Jonathan Holden

2005-2007 Poet Laureate of Kansas

Jonathan HoldenJonathan Holden, appointed Kansas’ first poet laureate, from 2005-2007, has been recognized as one of America’s foremost poets. He recently retired as University Distinguished Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at Kansas State University. Dr. Holden has won numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. In 1995, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa chose Holden’s poetry collection, “The Sublime,” for the Vassar Miller Prize. Holden has published 20 books, all monographs, in addition to more than 190 poems published in professional journals. In 1986, he recieved the Kansas State University Distinguished Faculty Award. In 2000, he was a member of the committee that selects the Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry. Holden earned his bachelor’s degree in 1963 from Oberlin College, his master’s degree in 1970 in English with creative writing from San Francisco State College, and his doctorate in 1974 in English from the University of Colorado. He has been at K-State since 1978.

Jonathan Holden’s poet laureate project included founding the Kansas Poets website (with the help of Greg German), and offering free “Shop Talk” lectures and discussions at 23 sites across the state via video tele-conferencing, and often featuring Kansas poets as guests. The final Shop Talk is now available as a DVD here.