Dasha Kelly Hamilton ’11 (Los Angeles, MFA in Creative Writing) was named the 2021-2022 Wisconsin Poet Laureate. Dasha is being honored for her work in the creative industry, the education and training of young poets and writers, and her many other contributions toward improving the industry in Wisconsin. Hamilton makes history as the first Black woman to hold the title of Wisconsin Poet Laureate.
Hamilton was named artist of the year in 2016 by the Milwaukee Arts Board. In 2019 she was named Milwaukee’s Poet Laureate. This makes her the second person ever to hold both positions. She is a poet, performer, and an alum of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Hamilton leads the nonprofit Still Waters Collective, which curates poetry programming and spoken word events. She has been an assistant professor at Mount Mary University, Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.