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Teacher Spotlight: Kevin Griffin ‘96

Get to know Catholic Central’s long-time English and Creative Writing teacher, Kevin Griffin ’96, who will be celebrating the publication of his second chapbook of poems, Note the Tone, with two readings in the next week.  

Q: How long have you been teaching at CC? 

Mr. Griffin: I am in my 24th year of teaching and my 16th back home here at CC. 

Q: Have you always taught creative writing? If not, what other subjects do you teach? 

Mr. Griffin: Yes, I have always taught Creative Writing.  This year, I also teach AP English Literature & Composition, English IV, Honors English I, and Public Speaking. 

Q: Can you please talk about your involvement in the Finance Club and Poetry Out Loud? 

Mr. Griffin: I am Co-Moderator of the Finance Club and the Moderator of our Poetry Out Loud Program

The Finance Club meets twice a month. The club’s goals are to increase the knowledge of its members in everything related to the world of finance and managing a large portfolio of money on behalf of the school. Members of the club learn about credit, stocks, economics, jobs, internships, and more. They also learn how to analyze and pitch a stock designed to help the school earn money for many years.   

Poetry Out Loud is a program that helps students master public speaking skills, learn about literature, and build self-confidence. The program is a Michigan Humanities Council partnership program with the National Endowment for the Arts. Together with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural affairs, the Library of Michigan, and the Michigan Youth Arts Association, the Poetry Out Loud program encourages students to memorize, perform, and compete in poetry. Students are judged on their physical appearance, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, voice and articulation, and overall performance.  

Q: How many books have you written? How long have you been writing books and what is the inspiration behind this passion? 

Mr. Griffin: Note the Tone is my second book of poems.  My first book, Line and Hook, was published by the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press in 2017.  I have been writing since my teenage years, and I am inspired to write because it helps me better understand the world around me. 

A few of the poems in Note the Tone won national awards. "Bruise" won the 2020 Sand Hills Review National Literary Contest and "Shift" won the 2023 Prism Review National Poetry Contest.   

Upcoming Opportunities To Support Mr. Griffin 

Mr. Griffin’s most recent collection was chosen as the statewide winner of the 2023 Celery City Chapbook Contest. His chapbook will be published by Celery City Books, the publishing arm of Friends of Poetry, Inc., in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  

Since 1984, Friends of Poetry has been a powerful force in fostering the enjoyment of the reading and writing of poetry throughout the greater Kalamazoo community and the state of Michigan.  

Through readings, workshops, contests, and special events, Friends of Poetry remains dedicated to bringing people and poetry together. 

Mr. Griffin will read his work at the Celery City Chapbook Release Reading on Saturday, March 16, at 3:00 P.M. The reading will take place at the Kalamazoo Public Library’s CEN/Van Deusen Room. 

Mr. Griffin will also read his work at the Scarab Salon presented by the Cave Artist’s Collective on Tuesday, March 19, at 6:30 P.M. The reading will take place at the Scarab Club in Detroit. 

First page of the PDF file: Shift
First page of the PDF file: Bruise

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