The Cap Times | October 2017 |
Oscar Mireles is Madison’s poet laureate and the executive director of Omega School. After two years in the poet laureate position and a few years after the Omega’s GED graduation rate took a plunge, Mireles is looking forward.
He said in both roles, he wants to help expand horizons by putting Madison residents in contact with more poetry and helping Omega students realize their potential.
Mireles has been the city’s poet laureate since 2016 and his two-year stint ends in January. But he has decided to sign up for two more years, he said, because he’s not quite done yet.
“I was thinking, I’m just kind of getting the hang of this,” he said.
Much of his work as poet laureate has been focused on exposing the city to the work of many poets in many places.
That’s why he loves the annual Bus Lines poetry event, when Madisonians submit poems that Mireles selects to be displayed on Madison Metro buses, transit cards and ride guides. The project was started in 2009 by then-poet laureate Fabu, who wanted to get poetry into unusual places and give high school students a platform to publish their work.
The poet laureate is also tasked with reading poetry at City Council meetings four times a year. Mireles has brought other poets to read their work at the meetings, too.
“It’s an opportunity to kind of share the stage,” he said.
That’s also the focus of his three-volume work, “I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin,” an anthology of writings by Latino writers in the state.
And he has more sharing planned. He has plans for a “poem a …continue reading>>