The art of poetry

Sara Millward had spotted the murals in a textbook.Sara Millward

“It looked like just another piece of art,” she said.

But when the University of Michigan-Dearborn sophomore came across Diego Rivera’s “Detroit Industry” murals at the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA), she was taken aback.

“It was absolutely stunning,” said Millward, who is majoring in English and Spanish. “It completely blew me away.”

Millward and fellow members of the university’s League of Extraordinary Poets recently visited the DIA to find inspiration. The league is comprised of about 10 UM-Dearborn students and their mission is simple – share their love of poetry and increase its awareness and appreciation across campus.

“The DIA trip resulted from my keen desire to bring the students’ study and love of poetry out of the classroom into the wider Dearborn-Detroit community,” said J. Caitlin Finlayson, assistant professor of English and the league’s faculty mentor. “This is a good example of how the academic study of poetry and culture can be made relevant to the contemporary expression of the arts in Detroit.”

As part of their trip to the DIA, students also wrote poems about their experience. For Millward, finding her inspiration was easy.

“I thought, if I’m going to write something, it’s got to be about (Detroit Industry),” she said.

She submitted her poem to a fellow league member, and within a couple weeks, Millward learned that her poem won the league’s Ekphrastic Poetry Contest. That award earned her poem a spot on the DIA’s blog.

“I had friends who were congratulating me, so it was pretty exciting,” she said.

It wasn’t until after Millward took a poetry course during her senior year of high school that she grew a deeper appreciation for the art. Nowadays, she shares her passion for poetry with the league.

To read Millward’s poem, click here.

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