WYSO

Meet Ohio's New Poet Laureate: Kari Gunter-Seymour

Jun 15, 2020

Governor Mike DeWine has picked Kari Gunter-Seymour to be Ohio’s new poet laureate.

In the middle of a pandemic and nationwide protests, Kari Gunter-Seymour says poetry is more important than ever.

“When we write our truths, we bring things to light and create understanding. And from there we grow and find our way through these things that are so difficult for us right now,” she says.

And Ohio's new poet laureate won’t be resting on her laurels. Gunter-Seymour says she applied for the position because it would allow her to bring poetry to people in need.

“The thing that I want to do the very most is work with teens and adults in recovery because of the healing nature of poetry.”

In addition to workshops, she wants to champion Ohio poets, and she’s quick to note that Ohio is home to dozens of well-known poets who deserve more attention in their home state.

Before becoming Ohio’s poet laureate, Gunter-Seymour was the poet laureate for Athens, Ohio. She’s also the founder and executive director of the Women of Appalachia Project, which showcases literature and art from the region.

Her new collection of poems is titled “A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen.”

Watch Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour read the title poem from her new collection: