Kane" Thompson
    • Marcel “Fable” Price
    • L.S. Klatt
    • David Cope
    • Rodney Torreson
    • Patricia Clark
    • Linda Nemec Foster

The Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids program is based at the Grand Rapids Public Library and supported with funds from The Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation, Dyer-Ives Poetry Fund.

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