The Michigan Poet distributes poetry from major Michigan based poets to: 1) Highlight the “backyard” talent of contemporary poets, and 2) Use poetry as a means of developing deep, unique cultural identities that have formerly suffered under commercial and industrial economic emphasis.
Starting in February 2010, it has published monthly broadsides featuring one poem and distributed copies for free to the Big Rapids, Michigan community in public venues, schools, and such nontraditional arenas as dentist offices, laundromats, and more. Within a few months, the Michigan Poet started shipping copies for similar distribution to Holland, Michigan and in July, 2011, to Lansing. In addition to the monthly broadsides, the press also produces “Mini-ichigan” micro-chapbooks twice a year, and organizes poetry readings and workshops. To celebrate National Poetry Month, it brought Patricia Clark and Mary Jo Firth Gillett to Big Rapids Public High School to read, with live jazz accompaniment, for 300 students.
The Michigan Poet has published work from such well-known poets as Linda Nemec Foster, Robert Fanning, Ken Mikolowski, Judith Minty, Elinor Benedict, Keith Taylor, Phillip Sterling, and Therese Becker.