As Kimberly Blaeser’s 2015-2016 term as Wisconsin Poet Laureate begins, and as Max Garland’s 2013-2014 term comes to a close, it’s our great pleasure to celebrate the passing of the torch with a reading. Congratulations Kimberly, and thank you Max, for tirelessly promoting and celebrating literature and the arts throughout the state.
This event is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission whose members represent several Wisconsin arts organizations (including the Milwaukee-based Center for the Book) and with special support from The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
Kimberly Blaeser is Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-2016. She is author of three collections of poetry: Apprenticed to Justice, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Trailing You. A Professor at UW—Milwaukee, she teaches Creative Writing and Native American Literatures. Her writing has been widely anthologized, most recently in The Heath Anthology of American Literature.
Through conferences, publications, reading events, exhibits, festivals, and the like, I have had many opportunities to meet and work with Wisconsin communities. I always find the experiences exhilarating and the poetry of our state continually astonishes me. To be selected as Wisconsin’s ambassador for poetry is truly a gift.
Max Garland of Eau Claire was Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2013-2014. Garland left a ten-year career as a mail carrier to pursue his love of poetry. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa in 1989 and has been teaching since 1990; currently he is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Garland’s publications include The Postal Confessions (winner of the Juniper Prize), Hunger Wide as Heaven, and Apparitions, a chapbook. Poetry and fiction have also appeared in anthologies such as Best American Short Stories, Earth Shattering, and the upcoming Down to the Dark River.