Detroit Poet Jamaal May visits East Lansing

The RCAH Center for Poetry at MSU

Last week, the RCAH Center for Poetry in collaboration with the MSU English Department was proud to host a reading by Detroit poet Jamaal May.


May’s first book of poetry, Hum, was published in 2013 and won the Beatrice Hawley Award.

May said he first got interested in poetry while recording a hip hop album. With a little nudge from his sister, May said he rearranged two of the songs he had been working on and performed them at a poetry slam.

“The only way to grow is to do what you cannot do, and the thing I could not do was crowds,” May said.

May noted that his weakest moment was early on in his career as a performer. He said he had done well at a slam in Baltimore one year, and went back the next year to prove himself again.

“It was the first time…

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