Milwaukee Public Library
Press Release

Milwaukee Public Library Selects Dasha Kelly as Poet Laureate

"Her personal approach of bringing poetry to schools, libraries, and civic organizations has made poetry come alive to generations of Milwaukeeans."

By - Oct 16th, 2019 11:58 am
Dasha Kelly

Dasha Kelly

Milwaukee Public Library Director Paula A. Kiely has announced the appointment of Dasha Kelly to serve as the library’s Poet Laureate from 2019 to 2021, a celebration of which will be held Sunday, November 10, in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room of the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave. at 2 p.m.

“Dasha Kelly is a familiar name not only in Milwaukee’s poetry community but throughout the city,” said Paula Kiely. “Her personal approach of bringing poetry to schools, libraries, and civic organizations has made poetry come alive to generations of Milwaukeeans. We look forward to hosting a variety of exciting, thoughtful, and engaging poetry events featuring the words and talents of Dasha Kelly.”

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 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. A former Artist of the Year for the City of Milwaukee, and runner-up as the state laureate, 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.

Visit for more information, including a complete biography, a sample of published works, recommendations from the library’s collection, upcoming appearances and photos.

About the Milwaukee Poet Laureate Project

The Milwaukee Poet Laureate project was initiated in February 2000, and is sponsored by the Milwaukee Public Library and supported by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library. The Milwaukee Poet Laureate project committee selects a local poet who serves as a leading example locally of the poetic voice of their genre to serve a two-year term.

About Milwaukee Public Library
Milwaukee Public Library is an anchor institution that helps build healthy families and vibrant neighborhoods – the foundation of a strong Milwaukee.  Since 1878, Milwaukee Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for residents of Milwaukee and beyond. With 14 locations, and more than three million items in circulation, MPL offers free access to a rich collection of materials both physical and digital, access to technology, classes, exhibitions, programming and more.  From toddlers to scholars, MPL serves more than one million patrons who come through its doors annually and many more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, MPL relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support Milwaukee Public Library at

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