Who We Are

Kalamazoo Poetry Festival is run by a board of trustees and a part-time executive director. If you’re interested in becoming a KPF board member, you can apply here. You can also volunteer your time at events or on a committee if being a board member isn’t your thing.

Executive Director

Casey Grooten

My name is Casey Grooten, I grew up in the Gobles, MI area, and have lived in Kalamazoo the majority of the last 16 years. I graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, and have a passion for poetry and fiction. I call myself an interdisciplinary artist, because the majority of my time is dedicated to some area of the arts, whether it be written work, visual art, or music. Poetry came to me in the forest, when I was very young, through the form of song. My parents informed everyone on our street that the singing they heard in the woods that stretched behind many of our houses at night, or early in the morning was me. I still carry this love of nature within me, and much of my work revolves around recycled, found, and gifted materials. Two other things about myself that I believe help people understand me more completely is that I am a nonbinary person who is unapologetically queer, and that I am thirteen years sober from narcotics as of April 2024. I am proud of who I am, and plan to translate that pride into very hard, intentional work with KPF during my time as Executive Director.

Current Board Members

Cameron Decker

Cameron Decker

Chair, 2024-2028

Applications Developer, WMU

Hananiah Hardin

Hananiah Hardin

Treasurer, 2024-2028

Co-founder of Black Magic Media, Photographer, and Jeweler. Program Coordinator at Fire. 

Beth Bullmer

Beth Bullmer

Trustee, 2023-2027

Poet, Small business owner as Licensed Massage Therapist, former adult ed teacher 

Lauren Carney

Lauren Carney

Trustee, 2022-2026

Student and University Relations Coordinator, Bronson

Owner, RD Mobile Crafts

Nancy Nott

Nancy Nott

Trustee, 2023-2027

Poet, Community Workshop leader & former Language Arts Teacher

Kathy Jennings

Kathy Jennings

Trustee, 2024-2028

Independent contractor for KPF, publicity and programming consultant, grant writer

Past Board Members

  • Adam Wagner (Treasurer)
  • Kaitlin Martin (President)
  • Frances Vicioso
  • Salwa Tareen (Secretary)
  • Gen Miller
  • Sara Lupita-Olivares
  • Robin Church (Secretary)
  • John Minser (President)
  • Edward Eckel (President)
  • Richard Pattison (Treasurer)
  • Allison Kennedy (Secretary)
  • Joe Costello
  • Donna McClurkan
  • Zaide Pixley
  • Stacy Nowicki (President)
  • Sherie Veramay
  • Amy Ferguson (Secretary)
  • Marsha Meyer
  • Marion Boyer
  • Karen Trout
  • George Martin (Founder)