Award-winning poet coaches students at Regis Writing Center

When students work though assignments at the Regis Writing Center, there’s a chance their coach is a prize-winning poet: Michael Joseph Walsh, winner of the 2021 Lighthouse Poetry Series competition.

Walsh, who has worked as a consultant in the Writing Center since 2014, learned he won the competition this past summer. As part of the series, which is conducted by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, Walsh’s work was judged and selected by decorated poet Shane McCrae. As winner of the competition, Walsh’s collection, Innocence, will be published by the poetry center in fall 2022.

“It’s a press that I’ve always loved, and they’ve been around for a very long time,” Walsh said. “I still am very excited about it. And you know at that point, it was nice to get some good news … All conditions permitting, I’ll go out there (to Cleveland) next fall and do a reading.”

Walsh completed Innocence between 2018 and 2020, around the time he earned his Ph.D.  in creative writing at the University of Denver.

“It covers a lot of ground. There's a bit of anxiety about the future and climate anxiety and there's one pretty clear pandemic poem,” he said. “It's just various projects that I was working on and they all sort of ended up coming together thematically in an interesting way. I sent it out and everything worked out.”

At the Regis Writing Center, which is part of the Learning Commons located in Clarke Hall 241, consultants help graduate and undergraduate students write in any subject through 30-minute or one-hour appointments. Coaches accept meetings in-person or online via a live chat.

At the Writing Center, Walsh primarily works with graduate-level students, often in the nursing and counseling programs, and occasionally, he works undergraduate students.

To read some of Walsh’s latest work, visit the Small House Pamphlet Series Volume 2 and Sink Review.

The Writing Center is available to students by appointment. Learn more about the Learning Commons.