Governor Michael L. Parson has appointed Springfield poet and journalist Karen Craigo as Missouri’s fifth Poet Laureate, for 2019-2021.
The Missouri Poet Laureate enriches Missourians’ lives throughout the state by fostering the reading and writing of poetry, through public appearances, readings, workshops, and digital and social media. “As Poet Laureate,” Ms. Craigo says, “I am making it my mission to bring out the poetry of everyday life in our beautiful state.”
“Craigo’s poems are disarmingly witty and wise,” says Tom Noyes, professor of English and creative writing at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania. “Even her most provocative work is warm and inviting.”
“There’s a wonderful intimacy to her poems, a melding of tenderness and humor that hints at something deeper,” says poet Michael Meyerhofer, editor of Atticus Review, which has featured many of Ms. Craigo’s works. “Maybe that’s why Craigo has so firmly established herself as one of the most vital and generous poetic voices in America.”
Karen Craigo has published two full-length collections of her works via Sundress Publications, Passing Through Humansville (2018) and No More Milk (2016). She is also the author of three chapbooks, the mini-collections Escaped Housewife Tries Hard to Blend In (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2017), Stone For an Eye (Kent State University Press, 2014), and Someone Could Build Something Here (Winged City Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Atticus Review, Poetry, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, and The MacGuffin.
Ms. Craigo explores writing, publishing, and creativity on her blog, Better View of the Moon.
Ms. Craigo is the poetry series editor for the Missouri State University-based Moon City Press and the nonfiction editor for the literary journal Mid-American Review. As a journalist, she is editor and general manager of The Marshfield Mail, a 128-year-old weekly newspaper based in the Webster County seat. She also works on occasion as an instructor of writing and a freelance literary editor.
With her husband, Michael Czyzniejewski, Ms. Craigo is the mother of two sons, Ernie, 13, and Keats, 6. “Although I’m usually writing or chasing down a story,” she says, “in my spare time I love to travel, hike, and curl up with a good mystery novel.”