Michigan has a rich cache of poets, many from the Upper Peninsula. Read your way into these two collections of contemporary poems by local favorites.
The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, edited by Ron Riekki,
was published this past spring by Wayne State University Press. The poems
and stories offered here present an intimate look at life in the U.P. They
capture its humor and sorrow, fear and joy, people and topography. I have
sometimes wondered how pastors are able to endure so much death and grief
and discovered an answer in Emily Van Kley’s poem “My Father’s Datebook”
in which she writes, “First in are … days of canoes & cranberry bogs &
forest service cabins—by which he means to endure … the church members
dying….” The poems and stories collected in this anthology help, too.