Melissa Kwasny of Carroll College to Serve as Poet Laureate of the State of Montana

Melissa Kwasny, an instructor in the English department at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, was appointed poet laureate of the state of Montana. She will serve until 2021.

The Montana Poet Laureate recognizes and honors poets of exceptional talent and accomplishment and also encourages appreciation of poetry and literary life in Montana, according to the Montana Arts Council. The position was created by the state legislature in 2005 and seven individuals have served as poet laureates since that time.

Kwasny is the author of six books of poetry and two novels. Her latest book is  Putting on the Dog: The Animal Origins of What We Wear (Trinity University Press, 2019). Before teaching at Carroll College, Kwasny taught at Eastern Washington University, the University of Wyoming, and the University of Montana. She holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Montana.

Kwasny will serve in the post on a joint basis with Mandy Smoker Broaddus, a poet who serves as an advocate for equity and inclusion for Native American education in the Pacific Northwest.

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