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Gary native named Indiana Poet Laureate

Tim Andersen
Bel Air Photography / provided by Indiana Arts Commission

A Gary native is the new Indiana Poet Laureate. The selection of Curtis L. Crisler was announced last week by the Indiana Arts Commission. Crisler is a professor of English at Purdue University Fort Wayne. He's published numerous books of poetry, and his work has also been featured in anthologies, magazines and journals.

Crisler said in a statement that he was "taken aback" by his selection, adding that it's "not a position the young Curtis that grew up in Gary, Indiana, would have ever seen for himself." He said he wants to use the honorary position "to share and bridge and discover" what he knows and doesn't know about the Hoosier state.

Crisler is the eighth person to hold the position since it was created in 2005. As Poet Laureate, he'll make appearances at schools and libraries and offer guidance to the Indiana Arts Commission on ways to further the art of poetry in the state.

Crisler was chosen by a selection committee made up of seven representatives of colleges and universities, along with the Indiana Arts Commission executive director.