Lansing Poet Laureate Visits Olivet
On March 7, 2023, Masaki Takahashi, the Poet Laureate of Lansing, performed a poetry reading at Klock Commons in Dole. As part of the Abbie Copps Poetry Reading, the Poet Laureate recited his own poems as well as answered questions from audience members.
According to the event’s flyers, “He is the founder and host of The Poetry Room Open Mic, a popular and dynamic spoken word series established at 2017 at The Robin Theatre in Lansing’s REO Town.”
“Writing was free for me,” Takahashi said when asked what got him to start writing.
Takahashi said his main inspiration for his poetry was rap music. He said his first musical and poetic idol was an Asian rap artist named MC Jin, who now follows him on Instagram. Takahashi saw Jin as proof that this career was possible for him. Takahashi is also a single parent, he says that it makes his job difficult, but also drives him to do better.
“I think it’s great when we have artists come on campus,” said Dr. Arthur Williams, who was in attendance. “I think we have a wonderful poet, with a wonderful use of words,” Williams said.
Elizabeth Taormina, Olivet College freshman said: “I thought it was really interesting. I don’t really listen to poetry at all. I thought it was fun, I think I’m going to do it again.”