Tami Haaland, an English professor at Montana State University Billings, has been named Montana’s poet laureate.
The Montana poet laureate is a two-year honorary position created by the state Legislature in 2005 and administered by the Montana Arts Council.
Haaland takes over from Sheryl Noethe. She will serve until Aug. 1, 2015.
On announcing Haaland’s appointment, Gov. Steve Bullock said, “She is a Montana born-and-raised published poet, and I look forward to expanding on some of her community services, like increasing youth participation in literary writing, and her work teaching creative writing at the Montana Women’s Prison.”
Tami Haaland is the author of two books of poetry: “Breath in Every Room,” winner of the Nicholas Roerich Prize from Story Line Press, and “When We Wake in the Night,” a finalist for the May Swenson Award.
Born on the Hi-Line where her family farmed south of Inverness, she not only teaches at MSU Billings, she also has been teaching creative writing at Montana Women’s Prison since 2008, and she coordinates a writing-in-the-schools program for Arts Without Boundaries.
Haaland was nominated by Montana’s first Poet Laureate, Sandra Alcosser, who said of her, “with heart and mind, she serves the world of poetry and its followers well.”
The post honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment.
The Poet Laureate also encourages appreciation of poetry and literary life in Montana. In 2005, Sandra Alcosser became our first Montana Poet Laureate and served for two years. Other previous Poet Laureates are Greg Pape, Henry Real Bird and Sheryl Noethe.