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Shawnee's Ben Myers Named Oklahoma State Poet Laureate


Joel Gavin, Director of Marketing & Communications
(405) 521-2037

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 5, 2015) ? The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced Governor Mary Fallin’s appointment of Dr. Benjamin Myers as Oklahoma’s State Poet Laureate for 2015-16. A literature professor at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Myers is an award-winning author and scholar whose poems have appeared in prominent international journals.

Governor Mary Fallin said, “Through his poetry, Dr. Benjamin Myers demonstrates a deep love and kinship to Oklahoma. His poetry about our state offers a nuanced view of our people, our land, and the values that we hold dear. I am delighted to select a talented scholar such as Dr. Myers, whose work has been published in renowned international journals, to serve as Oklahoma's State Poet Laureate. I am confident that his passion for Oklahoma will resonate with students and adults as he shares and fosters the art of poetry in communities throughout our state."

Born and raised in central Oklahoma, Myers said he was honored and deeply moved when he learned of his appointment.

“Oklahoma is more to me than just the place I live; it is my home, my homeland. The opportunity to combine my deep love for this land with my love for poetry is an opportunity I am very thankful for.”

Myers is a frequent reviewer of works of contemporary poetry for “World Literature Today,” “Books and Culture,” and other journals. A Tennessee Williams Scholarship recipient, Myers has authored two books of poetry, “Lapse Americana” and “Elegy for Trains,” which won the 2011 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry.

“Poetry is good for the soul,” Myers said. “Without poetry, and without art in general, the soul lacks an essential part of its necessary diet.”

The State Poet Laureate program is facilitated by the Oklahoma Arts Council on behalf of the governor. The Oklahoma Arts Council works with the State Poet Laureate to coordinate activities and appearances in communities throughout the state.


About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The Council’s mission is to lead, cultivate and support a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education and economic vitality for all Oklahomans. The Council provides more than 500 grants to over 250 organizations statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state's arts and cultural industry, and manages hundreds of works of art in the public spaces of the state Capitol. Additional information is available at

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