Meeting at the Twin Hills Country Club in Oklahoma City, The Poetry Society of Oklahoma, the State’s premier organization for poetry lovers, has chosen Eddie and Joan Wilcoxen to serve as Co-Presidents for 2014 and 2015. Eddie previously served as Oklahoma Poet Laureate for 2011and 2012, making more than a hundred appearances across the state, sharing poems and promoting the importance of poetry in everyday life.
“As the Official State Poet, I got to talk with hundreds of people. One of the things that became clear is that poetry is misunderstood. It’s deemed by most to be the province of English teachers and Professors. We’ve allowed the voice of every day Oklahoma to be silenced in favor of some academic ideal of what poetry should be. Think of it like music - there’s a place for classical music, or esoteric jazz, but it would be a far poorer world without bluegrass, country, folk, rock, and all the other genres that excite and interest people. Oklahoma is the home of one of America’s most admired men ever, Will Rogers. He was universally loved and respected as a ‘down home’ philosopher and story teller. That same ‘down home’ spirit exists across Oklahoma today, and Joan and I are thrilled to have the chance to help tap that creative energy for the benefit and entertainment of the entire state.”
Joan indicated that one of their objectives will be to give Oklahoma poets increased recognition and opportunities to share their work in their local communities. “We hope to work with interested individuals and groups to form local chapters of the Poetry Society of Oklahoma all across the state. The PSO already works with youngsters statewide in helping them develop the confidence in their creative abilities to excel. More local chapters across Oklahoma will give them the opportunity to stay connected with adult poets whose role as mentors will be increased. We are very interested in hearing from poets who in the past may have been under represented, such as hip hop, poetry slam contests, cowboy poetry, and more.”
Anyone interested in learning more about establishing a local chapter of the PSO should contact Joan Wilcoxen at 580-471-9733 or message Eddie and Joan Wilcoxen on their Facebook page.
Eddie indicated that, “Joan and I will gladly travel anywhere across Oklahoma to assist in this work. We know there are hundreds, possibly thousands of voices that we as Oklahomans have not heard, with stories they have not told, and poems they have not shared. All of us, every Oklahoman, will be richer for knowing their contribution. Joan and I are excited to be at the forefront of this challenge.”