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Indiana Poet Laureate

Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka

About the Poet Laureate 

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. 

The Selection Process and Enacting Legislation
Scheduling Requests

INverse Poetry Archive

INverse celebrates and preserves the diverse range of Indiana poetry for future generations of Indiana writers and readers. It is a collaboration of Indiana Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka, the Indiana State Library and the Indiana Arts Commission. Residents of Indiana are encouraged to submit poems to the archive annually between February 1 and April 30. 

Click here for more information.

Former Poets Laureate

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

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

Photo by Stephen Sproll.