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Gwen Westerman

Poet Laureate of Minnesota, 2021–2022

Dr. Gwen Nell Westerman holds a BA and MA in English from Oklahoma State University, and a PhD in English from the University of Kansas. She is the author of Follow the Blackbirds (Michigan State University Press, 2013), a poetry collection written in Dakota and English, and co-author of Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012), which won a 2013 Minnesota Book Award, and a 2014 Hognander Minnesota History Award.The recipient of the Douglass R. Moore Faculty Research Award and three Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Westerman is the first Indigenous Poet Laureate of Minnesota. She teaches American and Native Nations literatures, Technical Communication, and Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

Gwen Westerman
Photo Credit: Melanie Zacek