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New Poet Laureate to Give First Public Reading

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish vert

Oklahoma’s poet laureate for 2017-18, Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, will offer her first solo public reading as the state’s new poet ambassador at 6 p.m. May 11 at Oklahoma City University. The reading will be held in the Dulaney-Browne Library on the fourth floor, located in the center of the OKCU campus near N.W. 26th Street and Florida Avenue.

A reception and book signing will follow the reading. The event is free to the public, and Mish’s books will be available for purchase on site.

After appointing Mish as Oklahoma poet laureate, Governor Mary 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.”

Mish’s career in poetry spans more than 20 years. During this time, in addition to presenting poetry readings and workshops across the U.S., Mish has advanced the careers of many Oklahoma writers and 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 OKCU, 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 a poetry collection titled “What I Learned at the War” (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. The reading is co-sponsored by OKCU’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature, Dulaney-Brown Library and the Petree College of Arts & Sciences.