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Meet Semaj Brown, Flint’s First Poet Laureate

“Poetry advances the quality of life of citizenry when organized as a precious power tool. There is poetry in a painting and in the curl of sculpture. Song is poetry. Dance is poetry and then, there is the math of poetry:  PL=1(SB) to the power of FLINT.”  – Semaj Brown


By Sheri L. Stuart, Staff Writer

Semaj Brown sees poetry in everything. From art to math and science, she sees poetry. And so, it was fitting that Brown, an author, poet, educator, dramatist and playwright was named Flint’s first poet laureate by proclamation of Mayor Karen Weaver. The honor was bestowed to Brown on Friday, Sept. 27 during a special presentation at the Flint Public Library.

“The power of poetry is real.  A poem can enter your mind and change how you feel.  Poems are words arranged into a healing life force of self-expression, self-determination, and reflection,” explained Brown who is the author of the 2019 book Bleeding Fire: Tap the Eternal Spring of Regenerative Light and Feasts and Fables from the Planted Kingdom, published in 2012.

As poet laureate, Brown serves the city of Flint and surrounding area in a volunteer capacity. Over the next several months, she plans to roll out a comprehensive schedule of interactive programs and activities to promote literacy, health, and stir the appreciation and understanding of the arts and sciences. Some of her plans include a poetry podcast; an online information center for all things poetry; and open mic events at various venues throughout the city.

Brown will appear at the University of Michigan-Flint on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. for a poetry and prose reading discussion and book signing facilitated by Dr. Erica Britt, Associate Professor of Sociolinguistics.  The event will be held in the Kiva Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

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