Poet Laureate Commission of Wisconsin: Announces new members, expands statewide reach

Contact: Jason A. Smith, communications director, Wisconsin Academy
Cathryn Cofell-Mutschler, co-chair, Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission

Poet Laureate Commission of Wisconsin: Announces new members, expands statewide reach

MADISON, WI—In the run-up to the open call for Wisconsin Poet Laureate applications and nominations for the 2013–2014 term, the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of six new members-at large:

•Cathryn Cofell – Appleton

•David Graham – Ripon

•Brent Goodman – Rhinelander

•Ronnie Hess – Madison

•William Stobb – LaCrosse

•Marilyn Taylor – Milwaukee

The purpose of the Commission is to administer the selection process for the Poet Laureate of Wisconsin, to assign the Poet Laureate’s responsibilities and to provide support for the Poet Laureate. “We are delighted to add such distinguished individuals to the Poet Laureate Commission of Wisconsin” says outgoing Commission chair Jane Hamblen. “This will increase the size of the Commission from eight to twelve members, which will enhance the Commission’s ability to provide support to the Poet Laureate and to promote the importance of the Poet Laureate post throughout the state.” The Commission also recently welcomed new representatives from two of its six constituent organizations:

•Richard Swanson – Council for Wisconsin Writers

•Carol Cohen – Wisconsin Humanities Council

The new Commission members will join currently serving members, appointed by the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, Wisconsin Writers Association, Wisconsin Arts Board and Wisconsin Academy, in the search and selection process for the 2013–2014 Wisconsin Poet Laureate, which begins on August 20, 2012.

About the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Comission
In May of 2011 the Wisconsin Academy announced their stewardship of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate program to ensure the survival of the Commission and the Wisconsin Poet Laureate program after Governor Scott Walker eliminated state support for the program. Created by Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson on July 31, 2000, and continued by Governor Jim Doyle through 2010, the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission conducts the selection process, assigns respponsibilites and provides support to the Poet Laureate. Charged with contributing to the growth of poetry in this state, the Wisconsin Poet Laureate arranges and/or attends at least eight statewide literary events each year as requested by the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission or the Wisconsin Academy. For more information about the Wisconsin Poet Laureate and Commission, visit wisconsinacademy.org/poetlaureate.