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State Poet Laureate Announcement

State Poet Laureate Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2011
Contact: Traci Jinkens, Marketing and Development Director
Oklahoma Humanities Council
(405) 235-0280 • traci@okhumanitiescouncil.org

Eddie Wilcoxen Appointed State Poet Laureate

Oklahoma City, OK-The Oklahoma Humanities Council (OHC) announced that, just before leaving office, Governor Brad Henry appointed distinguished author, poet, and radio broadcaster Eddie D. Wilcoxen as State Poet Laureate for 2011 through 2012. OHC facilitates the poet laureate selection committee, which reviews statewide nominations on behalf of the governor, and coordinates the activities and appearances of the poet laureate throughout his/her term.

Eddie Wilcoxen is a career radio broadcaster with a popular morning show on KWHW in Altus. He has written seven volumes of poetry and one non-fiction work. His newest book, Faith, Hope and Poetry, is scheduled for a February release.

Wilcoxen is widely recognized for landscape design; his home gardens were featured in Oklahoma Gardener magazine. He is also a three-time national karate champion and established "Kihido Karate," a character-building curriculum emphasizing personal responsibility as the key to personal success. In 1996 he was designated an "Official Olympic Hero" and chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on its historic journey across the United States to Atlanta, Georgia.

On learning of his appointment, Wilcoxen remarked: "It was really a thrill to get the call announcing my appointment as Poet Laureate. Poetry has been such a source of comfort and inspiration to me that I can't help but feel honored to have the chance to visit and talk to people all across the state. I'm really looking forward to the adventure of sharing stories and poems."

OHC Executive Director Ann Thompson said that the Council is eager to increase awareness of Wilcoxen's work. "We are very excited to assist Mr. Wilcoxen as he begins his two-year term as Oklahoma's State Poet Laureate," said Thompson. "We are fortunate that the Oklahoma legislature designated this honorary position to engage citizens with poetry, a tradition that was established decades ago and continues to enrich our lives."

Information on Wilcoxen will soon be posted on the OHC website (http://www.okhumanitiescouncil.org), including examples of his poetry and an application to request Wilcoxen's appearance at poetry readings and community events.