Poet Laureate Jeanetta Calhoun Mish to visit Rogers State

JEANETTA CALHOUN MISH

Oklahoma's Poet Laureate, Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, will be visiting her friends on the hill this month.

Rogers State University's Dr. Mary Mackie championed a visit from Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, a reading Mackie called a major catch for the university.

Mackie first met Mish four or five years ago, before she was named Poet Laureate.

"I got an email from her saying she was doing some readings in the area and would be happy to do a reading for us," Mackie recalled. "She talked to my creative writing class that morning and did a reading that night."

The two stayed in touch.

"This semester my 4000 level poetry class is talking about mentors and her name was thrown out there," Mackie said. "So I thought, 'what the heck' and I reached out to see if she'd be available."

As Poet Laureate her calendar stays full. But for a friend, she said, she'd come.

Mackie hailed Mish as a wonderful woman and a dynamic speaker.

"She is a good ol', down home, Oklahoma girl. She talks about her life growing up dirt poor in Oklahoma," Mackie said. "Her poetry is very relatable. It's the kind of thing people here and say 'been there, done that.' But it's not depressing. It shows how bad things can be, but also talks about finding joy."

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a scholar, poet, essayist, and the 2017-2018 Oklahoma State Poet Laureate.

Her recent books are a poetry collection, What I Learned at the War (West End Press, 2016) and Oklahomeland: Essays (Lamar University Press, 2015). Dr. Mish directs The Red Earth Creative Writing MFA at Oklahoma City University.

RSU will host Mish on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 5 p.m. in the Baird Hall Performance Studio. This free event is open to the public.

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