Oregon’s Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Graduate School of Education hooding ceremony on June 15, announced Dean Randy Hitz. Petersen is the sixth Oregon Poet Laureate, having been appointed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski in April 2010. She is the second woman to hold the title that was established in Oregon in 1923.
Petersen was born and raised in Portland and attended Pamona College and Southern Oregon University where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in humanities and fine and performing arts. In addition, she did graduate work as a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. Coincidently, she studied under two previous poets laureate, Stafford Holbrook and Lawson Inada.
She has taught English at West Linn High School and Mazama High School in Klamath Falls, and has conducted a number of college and adult writing workshops around Oregon. She is widely published with five books, four chapbooks, and scores of articles in numerous literary publications. She serves on the Friends of William Stafford Board of Trustees and instigated and organized the William Stafford Birthday Celebrations involving dozens of writing events in Oregon, the U.S., and abroad. More about Paulann Petersen at http://www.paulann.net/index.php