Issue 13

Issue 13 | 01.31.2019 | Holland, MI

A crackled Lake Michigan with Chicago cityscape in the background.
Our neighbors across the lake. Photo by Jim Funk, courtesy of Jim and David Funk

Holland Weekly’s Feature Article: Holland Freezes Alongside Its Great Lakes Neighbors

Poetry books line the shelf.
Holland Weekly Arts: An Interview with Electric Poetry on WYCE

An aluminum pan with melted peanut butter and chocolate swirls topping Rice Krispy Treats.
Holland Weekly’s Recipe Of The Week: The Bomb Dot Com

Madam puppy dog astrologer, Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.
Holland Weekly’s Horoscope: Sylvia Reads The Stars

A crackled Lake Michigan with Chicago cityscape in the background.
Our neighbors across the lake. Photo by Jim Funk, courtesy of Jim and David Funk

Holland Freezes Alongside Its Neighbors

By Kathleen Schenck
January 31, 2019

The polar vortex has covered Michigan this week like freezer burn on a pot pie. Schools in the Holland area have been closed all week. Monday saw many a happy kid sledding down the hill at Van Raalte Farm. But by dinnertime on Tuesday we slid down to the single digits, and woke to negative 4 Wednesday morning. It’s been single digits above and below zero ever since, coupled with dangerous wind chills.

Yesterday an incident at a natural gas facility in Macomb County prompted Governor Whitmer to ask Michiganders in the lower peninsula to conserve fuel by keeping thermostats at 65 or less. For those who have complied, wearing a jacket and even a hat while inside your home has become the norm.

For those less fortunate, the Holland Human Relations Commission’s Facebook page lists Winter Shelter Information. Thank you to staff and volunteers at Holland Rescue Mission on South River Ave., the Women and Children’s Shelter on Fairbanks, to Christ Memorial Church on Graafschap, and Maple Avenue Ministries for offering warming and overnight accommodations. To First United Methodist on West 10th, Christ Memorial on Graafschap, and Escape Ministries on East 32nd for serving as warming stations, and Heights of Hope on Stratford for providing lunch. Please get in touch with these organizations through the contact information provided on the Facebook page if you or someone you know is in need, or you would like to donate time, money, and/or outerwear.

In the past few days here in Holland, we’ve seen some things: a snowmobile cruise down the street, then up the sidewalk, then down the street again. A porch light blinking like a strobe. 34 customers without power in north Holland. Frost on the windows inside the house. And on television, the Wolverines ice Ohio State by 16 points at Crisler Tuesday night, with Zavier Simpson packing a triple double during the storm.

We’ve also seen some things online. Schools across the Midwest have found creative ways to tell students and parents that their school’s closed. Here is our favorite, from a superintendent in Cicero (near Midway Airport in Chicago) whose mic drop moment comes when he informs the students they’ll have to make up snow days in May.

Tomorrow neither Holland Public nor West Ottawa will have school, according to WGVU:

Bundle up, stay warm, and help your neighbor dig out the car.


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Poetry books line the shelf.
A shelf for every home. Photo by Holland Weekly.

Electric Poetry on WYCE

By Kathleen Schenck and Kelsey May
January 31, 2019

Holland Weekly (HW) reached out via email to Kelsey May (KM), host of  the radio show Electric Poetry on WYCE, 88.1 FM, Grand Rapids.

HW: What is Electric Poetry? When did the show begin?
KM: Electric Poetry has been airing on WYCE for over ten years with a handful of different hosts. I took over after KT Herr, who took over after Michael Wilcox, and on and on. Someone will take over for me when I’m ready to pass it down–which, fortunately for me (!), is not yet.
HW: What place does poetry have on the radio? For instance, if Bob Dylan can win the Nobel Prize in Literature, what is the relationship between poetry and music, do you think? (From The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 was awarded to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”)
KM: Music is poetry; musicians and poets alike will tell you so. It’s fun to be able to strip away the music for 15 minutes and focus on words and the story they tell. Recently though, I’ve been integrating music into every episode to fill transitions and to relate the concepts in each poem to the larger conversation and context of the world.
HW: How do you find poets for the show? Must they be local? What is local, and why does it matter?
KM: There’s always been a focus on local poetry and on exposing new talent and giving people an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have; that being said, I figured out how to interview poets over video chat in August and have expanded the reach and audience of the show internationally. I think it brings a wonderful blend of new and established writing and experience to the show; I’ve interviewed some of the best contemporary poets in the world (Leila Chatti, Stephen S Mills, Aaron Coleman) as well as high school students from around West Michigan, who are just starting out! It speaks to the very nature of poetry – that it appeals to and can be written by anyone who dedicates themself.

HW: Why do you think people still read and write poetry? What is its staying power?
KM: It’s funny you stay still because I only just started reading and writing poetry six years ago. Poetry isn’t going anywhere and isn’t defined just by poets of centuries past, just as drama isn’t characterized only by Macbeth and Oklahoma! There are more poets today than there ever have been. Poetry is an incredibly versatile form; you get to play with language, formatting, stanzas, tone, style, and grammar. Some of the most creative, innovative poetry is being written right now. Poetry matters because there is always something to say, and poetry is both accessible in its typically low word count and in its ability to distill a story or a series of thoughts into a single piece.

HW: Who are some of your favorite poets and why?
KM: Oh gosh, I ask this question every week on the show, but I never have to answer it myself! I read voraciously and review forthcoming and recently published titles on my blog, Hyype. In the past two years, my favorite collections included works from Nancy Huang, Aaron Coleman, Hieu Minh Ngyuen, Emily Jungmin Yoon, Cam Awkward-Rich, Franny Choi, Stephen S Mills, Blythe Baird, Sierra DeMulder, Richard Siken, Jericho Brown, Jamaal May, Kim Addonizio, Ocean Vuong, Solmaz Sharif, Luther Hughes, sam sax, Jacqui Germain, Javier Zamora, Khadijah Queen, Kaveh Akbar, Lynn Melnick, Hanif Abdurraqib, Danielle Cadena Deulen, Danez Smith, and Elizabeth Acevedo. Why? Read their collections and find out. They’re brilliant and powerful writers, and I’m so grateful for their vulnerability, intellect, and dedication to the art of poetry.

HW: Who are you reading now?
KM: Great question! I’m reading and reviewing George Abraham’s forthcoming “the specimen’s apology”, which is a brilliant blend of science, body image, politics, sexuality, and language. I’m also reading Carl Phillips’ “Wild is the Wind.” And because music is poetry, I’m listening to The Decemberists’ recently released album and Little Simz.

HW: Leading question: How can poetry save the world?
KM: Poetry alone can’t save the world, but it can shape and influence people. The world will only change when people wake up to the societal ills and impacts of capitalism and materialism and shed apathy in favor of action. Poetry can help create empathy and understanding; poetry can teach and inspire and offer hope and healing and comfort, but poetry will not save the world. People will. We must.

Catch Kelsey May and Electric Poetry Tuesday nights at 10:15 PM on 88.1 FM WYCE.


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An aluminum pan with caramel and chocolate swirls topping Rice Krispy Treats.
Decadent dessert for a snow day. Photo by Connie Delumpa Hazlett.

The Bomb Dot Com

By Connie Delumpa Hazlett
January 31, 2019

The recipe for these amazing treats was stolen from a link on Facebook, but I changed it to better fit what I normally have in my cupboards.


Cooking spray

5 tablespoons margarine

1 10 oz. bag marshmallows

1/2 cup peanut butter

Pinch salt

6 cups crisped rice cereal

25 peanut butter cups

1/4 cup melted peanut butter, for the top

1/4 cup melted chocolate chips, for the top


Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. Melt butter in a large pot on the stove. Stir in marshmallows, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and salt. Stir till mixture is completely melted. Remove from heat and add crisped rice cereal. Stir with spatula. Press half of mixture into an even layer in pan, then top with a layer of peanut butter cups. Press remaining mixture over the peanut butter cups. Drizzle with the melted chocolate chips and 1/4 cup melted peanut butter, then refrigerate till cool, about a half an hour. Slice as you like and serve to very happy kids. (And adults.)

A woman and teenage daughter hold up square servings of the dessert.
Connie and daughter Kenna. Photo by Kenna Hazlett.

Have a recipe to share? Email us at and help your neighbor cook something different tonight!

Madam puppy dog astrologer, Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.
Madam Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.

Sylvia Reads The Stars

Week of January 31, 2019

Aquarius Jan 20 – Feb 18

How many jumping jacks did you do in your mind this week, Aquarius? Continue this trend of hopping from one thought to the next with the agility of a lynx.

Pisces Feb 18 – Mar 20

That’s enough of the great indoors, Pisces. Time to drag yourself out, if even for 10 seconds, to wave at the train.

Aries Mar 20 – Apr 20

You are breathtaking to those around you this week, and it’s not because of the weather. Eat it up.

Taurus Apr 20 – May 21

Only thing better than your homemade pizza is you.

Gemini May 21 – Jun 21

How can you warm up the conversations around you this week, Gem? I predict it will have something to do with song.

Cancer Jun 21 – Jul 23

Aloha, little Crab. Why not bust out your spring break clothes early this week and act as if you’ve just come from the beach.

Leo Jul 23 – Aug 23

Leo, you’re linked to some pretty interesting characters this week, and some pretty inviting times.

Virgo Aug 23 – Sep 23

I would say relax this week, Virgo, but that’s probably what you did last week, and you’re happiest when your mind is in motion. Where will it take you next?

Libra Sep 23 – Oct 23

Forget balance this week. Completely dive into one aspect of yourself, of your personality. This submersion will end up helping you achieve something new.

Scorpio Oct 23 – Nov 22

No one knows you like you, Scorpio. Who else will you let into your forcefield this week?

Sagittarius Nov 22 – Dec 23

It is all about music for you this week. You don’t need to play any record backwards, but if you listen closely, you will hear messages you’ve never, ever heard before. Pull up a beanbag.

Capricorn Dec 23 – Jan 20

Think big. Think long term. Humans are not designed for this, but you are this week. Take advantage of it.


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