Oscar Mireles will serve second term as Madison Poet Laureate

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 12:12pm

Madison - Mayor Paul Soglin announced that Oscar Mireles has agreed to serve a second term as Poet Laureate for the City of Madison. Mireles will hold the volunteer position from January 15, 2018 until January 19, 2020.

"Oscar Mireles has been an outstanding Madison Poet Laureate, not only because he brings poetry in two languages, but because he is welcoming to all,” said former Poet Laureate, Fabu. She added, “The entire city of Madison is grateful for the outstanding contributions of Oscar Mireles not only in community service, but in poetry as well. He is also one fine dancer.”

Mireles said he has enjoyed all the literary initiatives associated with being Poet Laureate for the last two years, including the Madison Metro Bus Lines Poetry, inviting writers to read before the Madison City Council meetings on a quarterly basis, and doing poetry readings at schools like Wingra, Nuestro Mundo, and Lincoln elementary schools. He participated in many community events including the Wisconsin Book Festival and organized the Share the Word event which brought over 100 writers and artists together as part of the Library Takeover.

A highlight of his last term as Poet Laureate was writing a poem as part of the 10th Anniversary Dinner for the Madison Sister City project with Obihiro, Japan which was also translated into Japanese. Mireles was featured on the Wisconsin Life series on Wisconsin Public Television, and appeared on many radio shows including the Joy Cardin Show, Central Time, and Eight O Clock Buzz with Tony Casteneda.

Wendy Vardaman, another of Madison’s former Poets Laureate wrote, “Oscar Mireles has been writing and making space for and promoting the multilingual voices of other Wisconsin writers for decades through his anthology series, I Didn't Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin. A community leader and builder as well as a poet, he has been a tireless supporter of writers at all points of their careers, encouraging adults and young people to tell their stories and providing the means for them to do that with efforts such as the anthology series and his work on behalf of literacy.

Madison's first Poet Laureate, John Tuschen, was appointed in 1977 by Mayor Paul Soglin during his first stint in office. Tuschen remained Poet Laureate for over 20 years. Former Mayor Susan Bauman appointed his successor, Andrea Musher, in 2001. In 2007 Former Mayor Dave Cieslewiez appointed Fabu Phillis Carter. In 2012 Mayor Soglin appointed Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman as Poets Laureate.
On Thursday, January 18, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. there will be a reception celebrating the Poet Laureate’s second term as well as the grantees, partnerships, and programs of the Madison Arts Commission at Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL), 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, WI 53704. The reception is free and open to the public. All are welcome to come and share in honoring Oscar Mireles’s second term as Madison's Poet Laureate.

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