Northwestern to play host to Jeanetta Calhoun Mish for Visiting Writer Series

March 27, 2019

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, an essayist, scholar and 2017-18 state poet laureate, is the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Visiting Writer for spring 2019. She will be on campus April 1 for a presentation. 

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Department of English, Foreign Language and Humanities will play host to essayist, scholar and 2017-18 state poet laureate Jeanetta Calhoun Mish for the Visiting Writer Series on Monday, April 1, at noon in the Student Center Ballroom in Alva.

Members of the department welcome Northwestern students, faculty and staff as well as local and area community members to partake in her visit as she reads from a selection of her poetry. This event is free, and familiarity with her work is not required to attend—or enjoy—the event.

Mish’s most recent book -- “What I Learned at the War,” a poetry collection -- will be available for purchase at the event. “What I Learned at the War” showcases her perspective as a rural working-class Oklahoman, a descendant of defeated Southern supporters in the Civil War, and a first-generation college student seeking a new expressive life to writings that range from blank-verse ode to ghazal and flash memoir to narrative free verse.

After the reading, Mish will take questions from the audience and talk about the success of the book. There will be a book signing following this event.  

Her 2009 poetry collection, “Work Is Love Made Visible,” won an Oklahoma Book Award, a Wrangler Award and the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West. Her first collection, a chapbook titled “Tongue Tied Woman,” won the 2001 Edda Poetry Chapbook for Women Competition.

Mish currently is the director of the Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University where she also serves as adviser to “Red Earth Review” and as a faculty mentor in writing pedagogy, professional writing and poetry.

Dr. Kathryn Lane, associate professor of English and chair to Northwestern’s Department of English, Foreign Language and Humanities, said Northwestern truly is excited to have an author of her caliber for this event. Mish told Dr. Roxie James, assistant professor of English at Northwestern, that she is “way overdue for a trip to Alva.”

For more information on Mish, visit

The Visiting Writer’s Series is a way to bring Oklahoma Writers to northwest Oklahoma every spring to discuss writing, the publishing industry and to share their work. This annual series is made possible through donations and raised funds. Anyone interested in giving a tax-deductible donation to the series or who has questions about it may contact Lane at (580) 327-8470 or


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist , 580-327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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