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Indiana Poet Laureate

Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka

Nominations open now!

The Indiana Poet Laureate represents the state and the art of poetry through the development and implementation of programming to the educational community and general public. Making formal presentations at various educational facilities and events, the State Poet Laureate pursues individual initiatives to advance the knowledge and appreciation of poetry throughout the state, and offers advice to the Commission regarding ways to further the art of poetry in Indiana. 

Who is a good fit as the Indiana Poet Laureate? 

  • The Poet Laureate should be an accomplished poet who loves to share poetry with others
  • The Poet Laureate should be prepared for public speaking, traveling, and connecting with groups of Hoosiers all across the state
  • The Poet Laureate must remain an Indiana resident during their term as Indiana Poet Laureate
  • The Poet Laureate must be available for daytime events occasionally (i.e. school visits during school hours)
To nominate yourself or someone else, send Stephanie Haines an email with a cover letter and the poet's CV/resume.
The Selection Process and Enacting Legislation
Scheduling Requests

About Current Indiana Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka

Adrian Matejka (Mah-TEE-kuh) was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003) which won the New York / New England Award and Mixology (Penguin, 2009), a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series. Mixology was also a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. His third collection, The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013), focuses on Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. The Big Smoke was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His most recent book, Map to the Stars, was published by Penguin in 2017. Among Matejka’s other honors are the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, the Julia Peterkin Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He teaches in the MFA program at Indiana University in Bloomington and is the Poet Laureate of Indiana. 

Former Poets Laureate

Please note: In 2012 the Indiana Poet Laureate started serving a calendar year, two-year term.  


For information regarding the Indiana Poet Laureate please contact Stephanie Haines at shaines@iac.in.gov.

Photo by Stephen Sproll.