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My Town: Grand Rapids gets new Poet Laureate

My Town: Grand Rapids gets new Poet Laureate

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Calvin College professor will take over as the Poet Laureate of greater Grand Rapids starting next month.

During his three-year term, Professor L.S. Klatt will be the ambassador for poetry, creating programs and projects to foster public interest in the art. 

Klatt remarked, “The great vitality of a city is its speech, and yet much of what we say to one another is reckless, superfluous, or worn out. It is the task of poetry to resuscitate the tongue. As Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, I want to help us return again to the poems that articulate our aspirations and carry our cultural memory. In an age of competing discourses, I want to unify us once more around the possibilities and pleasures of words. That is what poetry has to offer.”

My Town GR: BitCamp provides hands-on tech experience for middle school girls

My Town GR: BitCamp provides hands-on tech experience for middle school girls

This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Consider the statistics: Only 15 percent of female college freshmen go into STEM fields, and only .4 percent enter computer science fields as opposed to three percent of men.

And while some believe these numbers may be caused by stereotypes that steer women away from science and technology fields, others believe that women simply aren't being exposed to the right opportunities at young ages.

My Town Grand Rapids: Design class lets students design Grand Rapids' future

My Town Grand Rapids: Design class lets students design Grand Rapids' future

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

WYOMING, Mich.—The LEAGUE Michigan is looking for more schools, organizations and businesses to help encourage literacy through a statewide book drive.

“Read n’ Give” is focused on boosting literacy among youth.  Schools, organizations and businesses collect K-5 books, which are donated to students involved in literacy programs with Camp Blodgett, The Salvation Army and Schools of Hope, which includes the Grand Rapids, Godfrey-Lee and Godwin Heights school districts.   When students are finished with the books, they are encouraged to donate them back into the program the next year, to foster the continuous cycle of giving.

Bridget Knight, who works with The LEAGUE Michigan, says participants in last year’s program collected 65,000 books statewide.  More than 39,000 books of those books came from West Michigan.  Knight says the goal this year is to collect 70,000 books.

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

HOLLAND, Mich.— Kopi Luwak coffee beans costs up to $600 pound, but is the taste worth the price?

That’s the question a panel of coffee experts attempted to answer during a blind taste test this week.  “The Great Kopi Luwak Cupping Challenge” unfolded at JPs Coffee and Espresso Bar in Holland.  Owner Jack Groot ran the test, pitting Kopi Luwak against other regional Sumatran coffees prices around $16 pound.

During the test, one Kopi Luwak sample rose to the top, scoring 76 points out of 100.  However, two of the less expensive, non-cat poop coffees ranked within a half-point of Kopi Luwak and the others were very close.

“It’s a very good coffee, but not worth $600 a pound.  If you bought it in a coffee shop, it would cost you $50 a cup,” said Andy Timko with Anodyne Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee.

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Six people from Grand Rapids and Ada are among the winners of the second annual Write Michigan Contest.

Judges reviewed nearly 900 entries from writers across the state- that’s nearly double the amount the received last year.  Nearly 500 of the submissions were to the new teen category.

All last month, the public voted for their favorites on the Write Michigan website.  The winners were announced this week.  The Judge’s Choice winners took home a $250 award; Judges’ Choice runners-up were awarded $100.  Readers’ Choice winners were also awarded $250.

This year’s winners are:

Adult Category

  • Judges’ Choice Winner: Oscar Bee, Chelsea
  • Judges’ Choice Runner-Up: Connor Newton, Waterford
  • Readers’ Choice Winner: Eric Dobson, Ypsilanti
  • Published Finalists: Anne Brandt, Benton Harbor; Robert Vander Lugt,

Calvin College expecting enrollment boost from new major

Calvin College expecting enrollment boost from new major

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Calvin College is expecting an enrollment boost, after adding another major to its school.

Last week, Calvin announced it’s adding a graphic design major which could increase student enrollment by as many as 50 students.  Administrators say Calvin has offered a similar course of education through other interdisciplinary majors, but they wanted to formalize a graphic design major, attracting new students.

“Our counselors attend about 225 college fairs and make over 400 high school visits per year and they estimate that at least one (often more than one) person will ask ‘Do you have a graphic arts/design major?’ at 7 out of 10 of these events,” wrote Russ Bloem, vice president of enrollment management at Calvin. “This is illustrative of the very high level of interest in this emerging academic discipline.”