Skip to content

Gov. Appoints Springfield Woman as Missouri Poet Laureate 2019-21

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 7 — Governor Michael L. Parson has appointed Springfield poet and journalist Karen Craigo as Missouri’s fifth Poet Laureate for 2019-2021.

Karen Craigo has published two full-length collections of her works, Passing Through Humansville (2018) and No More Milk (2016). She serves as poetry series editor for the Missouri State University-based Moon City Press, as well as nonfiction editor for the literary journal Mid-American Review. On her blog, Better View of the Moon (, she explores writing, publishing, and creativity.

Karen Craigo is editor and general manager of The Marshfield Mail, a 128-year-old weekly newspaper based in the Webster County seat. She also works on occasion as an instructor of writing and a freelance literary editor.

“As Poet Laureate, I am making it my mission to bring out the poetry of everyday life in our beautiful state,” she says.

For more about Ms. Craigo, including links to several of her poems published online, see the Missouri Arts Council’s website,

The Missouri Poet Laureate enriches Missourians’ lives by fostering the art of poetry statewide through public appearances, readings, workshops, and digital and social media.

The Missouri Poet Laureate program is facilitated by the Missouri Arts Council on behalf of the Office of the Governor.

Governor Parson chose Karen Craigo from among public nominations vetted by the Missouri Poet Laureate Committee. The five-member Committee was composed of Missouri Arts Council board member Pat Ann Sharp of Kennett and the four previous Laureates: Walter Bargen (2008-10), David Clewell (2010-12), William Trowbridge (2012-16), and Aliki Barnstone (2016-19). Former Governor Matt Blunt established the post of Missouri Poet Laureate in 2008.

About the Missouri Arts Council

The Missouri Arts Council provides support to nonprofit organizations through grants that meet its strategic goals: 1) engage people in meaningful arts experiences, 2) grow Missouri’s economy using the arts, 3) strengthen Missouri education through the arts. This funding makes quality arts programming possible in communities statewide. The Council also provides expertise in community development, fundraising, marketing, grant writing, arts education, and artistic disciplines (visual arts, music, literature, theater, dance, festivals, and film/media). Established as a state agency in 1965, the Missouri Arts Council is a division of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The Council is funded through the Missouri General Assembly, Missouri Cultural Trust, and National Endowment for the Arts.