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Wellspring Literary Series showcases student, professional talent

Spectators watched with bated breath as Chelsea Storms effortlessly danced her fingers across the black and white keys of a piano to a Scandinavian melody.

The Frankenmuth sophomore performed during the Wellspring Literary Series Monday. Hosted by the CMU Department of English Language and Literature, and Art reach of Mid Michigan in downtown Mount Pleasant, this poetry series features the works of published poets and CMU students.

This week featured Storms, senior Jessica Kaiser and award-winning poet Tarfia Faizullah.

"I think I've always been a very emotional person and a very deep kind of person," Kaiser said. "I think writing poetry was my way of dealing with my emotions in a lot of ways."

Tim Billman, marketing coordinator of Art Reach, said CMU students generally comprise a majority of the attendance at these performances.

"I'm sure that the poet's notoriety brings in some people from other areas though," he said. "It depends on the poet and depends on the day."

Education and Programming Coordinator Kara Kinsman said she enjoys the variety of patrons that come through. They support unique performances in the arts that make for a different experience each time.

"I think it's really interesting to see all the people that come to support the arts," she said. "Obviously we work a lot with visual arts, but it's nice to get some creative writing and poetry involved in the arts as well."

Kinsman said they generally experience pretty good turnouts simply due to the sheer interest people have in poetry.

Mount Pleasant resident Matt Echelberger, who has been teaching in the English department for 25 years and frequently comes to the series.

"I love poetry. I think poetry is the most original way to experience life," he said.

After student performances, Bangladeshi-American poet Tarfia Faizullah took the stage. Her first book, Seam, explores the ethics of interviewing as well as the history of the Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani soldiers during the Liberation War of 1971.

All readings are free and open to the public and will take place at the Art Reach of Mid Michigan, located at 111 E. Broadway in downtown Mt. Pleasant. Readings will generally be held on the second Monday of each month, except in the case of holidays or scheduling conflicts. Refreshments will be served, courtesy of Max and Emily's Eatery.