KCC professor, graphic design students collaborate on poetry project

Professor Elizabeth Kerlikowske and graphic design student Jamie Miller pose with a chapbook written by Kerlikowske, which Miller designed

Kellogg Community College instructor Penny Rose’s graphic design students continued applying their skills to real-life projects recently by designing potential covers for English professor and poet Elizabeth Kerlikowske’s latest chapbook, “Suicide Notes.”

More than a dozen students designed chapbooks for Kerlikowske to choose from; Jamie Miller, a Calhoun Area Career Center student, created the chosen design.

Kerlikowske visited Rose’s class and offered comments to students about what she did or did not like about their designs midway through the process.

“With the word suicide in the title, there didn’t need to be blood, slit wrists or nooses, which many of the designs featured,” Kerlikowske said.

The students, and particularly Miller, took her comments to heart and adjusted their designs, just as they would when serving clients in a professional graphic design setting.

Kerlikowske is president of the poetry organization Friends of Poetry, which is based in Kalamazoo. She said the group hopes to make the chapbook competition experience into an annual collaboration between the KCC and the community.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” she said. “Students get real-world design experience, my organization broadens the readers of poetry, and some lucky person gets some beautiful chapbooks.”

Kerlikowske will be reading from publications including “Suicide Notes” at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in the Kellogg Room adjacent to the Student Center on KCC’s North Avenue campus in Battle Creek. The event is free and open to the public.

Pictured above are, left to right, Kerlikowske and Miller with their chapbook.