April is National Poetry Month, a time when those otherwise cloistered poets (often mistaken for ordinary people in grocery stores) are put on display along with other artworks and artifacts. At Bay City's First Thursday Gallery Walk, now celebrating its fifth year, these rare literary creatures will come out of hiding. The Gallery Walk events take place from 5-8 p.m. at various establishments in downtown Bay City marked by red balloons.

Ward Studio Gallery and Painterly Pottery (904 North Water St.):

Amelia Glebocki and Dan McGee will alternate readings. Glebocki is the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Cardinal Sins at Saginaw Valley State University. Her work has appeared in The Albion Review, North Central Review, and Temenos
Dan McGee, the 2009 Skip Renker Creative Writing Award winner at Delta College, loves any time he can read to an audience (save being occasionally quite frightened). He is graduating with an Associates Degree from Delta College this month and will attend Alma College in the fall to study English.

Golden Gallery (113 Third St.):

Jadwiga KrawczykSakellariou and Jeff Vande Zande will read at intervals. Sakellariou is a 2006 Saginaw Valley State University graduate in international studies who has previously read from her work at the Magic Bean Café in Saginaw. Delta College Associate Professor Vande Zande has seen his poetry published in such journals as Rattle, Spoon River Poetry Review, College English, and Crab Creek Review, among others. One of his poems was selected by Poet Laureate Ted Kooser to appear in Kooser's syndicated poetry column, American Life in Poetry. His poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and his most recent collection is Poems New, Used, and Rebuilds (March Street Press).

Object d'Aarts (810 Washington Ave.):

Poets Dan Schell and JodiAnn Stevenson will offer their wit and wisdom to audiences. Schell is a creative writing student at SVSU. Since the early 90's, his poetry has been published in small journals such as Poetry Motel, Voices, The Crowbait Review, Pegasus Magazine, and SVSU's Cardinal Sins. He works in legal administration and lives in Saginaw with his wife and two children. Stevenson is an Assistant English Professor at Delta College, where she also teaches poetry. Her work has appeared in a number of journals, and she is the author of The Procedure (March Street Press). She also publishes experimental work through her own Binge Press.

Espresso Express ( 916 North Water St.):

This month only during the Gallery Walk,  Espresso Express will be home to the Free Speech Open Mic that routinely takes place on the third Friday of each month. Beginning at 7:00 p.m., SVSU graduate and soon to be graduate student at Emerson in Boston, Matthew Falk will read from his work, which has been published in various literary journals. During the open mic session, musicians and authors are welcome to sign in and strut their stuff in a cozy and welcoming environment .

Watch for further announcements of special literary activities scheduled around the Tri-Cities this month. Celebrate the power of the Word.