Salem, Oregon -The Hallie Ford Chair in Writing and the Department of English at Willamette University host a reading by Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen on Wednesday, March 13. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of Willamette’s library and is free and open to the public.
Paulann Petersen was originally named to a two-year appointment as Oregon’s sixth Poet Laureate by Governor Ted Kulongoski on April 26, 2010 and has since been renewed for an additional two years. “Paulann Petersen is the perfect choice to serve as Oregon’s poet laureate,” said Governor Kulongoski. “Her wonderful poetry and her commitment to sharing her craft with the people of Oregon through her teaching and service exemplify the kind person that is ideal to serve in this position.” Petersen was born and raised in Oregon and spent half of her adult life in Klamath Falls. She is a widely published poet, with five collections – The Wild Awake (2002), Blood-Silk (2004), A Bride of Narrow Escape (2006), Kindle (2008), and The Voluptuary (2010) – and several chapbooks to her credit.
Petersen has received several awards, including Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry, two Carloyn Kizer Poetry Awards, and Literary Art’s Stewart Holbrook Award for Outstanding Contributions to Oregon’s Literary Life. Her poetry is featured on TriMet public transportation in Portland as part of Poetry in Motion® as well as in many publications. Petersen is a committed teacher who has taught high school English and led dozens of workshops schools libraries, colleges, and writer’s conferences across Oregon
The poet laureate position is a collaborative project of the state’s five statewide cultural partners, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Humanities and State Historic Preservation Office. The position is funded by the Oregon Cultural Trust and managed by Oregon Humanities. More information on the poet laureate program and history is found at http://www.oregonpoetlaureate.org/.