Month: June 2021

Calling All Writers: Summer Youth Program a Success

The Class of Writers poses at Prince's Point on the Portage
The Class of Writers poses at Prince’s Point on the Portage.

Thirteen high school students joined us for a week of writing-related activities, led by Maria Bergstrom, Humanities Department Lecturer, and Kate Woodford (English). The students spent time exploring the natural world throughout the Keweenaw and using it for inspiration in individual writing projects. They also had the opportunity to meet professional writers and learn more about careers in writing-related fields.

Highlights of the week included a trip to McLean State Park, a hike to Hungarian Falls, and an opportunity to explore materials in the Michigan Tech Archives. The week ended with students reading their work for a broad audience in a Facebook Live event.

This year the Humanities department was able to offer four scholarships to encourage local students and underrepresented students to take advantage of this opportunity.

Michigan Tech Summer Youth Programs is organized through the Michigan Tech Center for Educational Outreach.

Hear about the student’s experience in their own words with local reporter Joshua Vissers of Late Edition.


“Bad Info” Project Funded by Michigan Humanities Grant

Dr. Stefka Hristova and Dr. Sue Collins (HU) have been awarded a grant by Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, for their project “Bad Info: Fake News, Manipulated Photographs, and Social Influencers.”

This project explores issues of media literacy in relation to the spread of mis- and dis-information. It aims to educate college students as well as our local community more broadly on how to identify fabricated news, manipulated photographs, and social influencers and their infomercials, in digital media and social media contexts.

This initiative is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Humanities, J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library, and Copper Country Community Art Center. Bad Info features three exhibits, four workshops, film screenings, panel discussions, and keynote experts in information literacy.

The series of events will run from October 2021 through the spring semester 2022.


Seigel Named 2021 Poet Laureate Fellow

M. Bartley Seigel
Photocredit: Adam Johnson

M. Bartley Seigel (HU) has been named a 2021 Poet Laureate Fellow by the Academy of American Poets. Seigel, director of the Michigan Tech Writing Center and an associate professor of creative writing and literature, is one of only 23 poets laureate of cities and states across the U.S. to receive the honor.

“I’m really humbled and honored by this fellowship,” said Seigel, who was selected as the 2021-22 Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate in January. “While it’s always been something of a challenge making art at an institution where attention is so firmly fixed elsewhere, my unique positionality in this pond of scientists and engineers has held me accountable to my words in unexpected and fortuitous ways. I wouldn’t be the poet I am were I not where I am, and were I not in the close company of so many different and exceptional minds.”

As a Poet Laureate Fellow, Seigel receives an award of $50,000 in support of his art, a portion of which is set aside to lead a public poetry program. He intends to collaborate with regional public and tribal high school teachers to launch the Upper Peninsula Young Poets Program. The program will introduce high school-aged students in the U.P. to the diversity and transformative power of poetry, encourage their emerging voices and provide them with a free college-level writing workshop.

In a press release announcing the 2021 Fellows, President and Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets Jennifer Benka said, “As we begin emerging from COVID-19 restrictions, poetry — which has provided such comfort these past 15 months — will continue to be a source of insight. We are honored and humbled to fund poets who are devoted to their own craft and also their community. Poets will most certainly help guide us forward.”

Through its Poets Laureate Fellowship program, the Academy of American Poets has become the largest financial supporter of poets in the nation. The fellowship program is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which in January 2020 awarded the Academy $4.5 million to fund the program.