Kari Gunter-Seymour

poet laureate icon
Poet Laureate of Ohio, 2020-2024

Kari Gunter-Seymour received an MA in Commercial Photography and BFA in Graphic Design from Ohio University. She is the author of Alone in the House of My Heart (Ohio University Swallow Press, 2022); A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), which was the winner of the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year Award and long-listed for the 2020 Julie Suk Award; and Serving (Crisis Chronicles Press), runner up Yellow Chair Review Chapbook Contest. Her work was selected by former U. S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to be included in the PBS American Portrait crowdsourced poem, Remix: For My People.

Gunter-Seymour has provided poetry workshops to incarcerated teens and adults and women in recovery, as well as teaching an ongoing series of virtual monthly generative writing workshops. She is the founder and host of the popular seasonal performance series “Spoken & Heard.” A ninth generation Appalachian, she is the curator and editor of I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2022)founder/executive director of the Women of Appalachia Project™ and editor of the WOAP anthology series, Women Speak, volumes one through six.

She is a retired instructor in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, an artist in residence at the Wexner Center for the Arts and a 2021-22 Pillar of Prosperity Fellow for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. She was named the Poet Laureate of Ohio in 2020. In 2021, Gunter-Seymour received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.