A retired Neenah High School English teacher has been named Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate by the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission.
Karla Huston, who taught creative writing and literature classes at Neenah High School from 1994-2009 will hold the post for the next two years. She is the state’s seventh poet laureate.
The Wisconsin Poet Laureate is the state's leading voice for poetry, promoting it through publication, performance, education, workshops, and digital and social media. The position is more an “activist” than an “honorary” one, which means that Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate strives to enrich the lives of Wisconsin residents by sharing the values of poetry, creativity, and artistic expression across the state.
Huston currently serves on the board of the Council for Wisconsin Writers and as vice president for The Mill, a nonprofit that offers classes and workshops for writers. She plans to work with Memory Café projects throughout the state and solicit writers to join her.
Some of Huston’s best works can be found at wisconsinpoetlaureate.org. According to the website, Huston will travel across Wisconsin, facilitating events with those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia, working to build community around the restorative potential of poetry and the arts.
“Poetry can make valuable connections with those who suffer from memory loss, an often ignored population,” she said. “That is a wonderful gift, and I’m happy to give it.”