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Purdue Fort Wayne prof named next Indiana poet laureate

Curtis Crisler (Provided Photo/Tim Andersen via Indiana Arts Commission)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A professor in Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Department of English and Linguistics has been named as the next Indiana poet laureate.

Curtis L. Crisler will be the state’s eighth official poet laureate, although unofficial poet laureates were named prior to 2002.

A selection committee — seven representatives from Indiana’s colleges and universities, and the Indiana Arts Commission executive director — chose the Gary native for the honorary position, according to a news release the commission issued Thursday.

Indiana Humanities posted an interview with Crisler in April, National Poetry Month. The interviewer noted a favorite poem, “Return to Boomtowns,” in which Crisler wrote: “this is Gary, Indiana — America the beautiful, and you are young boy stepping on splintered wood between snaggle-toothed opening in street”

Indiana’s previous poet laureate was Matthew Graham, who had the role since 2020.