FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The Indiana Arts Commission has selected Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne's (IPFW) professor George Kalamaras as the new Indiana State Poet Laureate.
Kalamaras is a professor of English at IPFW, a post he has held since 1990. Among his degrees, he holds a doctorate in English from the State University of New York at Albany. He was born in Chicago and grew up in Cedar Lake, Indiana, in Lake County.
Kalamaras began his two-year term as Indiana Poet Laureate January 1, 2014, serving through December 31, 2015.
“I am deeply honored with this appointment and absolutely thrilled to serve the people and state of Indiana in this way,” Kalamaras said. “The vocation of poetry is not about individual accolades, although I am humbled and most pleased with this honor. However, I see poetry as an act of loving service – to people, to animals and the planet, and to the culture at large. Poetry grants us the opportunity to practice a meaning-making activity in which the smaller sense of self eventually dissolves into a more expansive Self with a larger sense of purpose beyond the individual. I look forward to serving as Poet Laureate and am grateful beyond words for the faith the Indiana Arts Commission has already shown in me.”
Kalamaras has published six books of poetry and one of scholarship including Kingdom of Throat-Stuck Luck, winner of the Elixir Press Poetry Contest, The Recumbent Galaxy, co-authored with Alvaro Cardona-Hine and winner of the C&R Press Open Competition, and The Theory and Function of Mangoes, winner of the Four Way Books Intro Series; six poetry chapbooks; numerous articles in scholarly journals; and more than 725 poems in anthologies and magazines in the United States and abroad.
In 1994, Kalamaras received an Indo-U.S. Advanced Research Fellowship (from the Fulbright Foundation and the Indo-U.S. Subcommission on Education and Culture) to conduct research in India, with joint affiliations at Banaras Hindu University and Deccan College. In 1993, he received a Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and has twice received an Individual Artist Fellowship Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. In 2009, he won the Outstanding Researcher Award at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
He has presented numerous poetry readings throughout the United States as well as in India, and has served as a guest lecturer at universities in both countries.
The Indiana Poet Laureate represents the State of Indiana and the art of poetry through the development and implementation of programming to the education community and general public. The Poet Laureate makes formal presentations at various educational facilities and events, and offers advice to the Commission regarding ways to further the art of poetry in Indiana. For more information on the role of the Indiana Poet Laureate, click here.
The Indiana Arts Commission conducted a statewide call for nominations which were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of representatives from Indiana’s major institutions of higher education.
For more information contact Kalamaras at firstname.lastname@example.org.