2023-24 U.P. Poet Laureate

Beverly Matherne

Beverly Matherne is professor emerita of English at Northern Michigan University, where she served as director of the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing and poetry editor of Passages North literary magazine. The author of seven books of poetry, she lives in Ishpeming, far from Grand Point, her birthplace on the Mississippi near New Orleans. She is inspired by both the wealth of her Cajun and Creole heritage and the natural and cultural bounty of the Upper Peninsula. The recipient of seven first-place prizes, including the Hackney Literary Award for Poetry, she has done more than 350 poetry readings across the United States, Canada, and France, and in Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Wales. She holds a Ph.D. in Drama from Saint Louis University and M.A. and B.A. degrees in English from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. After receiving her doctorate, she did extensive work in French at the University of California, at Berkeley.

As part of her duties as 2023/2024 U.P. Poet Laureate, Matherne will implement her U.P. Poet Laureate project, which will include visits to high school and middle school classrooms throughout the Upper Peninsula, promoting the art of poetry through interactive lessons and writing activities. Matherne is available for readings and workshops at art centers and libraries.  Any school, library, or arts organization wishing to schedule an in-person or virtual reading or classroom visit with Matherne can do so by sending a message to the U.P. Poet Laureate Foundation here.

Visit the Coming Events page to learn about the Poet Laureate’s readings, workshops and other events.