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Oklahoma State Poet Laureate Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

Oklahoma State Poet Laureate


About the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate Program

The Oklahoma Arts Council works on behalf of the Office of the Governor to solicit nominations for the honorary position of Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 poets laureate, and others with expertise in poetry reviews submissions and makes a recommendation to the Governor. The final determination and appointment of the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate is made by the Governor. Poets laureate appointments holdover until a succeeding Oklahoma State Poet Laureate is named.

How to bring the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate to your community or school

Oklahoma Arts Council grant funding may be 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
(405) 219-2299

View a calendar of Dr. Mish's scheduled workshops and presentations.

Dr. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
Oklahoma State Poet Laureate

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

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