Farmington native Alexis Stark has released a new book of poetry that chronicles her life-journey of adventures along the route of Michigan’s Grand River Avenue.
Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed, a collection of thought-provoking and topical poems includes wistful, coming-of-age verses about coping with change, uncertainty, grief, loss, and learning trust and resilience.
Stark’s early years were spent growing up in a traditional, middle-class family. She then moved westward along the Grand River corridor to East Lansing and Michigan State University and now works in the greater Grand Rapids area and surrounding Kent County. When she is not sharing her experiences through poetry, Stark reports for the School News Network, an initiative of the Kent County Intermediate School District (ISD).
From scribbling streams of childhood consciousness in notebooks, to an internship with the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) Center for Poetry at MSU, Stark continues using poetry to help navigate her journey.
“It never crossed my mind to consider myself a poet until I worked alongside some of the most thoughtful, inspiring poets in Michigan at the Center for Poetry,” she said in a press release. “Without my RCAH mentors, my words would still be hiding in notebooks, old napkins and fragments of scrap paper.”
Now 23 years old, Stark hopes to inspire readers “to trust traffic lights, speak up for the last slice of pizza and feel comfortable sleeping in the middle of the bed.”
The cover art for Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed features an original watercolor illustration by Grand Haven-based artist Jane Stoepker. The book is available for pre-sale through March 26 at finishinglinepress.com/product/learning-to-sleep-in-the-middle-of-the-bed-by-alexis-stark. Follow Stark’s writing at facebook.com/ACSpoetry/.