The Michigan Metaphorical Melee

A bi-annual festival dedicated to poetry and literary arts in Michigan

Detroit, MI Arts Education Community

Partial Funding

This campaign collected all funds raised on {{createDate('Wed, 22 Jun 2016 03:45:00 +0000') | date:'MMM d, y h:mm a'}}.


Within Michigan, I've noticed that there is a rich literary history that unfortunately many don't know of. There is also a lot currently going on that many people don't know about unless they are already in tune with the poetry community of their city. In 2014, I was one of the people who brought the Rustbelt Midwest Regional Poetry Slam to Detroit and it was a great festival that exposed the people of my city to what poetry looks like today both inside and outside of our city limits. Now with this project I want to focus on home and help build further growth within the literary history that already exists in the state.

Poetry in the Midwest

The Michigan Metaphorical Melee is a weekend long poetry festival scheduled to debut April 28th & 29th 2017 for the state of Michigan. It is to include:

  • A team poetry slam featuring poets from 8 different cities across the state
  • Showcases of local publishers 
  • Workshops for writers and performers
  • A theater production where local poets will perform characters based on their writings in a blending of poetry and drama. 

Despite having such rich talent statewide there are a lot of needs for a proper infrastructure to strengthen the literary arts locally. People need to know what open mics, slams and publishers are present in order for them to support them. Without an audience open mics and slams vanish. Without readers to purchase books publishers fold. Without knowing where open mics and slams are in their respective cities and within the state writers may end up never showing their work. 


Beyond that poetry provides a great outlet for youth and adults alike that allows them expression but also, and especially in the case of the youth, keeps them involved in something that can be used to positively help their communities.

If our $1,000 goal is reached we can secure one of the physical locations for the festival and lock down specific dates for it's launch. We want to stretch beyond the first $1,000 to raise  $4,000 total to reach our full potential , and receive a match of $4,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Arts Challenge, of which we were a chosen recipient.

The Impact

For the residents it will be a fun event that draws people in and also informs them of what has been and is continuing to go on with the literary arts in the state. The city of Detroit also has a literacy problem but once people see what can come out of reading and writing it may encourage more interest in improvement in those areas. For youth and aspiring poets there are workshops where they can better learn their craft and improve as writers and performers. There will also be showcases for local publishers so that folks can learn not only learn what is already being written and published here but so that they can also support the continued practice of publishing in our state. For poets there is the opportunity to share their work in front of a new, eager audience through the poetry slam or in a new way through the play that will be taking place as part of the festival. There is also the opportunity to grow closer as a community within the state by bringing so many poets from so many various locales together.



Give $10 or more

3 claimed

One Advance Event Ticket

A $10 donation will secure the donor a one person ticket to either the poetry slam preliminaries, or the play.

Give $25 or more

4 claimed

One Advance Reservation

A $25 donation will secure the donor entry into the workshop sessions, the slam preliminaries, the play and they will also receive a special thanks in the festival program.

Give $50 or more

0 claimed

One Instant Access Reservation

A $50 donation will have the donor included in the special thanks within the festival program and reserve a ticket for the donor to the workshop sessions, the slam preliminaries, the play and the poetry slam team and individual finals.

Give $100 or more

1 claimed

One Long Term Reservation

Donations of $100 or more reserves a ticket for the donor to all of the festival events, a special thanks in the program and on stage at finals, a T-shirt in a size of their choosing to be picked up at the festival and free entry to the Freshwater Wordsmiths final stage slam for the 2017 poetry slam team in January of 2017.

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