In November of 2009, Mary Swander, poet laureate of Iowa, and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poet laureate of Kansas, were crossing the Iowa State University campus in Ames, where Mirriam-Goldberg came to speak and give a reading. They started sharing their poet laureate experiences, and one of them jokes that sometime they should get together other poet laureates from nearby states for a pajama party. The idea stayed with them and quickly grew into plans for the first Midwest Poets Laureate Convergence, held March 14-15, 2010 in Lawrence, Kansas, and featuring poets laureate present or past Marilyn L. Taylor (Wisconsin), Mary Swander (Iowa), Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (Kansas), Walter Bargen (Missouri), Denise Low (Kansas) and Jonathan Holden (Kansas).
A national convergence was held March 13-14, 2011 in Lawrence, KS. and included the launch of An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the State Poets Laureate.
Photos: Mary Swander (top) and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (bottom)