Missouri has a new poet laureate

Hi everyone,

Late breaking news is that Missouri Governor Mike Parson has appointed Springfield poet and journalist Karen Craigo as Missouri’s fifth Poet Laureate, for 2019-21. Here’s the article.

“The Missouri Poet Laureate enriches Missourians’ lives by fostering the art of poetry statewide through public appearances, readings, workshops, and digital and social media.

As a poet, Craigo has published two full-length collections of her works, “Passing Through Humansville” (2018) and “No More Milk” (2016). She is the poetry series editor for the Missouri State University-based Moon City Press and the nonfiction editor for the literary journal “Mid-American Review.” She explores writing, publishing, and creativity on her blog, “Better View of the Moon.”

As a journalist, Craigo is editor and general manager of “The Marshfield Mail,” a 128-year-old weekly newspaper based in the Webster County seat.

Craigo’s work has been hailed by fellow poets as “disarmingly witty and wise…warm and inviting” with “a wonderful intimacy…a melding of tenderness and humor.”

The Missouri Arts Council facilitates the Missouri Poet Laureate Program on behalf of the Office of the Governor. Parson chose Craigo from public nominations contributed this past spring and vetted by the Missouri Poet Laureate Committee. She succeeds Aliki Barnstone, of Columbia, who served from 2016 into 2019.”

This year I had the honor of being one of the nominees for the post. As far as I know, there has never been a state poet laureate primarily known as a children’s poet (Let me know if I’m wrong about this.), so I held little hope of getting the appointment, but boy was it fun to dream for a while! My most sincere thanks to Catia Gilpin for believing in me and going to the trouble of filling out the forms and submitting them to Missouri Arts Council where the final list of three candidates was selected and forwarded to the governor’s office.

My congratulations to Karen Craigo. Way to go for finally bringing the Missouri Poet Laureate post to Springfield!