PRESS RELEASE: Gov. Fallin Selects State Poet Laureate

Office of Governor Mary Fallin

March 22, 2017

Governor Mary Fallin Selects State Poet Laureate

OKLAHOMA CITY— Governor Mary Fallin today announced she has selected Dr. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish to serve as Oklahoma's state poet laureate for 2017-18. Mish is the director and a faculty mentor at The Red Earth Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA Program at Oklahoma City University.

“Dr. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a poet, writer, teacher and scholar who shares thoughtful and meaningful insights about Oklahoma through her works,” said Fallin. “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.”  

Mish has written several books of poetry collections, including Tongue Tied Woman, Oklahomeland: Essays, What I Learned at War and Work is Love Made Visible, which won the 2010 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry and the 2010 Western Heritage Award for Poetry.

Mish has been involved in poetry for more than 20 years and has led several poetry presentations, readings and workshops across the United States.

“Of all my accomplishments, I’m most proud of being Oklahoma state poet laureate,” Mish said. “I look forward to fulfilling my responsibilities as poet laureate by sharing poetry with fellow Oklahomans in every corner of my beloved home state.”

Mish received a bachelor of arts in English in 2001 and a masters of arts in English in 2003 from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas. She then went on to receive her doctorate of philosophy in English in 2009 from the University of Oklahoma.

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.

Amber Sharples, executive director of the Oklahoma Arts Council, said Mish is well known and highly regarded within Oklahoma’s poetry community.

“Beyond Dr. Mish’s own exceptional writing credentials, she has advanced the careers of Oklahoma writers through her teaching and through her Norman-based publishing company,” said Sharples. “We look forward to enabling her to broaden her impact by reaching students and adults across Oklahoma as state poet laureate.”




3-22-17  Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish