Eddie Wilcoxen has been writing poetry since early childhood. In high school and college, he won many honors for his original oratory, debate, and interpretation of poetry. In 2008, he was a finalist nominee for Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and was chosen Poet Laureate of the Western Trails Historical Society. In 2010 then Governor Henry appointed Wilcoxen the Poet Laureate for the State of Oklahoma for 2011 and 2012. He has written ten books of poetry and non-fiction, including his Centennial book, Oklahoma Proud! His books range from the introspective with Reflections of a Wandering Mind, to the thematic Oklahoma Proud and Ridin’ Rodeo & Range. He has written a very popular children’s book of poetry, Animal ABC’s – A Book of Whimsy and the inspirational Faith, Hope & Poetry. His morning radio show on KWHW Radio is the most listened to in Altus, Oklahoma, and he was awarded The People’s Choice Award by the Altus Times as “The Best Radio Broadcaster in SW Oklahoma.”
Eddie grew up on a farm in southwest Kansas, the fifth of six boys. He spent much of his childhood in hospital overcoming polio, severe asthma and other severe illnesses. A graduate of Dodge City College and the National Radio Institute in Kansas City, he received a First Degree Engineering License from the Federal Communications Commission. His career in broadcasting spans almost 40 years in Kansas, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and Oklahoma, and includes numerous awards for excellence. He has lived in Oklahoma since 1977 with his wife Joan.
Eddie is also a three time National Karate Champion. In his karate studio in Altus, Eddie trained hundreds of black belts in Kihido Karate, a system founded on the principles of character development. He was proclaimed an “Official Olympic Hero” and chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on its journey to Athens, GA for the 1996 Olympic Games.
Eddie has received statewide recognition for his gardens and for the waterfalls, ponds and fountains he has created. His work has been featured in Oklahoma Gardner Magazine and his gardens are included in the charity fundraiser, Garden Tours of Southwest Oklahoma.
Eddie is strongly involved in Altus community affairs. During his tenure as President of the Altus Kiwanis Club he founded the world’s largest chapter of a Kiwanis youth club, and was chosen as “Kiwanian of the Year.” He served as Chairman of the United Way Campaign, and was honored by the City of Altus with “Eddie D. Wilcoxen Day.” He is also a strong supporter of the Altus Public Library, always willing to come and do Karate programs or just read to the kids or do a program for the Coffee Cup Bunch.
Eddie is an entertaining and inspirational speaker, so do not miss the opportunity to hear him share his stories and poetry on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 6 p.m., at the Altus Public Library. For more information about the program, call the library at 477-2890.