Western’s Library, the Learning Resources Center (LRC) will host another evening of original poetry and reading at its second Poetry Slam, April 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the LRC’s lounge. Participants may read a favorite poem or submit an original work for the competition. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes will be awarded for original entries. Door prizes and light refreshments will also welcome guest to the LRC.
Those submitting original poetry for the competition should send their work to the LRC Director, Suzanne Rooker by April 13. Poetry can be emailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants may also sign-up and make poetry submissions in person at the LRC during business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays.
Oklahoma Poet Laureate Emeritus Eddie D. Wilcoxen will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Poetry Slam and will entertain with the heartwarming and humorous stories that led to his designation as Oklahoma’s Storytelling Poet.
Wilcoxen is well-known for his accomplishments in poetry, speech, debate, landscape artistry, broadcasting, and teaching. Eddie hosted the top rated daily morning show in Southwest Oklahoma for over thirty years, and reached an audience of fifty thousand on KWHW Radio in Altus, Oklahoma. He was appointed by Governor Henry to be Oklahoma Poet Laureate for 2011 and 2012, and during his term he performed over one hundred public performances throughout the state and the nation. His published works include: “Oklahoma Proud, A Centennial Book of Poems”; “Reflections of a Wandering mind”; “More Reflections”; “Songbook in My Head”; “Ridin’! Rodeo and Range”; “Chautauqua – The Wounds of War, A Tale of Two Americas”; “Animal ABCs”; “Faith, Hope and Poetry”, “Christmas Past and Christmas Presents” and “Everybody Needs Heroes”. Five books were published with accompanying CDs of the author’s readings.
His works and readings attract a culturally diverse population, both young and old. He is committed to sharing his poetry, and uses his communication skills to promote an awareness of the literary arts, and he fosters an appreciation for poetry as both a written and spoken form of expression. His readings are compelling, and his poetry reflects the experience of living, working, and making a life on the plains and prairies of the Southwest.
He has performed across the state as the featured speaker at Oklahoma Humanities Council’s Poetry Out Loud, the Oklahoma Poetry Society’s Annual Awards; the English Speaking Union in Tulsa, and the Altus Chamber of Commerce Annual Farm City Week Banquet celebrating the Legend of Agriculture Award. He was keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Literacy Coalition Conference of 2010 sponsored by the Oklahoma Literacy Coalition with the Oklahoma Dept of Libraries, and State Department of Education, and his book, “Animal ABCs” was showcased as a literacy teaching tool. The author of numerous books of poetry, his acclaimed “Oklahoma Proud, A Centennial Book of Poems” was lauded for its historical accuracy, and excerpts were serialized in celebration of the Centennial over several months in the Altus Times Newspaper, and presented at the Shortgrass Arts and Humanities Council’s 2007 Oklahoma Centennial Chautauqua funded by the Oklahoma Humanities Council. As Poet Laureate for the Western Trails Historical Society he was the featured poet for the 2010 Oklahoma Humanities Council’s Chautauqua in Altus, where his work defined the historical significance of the characters whose performances followed. He performed in tri state area schools for over twenty five years, and is responsible for the development and presentation of character building curriculum in those states. Other annual engagements include: The Golden Years Expo hosted by SW Oklahoma Community Action; the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo Fundraiser for the Rodeo; the U.S. Air Force Poets’ Society, AAFB Chapter; The Western Trails Historical Society’s “When Greer County was Old” by the Museum of the Western Prairie; Altus Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Parade’s Master of Ceremonies featuring original Christmas poems; Western Oklahoma State College’s “Poetry for the People” Host; Great Plains Library System’s “Coffee Cup Bunch - Friends of the Library; Altus Kiwanis Club; Rotary Club; Lions Club; Lawton Lions Club; First United Methodist Church in Altus; First Baptist Church in Altus and Lawton, and many more.