About Us

poetry, like bread, is for everyone

- Roque Dalton

Created in the Fall of 2014, the Center for Poetic Research (CPR) aims to support and extend the mission of Washington and Lee University through the exploration of poetry and poetics. We therefore embody an open and inclusive collective of students, faculty, and staff committed to encouraging people's "capacity to think freely, critically, and humanely...in a global and diverse society" through poetry and poetics, which we consider to be crucial to the well-being of our many communities. We welcome contact from within and beyond our campus as we work to build transdisciplinary, transcultural, translingual, and transnational connections and solidarities.

                               we must sing,
Tongue-tied, without name or audience,
Making harmony among the branches

- Christopher Okigbo

Join Us

CPR is an open, inclusive, and multilingual group, and we welcome your input, support, and participation from across the globe. We run many different types of poetry readings and events, some of which are sure to appeal you. 

you must live sin fronteras,
be a crossroads

- Gloria Anzaldúa

For example, besides hosting acclaimed visiting poets from around the world and running open-mic readings in our many communities, we also hold readings as fundraisers (e.g. for food pantries, for Habitat for Humanity, for legal defense funds for those in need), as public conversations on pressing sociopolitical issues (e.g. racism, gendered discrimination, economic injustice), and simply to come together for some literary fun. We also are open always to your proposals.

To contact us, please write to Seth Michelson at the button below or at (540) 458-8818.

Join Us

Support CPR

We welcome your financial, intellectual, and physical support and sponsorship of our events. Please let us know how best you might be able to lend a hand by contacting Seth Michelson at michelsons@wlu.edu and/or (540) 458-8818

Flowers fall and drift away,
Water glides on

- Li Qingzhao

Support CPR

Visiting Poets

We welcome poets and translators of poetry to campus from across the globe to give readings and to discuss their work. 

Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home

- Wislawa Szymborska 

We also sponsor transdisciplinary public talks by a diversity of scholars, who present to us the poetics of their fields and research. Recent foci range from the literary to the macroeconomic to the nanotechnological. 
If you would like to propose a visit, then please contact Seth Michelson at the button below or at (540) 458-8818.

Propose a Visit

Some say an army of horseman, or infantry,
A fleet of ships is the fairest thing
On the face of the black earth, but I say
It's what one loves.

- Sappho 


Upcoming Events

Get Involved

 To get involved, please attend any of our events, which are free and open to all. Also please feel welcome to contact Seth Michelson at michelsons@wlu.edu and/or (540) 458-8818.

get going, on a little optimism around here. Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.

- Margaret Atwood

Contact CPR