Jeanetta Louise Calhoun Mish was born in Hobart, Oklahoma and raised in Wewoka. She attended Wewoka Public Schools, graduating in 1979. After graduating, she traveled in the United States and Europe, returning home in 2003 to earn her Ph.D. in American Literature at the University of Oklahoma and to grow good tomatoes. Jeanetta’s family, both the Native Americans and Scots-Irish, have been in Oklahoma since before statehood.
Jeanetta’s first book, Tongue Tied Woman,won the Edda Poetry Chapbook Competition for Women in 2002. Her second poetry collection, Work Is Love Made Visible (West End Press, 2009), won both the 2010 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry and the 2010 Western Heritage Award for Poetry from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. She has been awarded a 2010 residency at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Arts and a scholarship for a 2011 Vermont Studio Center residency. Dr. Mish is currently the Visiting Poet-Scholar at World Literature Today.
Jeanetta has participated in poetry readings and workshops for more than 20 years, including repeat performances as a founding member of the Woody Guthrie Poets at the Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma. Other venues include Telluride Institute’s Native American Writers Program; The Taos Poetry Circus Invitational Reading; Red Dirt Book Festival; Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, C.W. Post Poetry Center at LIU; New York State Writers Institute Community Voices Series and Readings Against the End of the World, both in Albany, NY; and The Knitting Factory in New York City.
Mish has published poetry in LABOR: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas, Oklahoma Today, Poetry Bay, Sugar Mule, and in “Walt’s Corner” of the The Long-Islander. Mish’s creative non-ﬁction essay, “This Oklahoma We Call Home,” appeared in the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Crosstimbers. Anthology publications include poems in Returning the Gift and The Colour of Resistance. Jeanetta gives workshops in schools and libraries for both the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Teaching Artists’ Program and the Oklahoma Humanities Council’s Poetry Out Loud! Program. During the 2009-10 school year, Mish was the Associate Director of the Mark Allen Everett Poetry Series at OU. She is also the editor of Mongrel Empire Press http://www.mongrelempire.org,
and web administrator for the Oklahoma Poetry Portal and the PoetryArtsOK email list.
PhD. in American Literature, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.
Tongue Tied Woman. Winner of the 2001 Edda Poetry Chapbook for Women Competition. Work Is Love Made Visible (West End Press, 2009), won both the 2010 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry and the 2010 Western Heritage Award for Poetry from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Awarded a 2010 residency at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Arts. Awarded a scholarship for a 2011 Vermont Studio Center residency. Work Is Love Made Visible. Winner of the 2010 WILLA Award by Women Writing the West.
Born in Oklahoma, live in Oklahoma, write about Oklahoma, publish great books by Oklahomans and about Oklahoma.
Tongue Tied Woman. Winner of the 2001 Edda Poetry Chapbook for Women Competition. Sarasota, FL: SOULSPEAK/Sarasota Poetry Theater, 2002.
Work Is Love Made Visible: Collected Family Photographs and Poetry. West End Press/U of New Mexico Press. March 2009. www.westendpress.org
POEMS “author’s forward.” Piecework 11.2, 1988: 5.Print.
“decision,” “museum pieces.” Studies in American Indian Literature (SAIL). Series 2. II.2. 1990: 30-1. Print. Web, https://facultystaff.richmond.edu/~rnelson/asail/SAIL2/22.html “the ballad of sister snake.” Perf. by Not Moving. Song of Myself. Wide Records (Pisa. Italy),
“earth day, 1991.” Pig Iron #18 Environment: Essence & Issue. Youngstown, OH: Pig Iron Press, 1992: 70. Print.
“hogs daughter,” “storyteller,” “another saturday night.” The Colour of Resistance. Ed. Connie Fife. Toronto, Canada: Sister Vision Press, 1993: 95-97. Print.
“roll call,” “another saturday night.” Returning the Gift. Ed. Joe Bruchac. Tucson: University of Arizona Press and Studies in American Indian Literature, 1994. 76-7. Print. “Décision.” Sur le Dos de la Tortue. 21 (Sept. 1995) Lyon, France.
“a winter poem for pamela z. and linda l.” Western Colorado Woman. 1.2. (December 1994):
“Chant pour mon fils à naître,” “papier et feu,” “sans titre,” “Encore une nuit de samedi,” “décision,” “Jour de la Terre, 1991.” Trans. Manuel van Thienen. Revue Sapriphage. Nanterre, France. 25 (August 1995). Print, web. “two paths." 2nd Prize, National Federation of Poetry Societies Contest Number 18:”The Road
Taken. Encore. Benton Harbor, MI: National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Inc.,
1998. “’round midnight.” Mediphors Journal. 11 (Spring/Summer 1998): 43. “waltz in daylight savings time,” “kandahar.” Sandstorm. 2003.
“midwinter.” “Walt’s Corner (poetry section).” The Long-Islander. Huntington, NY. 18 March 2004: 11. Print.
“mapping desire.” Poetry Bay. (Summer 2004). Web. : http://www.poetrybay.com/Summer2004/calhoun.htm
“storyteller,” “suite: home oklahoma.” Oklahoma Today. July/August (2008): 104, 102. Print.
“my great great grandmother writes the perfect poem.” LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas. Jim Daniels, poetry editor. 5.1 (Jan. 2008): 7. Print. Web http://labor.dukejournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/5/1/7
“To Ask and Be Answered.” “Walt Whitman Gathering Special Section.” Sugar Mule. Marc Weber, editor. (Aug 2009). Web. http://www.sugarmule.com/ww-frame.htm
“This Oklahoma We Call Home.” Red Dirt Book Festival 2003 Anthology. Ed. Dr. Bill Hagen. Norman, OK: Red Dirt Book Festival/Pioneer Library System, 2004. Republished in Crosstimbers (Fall 2007/Winter 2008): 3-5. Print.
Editor: Sandstorm Literary Magazine. UTPB English Department, 1998-9.
Editor & Book Designer: Mongrel Empire Press, 2007-Present. www.mongrelempire.org.
Pre-Publication Reviewer: The Green Corn Rebellion. University of Oklahoma Press, 2006.
Intern: World Literature Today, 2006.
Advisory Board Member: Windmill, the student literary magazine of the University of Oklahoma, 2009-10.
Outside Evaluator:World Literature Today, 2009-11.
Guest Editor: Sugar Mule “Oklahoma Writing Special Issue.” July 2010. http://www.sugarmule.com/35frame.htm;
SELECTED READINGS AND WORKSHOPS
C.W. Post Poetry Center Reading Series. Guest Poet. Co-sponsored by Poets & Writers. C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University: 17 October 2002. http://www.liu.edu/CWPost/About/Resources/Arboretum/Song.aspx .
1st Biennial Red Dirt Book Festival. Invited writer. Poetry performance and panelist for “Toward a Spirit of Place: Oklahoma Poets and Poetry.” 17-18 October 2003.
Red Dirt Book Festival (Shawnee, OK). Sponsored by the Pioneer Library System with major funding from the Oklahoma Humanities Council.
2nd Biennial Red Dirt Book Festival. Invited writer. “Mysterious Metaphor: How We Describe the Land We Belong To.” Workshop. 28-29 October 2005.
An Evening with Joy Harjo. Invited featured reader. Sponsored by OU Native American Studies Program and the OU English Department. University of Oklahoma: 23 November 2004.
The Woody Guthrie Poets. Founding member and performer.
Performances for The Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival. Okemah, OK: July 2005, 2006, & 2007.
The Woody Guthrie Poets Warm-up Celebration. Organizer, emcee, and performer. Norman, OK: July 2006 & 2007. The Woody Guthrie Poets Reunion Reading. Shawnee, OK: November 2008.
Performing Arts Studio Second Sunday Poetry Series. Solo Poetry Performance. The Depot, Norman, OK: 8 October 2006. http://www.thepas.org/content/view/15/70/.
An Evening with N. Scott Momaday. Invited featured reader. Sponsored by Native American Women & Others for Multicultural Preservation (NAWOMP). Jacobson House, Norman, OK: 10 November 2006.
Individual Artists of Oklahoma Poetry Series. Featured Poet. Full Circle Books, Oklahoma City, OK: October 2003, May 2007.
Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. Invited writer. East Central University, Ada, OK: April 2008, 2009, 2010.
Opening Evening Music & Poetry. How Class Works 2008 conference. SUNY Stony Brook: 4 June 2008.
Mark Allen Everett Poetry Reading Series. University of Oklahoma: March 2009.
2nd Annual LaborFest BookFair & Poetry Reading. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco: 26 July 2009.
"Weaving Family Stories into Poetry" an adult poetry workshop presented in conjunction with Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art exhibit "Revisiting the New Deal: Government Patronage and the Fine Arts, 1933-1943." 31 March 2010.
Featured Reader for Café Lena Open Mic (Saratoga Springs, NY): 7 April, 2010.
I don’t believe that poetry is dying or that audiences have abandoned it. I do believe that some writers have tried to kill it by abandoning their communities and audiences. My work is written in accessible language, but I never, ever “write down” to my readers. I have faith in metaphor and I assume that everyone is capable of engaging with poetry in a meaningful way. As Editor of Mongrel Empire Press, a publishing house that actively seeks out Oklahoma writing, it is clear to me that the literary arts are alive and well in Oklahoma!
Copyright of this digital resource, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, 2010. These images and texts are made available for non-profit, educational, scholarly purposes, such as research, teaching and private study.