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Milwaukee Poet Laureate

The Milwaukee Poet Laureate project, initiated in February 2000, is a program of the Milwaukee Public Library, funded by the Friends of the Library, and administered by Woodland Pattern.

The project committee selects a local poet to serve as Milwaukee Poet Laureate for a two-year term. The poet laureate makes several guest appearances during the term, promoting poetry throughout the community.

Poemalogues with Dasha Kelly Hamilton

April Wednesdays, 4:30 - 5:15 p.m.
Livestream broadcast on Facebook and YouTube

Poems translate our lives with lyricism, imagery and uncompromising truth. They can widen understanding, offer access into unexpected ideas. Like poems, our lives won’t always rhyme. And, like poetry, our combined lyrics are gorgeous and profoundly true.

Poemalogues are conversations-in-poem about life, living, and all the ways we journey, hosted by Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Milwaukee Poet Laureate. Dasha invites the city to scout poems that speak to four conversation themes: Power, Place, Body, and Freedom. No writing required. No literary analysis allowed. Simply search for an existing poem that makes a statement; makes a point; makes you grin, gasp or grit your teeth; makes you wonder; makes you reconsider or shake your head; makes you wish you knew more. Choose one and share your weblink at Poemalogue. Dasha will host an exchange of stanzas, stories and conversation. 

The Milwaukee Poet Laureate project is a program of the Milwaukee Public Library, funded by the Friends of the Library. 

2019-2021 Poet Laureate: Dasha Kelly Hamilton

Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist and creative change agent.  Through responsive and respectful intentionality, Dasha leverages the creative process to facilitate critical dialogues around human and social wellness.  Dasha delivers her engagement sessions to campuses, classrooms, correctional institutions, association conferences, social service agencies, municipal departments and team retreats.

Her nonprofit, Still Waters Collective, has curated poetry programming and spoken word events in the region for almost 20 years. The work has impacting more than 13,000 youth, provided professional development to more than 100 young people and created platforms for thousands of voices to be honored and heard.

Dasha has written for national, regional and local magazines; produced three collections of poetry; recorded four spoken word CDs; and published two novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has taught writing courses at Mount Mary University, Alverno College and UW-Milwaukee. Dasha served as an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy to teach, perform and facilitate community building initiatives in Botswana and the island of Mauritius.  


Photo credit: Andrew Feller Photography