Stop #30 is Wisconsin. Please welcome the Badger State's poet laureate, Marilyn L. Taylor to Author Amok!
Marilyn and I "met" through United Poets Laureate -- a blog set up by several of the state poets laureate, including our special guest.
Marilyn, as Wisconsin's state poet laureate, do you have a project?
Yes, I do have a project. When I applied for the two-year Wisconsin Poet Laureateship, I described it like this:
"My first priority as Wisconsin Poet Laureate will be to help spread the joys of reading, writing and listening to poetry through the state and beyond, directing it especially to those who may never have heard a Wisconsin poet read, never purchased a poetry collection that was written by one of our own.
"My strategy to attract such people will involve creating events in which they could comfortably take part, both as participants and as listeners."
With that in mind, I have visited libraries, bookshops, centers for the arts, colleges, retirement communities, clubhouses, high school, middle schools and book clubs -- both in tiny little towns in the Wisconsin boondocks to the larger cities like Milwaukee and Madison. To date...50 different venues. I have about twenty more already scheduled for 2010.
What are the duties of a poet laureate in your state?
The position of Poet Laureate in Wisconsin is pretty open-ended, actually, concerning what we're "required" to do. The minimum expectation is that we present four readings or presentations in four different parts of the state each year. My two predecessors and I have all vastly exceeded that minimum.
Our visit to Wisconsin continues in the next post. I'll have more questions for Marilyn and a sonnet that I know all of you teachers out there will relate to.