Submit a Nomination for Oklahoma State Poet Laureate
Nominations are currently being accepted through June 30, 2018 from poetry societies, libraries, local arts and humanities councils, colleges and universities, and writers' groups for the 2019-2020 Oklahoma State Poet Laureate.
Submitted nominations will be reviewed by a committee coordinated by the Oklahoma Arts Council that consists of poets, university profressors, former state poets laureate, or others with expertise in the poetry field. A recommendation by the committee will be provided to the Governor. Per statute, the final determination and appointment of the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate is made by the Governor.
About the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate Program
The Oklahoma Arts Council works on behalf of the Governor’s office to solicit nominations for the honorary position of Oklahoma’s State Poet Laureate. The position was codified in 1994 through State Statute 98.4. According to the legislation, the appointment by the Governor shall be made by January 1 of every odd year thus the State Poet Laureate serves for a period of two years.
During even numbered years, the Oklahoma Arts Council puts out a call for nominations from cultural organizations, such as poetry societies, writers’ groups, colleges and universities, local arts and humanities councils, and libraries. A review committee that may consist of poets, university professors, former State Poets Laureate, and others with expertise in poetry reviews submissions and makes a recommendation to the Governor. The final determination and appointment of the State Poet Laureate is made by the Governor.
How to bring the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate to your community or school
Oklahoma Arts Council grant funding is available to help bring the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate to your community or school for workshops, presentations, and more. To learn which grant program can assist your organization, please contact our Grants Director.
To arrange a workshop or poetry presentation featuring the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate, please contact:
Dr. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
Dr. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
Oklahoma State Poet Laureate, 2017-2018
Dr. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a scholar, poet, writer, and teacher whose career in poetry spans more than 20 years. During this time, in addition to presenting poetry readings and workshops across the United States, Mish has advanced the careers of many Oklahoma writers, and she has earned numerous awards for her creative writing and poetry. Mish is the director of The Red Earth Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts program at Oklahoma City University where she also serves as advisor to Red Earth Review and as a faculty mentor in writing pedagogy, professional writing, and the craft of poetry. She is also editor of Mongrel Empire Press, which was recognized as 2012 Publisher of the Year by the Woodcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Among Mish's most recent books are What I Learned at the War, a poetry collection (West End Press, 2016) and Oklahomeland: Essays (Lamar University Press, 2015). Her 2009 poetry collection, Work Is Love Made Visible (West End Press) won an Oklahoma Book Award, a Wrangler Award, and the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West.
Upon her appointment of Mish as Oklahoma State Poet Laureate, Governor Fallin said, “Dr. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a poet, writer, teacher and scholar who shares thoughtful and meaningful insights about Oklahoma through her works. I selected Dr. Mish because of her immense passions for poetry and our great state. I am confident Dr. Mish will continue to provide excellence in the field of poetry and engage citizens of Oklahoma in this art form.”
Past Poets Laureate
- 1923 Violet McDougal
- 1931 Paul Kroeger
- 1940 Jenny Harris Oliver
- 1943 Della I. Young
- 1944 Anne R. Semple
- 1945 Bess Truitt
- 1963 Delbert Davis
- 1966 Rudolph N. Hill
- 1970 Leslie A. McRill
- 1970 Rudolph N. Hill (Emeritus)
- 1977 Maggie Culver Fry
- 1995 Carol Hamilton
- 1997 Betty Shipley
- 1998 Joe Kreger
- 2001 Carl Sennhenn
- 2003 Francine Ringold
- 2007 N. Scott Momaday
- 2009 Jim Barnes
- 2011 Eddie Wilcoxen
- 2013 Nathan Brown
- 2015 Benjamin Myers
- 2017 Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
For more information, please contact our Director of Marketing and Communications.