The Indiana Arts Commission has named Shari Wagner of Westfield the new Indiana State Poet Laureate. She currently teaches poetry and memoir writing at the Indiana Writers Center and literature for Butler University’s Religion, Spirituality and the Arts seminar.
“I am delighted and honored to represent poetry in a state that has shaped my artistic vision in so many ways and given me such a wealth of subjects to explore. In the next two years, I look forward to traveling its length and breadth as I promote Indiana poets and foster the writing and reading of poems in a variety of settings – schools, parks, libraries, senior and veteran centers, and historic sites. It’s exciting that Indiana’s bicentennial and the centennial of its state parks will occur during my term, significant anniversaries I plan to celebrate by emphasizing poetry’s connection to history and nature,” Wagner said.
Wagner is the author of two poetry books, The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana and Evening Chore.
“Indiana is fortunate to have an abundance of creative talent promoting the art of poetry and its ability to enrich the lives of all ages,” said Sarah Fronczek, IAC Community Development Manager and Poet Laureate Program Director. “Shari Wagner possesses a special gift and ability to communicate her knowledge and love of nature and humanity through written and spoken verse. She will carry forward the fine work of all of Indiana’s previous gifted and dedicated laureates.”
Wagner succeeds George Kalamaras. She will begin her two-year term as Indiana Poet Laureate January 1, 2016 and will serve through December 31, 2017.