(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today the selection of Matthew Graham, of Evansville, as the new Indiana State Poet Laureate by a selection committee comprised of representatives from Indiana’s major institutions of higher education, a requirement of the post’s enabling legislation.
During his 35 years in southern Indiana, Matthew has been a respected and recognized writer, teacher, and advocate for poetry and the arts.
Having recently retired from the University of Southern Indiana (USI), he has taught all levels of creative writing, contemporary literature, and worked with multicultural and international students in freshman composition.
Among other community services, Graham has worked with diverse writing groups such as high school students and community writing groups.
Matthew Graham is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Geography of Home (Galileo Press, 2018). His work has earned numerous national, regional and local honors and awards, including a Pushcart Prize, an Academy of American Poets Award, two grants from the Indiana Arts Commission, and the Artist of the Year Award from the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana.
While at USI, Matthew co-founded and co-directed (with Thomas Wilhelmus) The Ropewalk Writers’ Retreat, a summer program that brought national and international writers to New Harmony, Indiana for 22 years, and the Ropewalk Visiting Writers Series, which brought prominent fiction and non-fiction writers and poets to the USI campus for free public readings.
The list of participating writers includes the present U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. Graham will begin his two-year term as Indiana Poet Laureate, January 1, 2020, and will continue serving through December 31, 2021. He succeeds current Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka.
For more information about the Poet Laureate – https://www.in.gov/arts/.