(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has reappointed Kari Gunter-Seymour of Albany, Ohio as the state’s poet laureate. Gunter-Seymour’s second term begins Jan. 1, 2022.
“During her time as poet laureate, Kari Gunter-Seymour has offered insight and guidance for Ohio’s literary artists,” Governor DeWine said. "Fran and I look forward to seeing her work continue as she enters into another term of creating connections through poetry with communities all across Ohio."
“My service as Ohio’s Poet Laureate during the past year and a half has offered unique challenges and a whole lot of joy. Despite the pandemic, I found myself traveling (virtually) in every direction throughout our state, reading, listening, workshopping, and writing poetry, via any means possible—email, cell phone, Zoom, Skype, WebEx, masked and six feet apart," Gunter-Seymour said.
"I met and worked with so many beautifully spirited, incredibly dedicated people, as passionate about their missions as I am mine—to spread the gospel of poetry far and wide and create opportunities designed to lift up all voices—emerging to well established, adolescent to creatively aging. I am honored beyond words that Governor DeWine has asked that I serve a second term. I look forward to continuing to make connections and engaging in events and programs that will shine a bright light on Ohio’s bounty of remarkable poets."
Gunter-Seymour will continue to use her time as poet laurate to build a greater appreciation for poetry and serve as a mentor to poets and writers across Ohio. She also plans to continue to provide workshops for those incarcerated and in recovery.
A third generation Athens Countian, Gunter-Seymour has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Graphic Design) and a Master of Fine Arts (Commercial Photography) from Ohio University. She is the founder/executive director of the Women of Appalachia Project™ (WOAP™) and a retired instructor in The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Prior to joining the teaching staff, Gunter-Seymour worked for Ohio University’s Advancement Communication and Marketing office, the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and served on the Provost’s Women’s Commission.
In addition to being named Ohio's poet laureate nearly two years ago, Gunter-Seymour was selected to receive the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year Award, a 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship Award, and to serve as a 2021 Pillar of Prosperity Fellow for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. She is the Learning & Public Practice artist-in-residence for the Wexner Center for the Arts and the founder, curator, and host of Spoken & Heard, a seasonal performance series featuring award winning poets, writers, and musicians from across the country.
Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and been featured in The NY Times, Verse Daily, World Literature Today and Poem-a-Day. Her fine art and photography work has been published in The Sun Magazine, Light Journal, Looking at Appalachia and Appalachian Heritage Magazine. Gunter-Seymour is the editor of the Women of Appalachia Project’s “Women Speak” anthology series and author of “A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen” (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions 2020) and “Serving” (Crisis Chronicles Press 2018).