Carnegie Mellon University

Poetry in Motion


April is National Poetry Month

RacecarAlex Grabau, a race car driver from Massachusetts, recently applied Jim Daniels' poem "Factory Love," to the roof of his Mitsubishi Evolution II CE9A. Daniels, an English professor, received permission from the University of Wisconsin Press, publisher of his book "Show and Tell: New and Selected Poems," to allow the work to be used. Grabau chose to use display the poem on the car he drives and maintains because after discovering it about four years ago, it stuck with him. He identified with the intimacy the machinists had with their tools and the connection a person has with their work — something that they are indentured to and love at the same time: in this case, a racing car. Grabau will debut the car in its first race in April at the New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Watch English Professor Jim Daniels discuss a poetry class project that involves college students mentoring CAPA high school students. The CAPA CMU Poetry Project will culminate in a reading at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 20 at CAPA's Blackbox Theater. The reading is free and open to the public.

In this podcast [12:44] hear Daniels talk about a recent class project in which his students created visual poetry.

Another English Professor, Terrance Hayes, was named a 2009 Guggenheim Fellows. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards the fellowships and research grants annually to honor "stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment" for those who "add to the educational, literary, artistic and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding. Listen to Hayes discuss teaching creative writing for undergraduates.

Yona Harvey, assistant teaching professor and director of the Creative Writing Program, uses her experiences in archives and information science, as a writer in the schools and as a collaborator with other artists as inspiration for her poetry.  Harvey, interested in expanding the ways poetry is written and read, likes to borrow from many schools of poetry and use non poetry texts to read and compose, including music reviews, fashion magazines, old grammar primers and cookbooks. Recordings and texts of some of her poems are housed at the Fishouse Audio Archive.

For more on the creative writing program, visit

Pictured above is Alex Grabau's Mitsubishi Evolution II CE9A.

Shilo Raube