Holliday receives Humanities Council Grant to present Oklahoma Poets Laureate Talks

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Holliday receives Humanities Council Grant to present Oklahoma Poets Laureate Talks

Dr. Shawn Holliday, associate dean of graduate studies and professor of English at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, has received a $1,000 Oklahoma Humanities Council Opportunity Grant to give a series of lectures at public libraries, museums and public schools around the state on the history of the Oklahoma poets laureate.

Holliday’s 2015 talks will coincide with the publication of his book, “The Oklahoma Poets Laureate: a History, Anthology, and Sourcebook,” which will be published by Mongrel Empire Press in early 2015.

Holliday’s lectures are titled “The Oklahoma Poets Laureate: Learning about the State through its Poetry,” and will be free and open to the public at the Bartlett-Carnegie Public Library in Sapulpa on Feb. 10, the Enid Public Library on Feb. 17, the Guthrie Territorial Museum on Feb. 26, the Will Rogers Public Library in Claremore on March 2, and the Wewoka Public Library on March 26. During his trip to each location, Holliday also will be visiting selected high school English and advanced placement (AP) classes to discuss the poets laureate with students.

Each of Holliday’s talks will consist of a brief history of the poet laureate position followed by a discussion of the life and work of the particular poet tied to each town/city. The poets to be discussed will include Violet McDougal (Sapulpa), Bess Truitt (Enid), Paul Kroeger and Jennie Harris Oliver (Guthrie), Maggie Culver Fry (Claremore), and Rudolph N. Hill (Wewoka). Holliday also will end his talk at each site with a brief reading of the individual poet’s work.

With this grant, Holliday hopes to educate students and citizens about the history of the Oklahoma poets laureate position, helping citizens learn about their towns/cities through poetry while preserving regional history and local memory. He also hopes that his talks will make Northwestern an attractive college of choice for potential undergraduate and graduate students.

To find out more about his lectures, please contact Holliday at (580) 327-8589 or spholliday@nwosu.edu.