Wednesday, June 24, 2009

(Martin) Morton '86: Texas poet laureate for 2010

Karla (Martin) Morton '86 was named the state's poet laureate for 2010 in May, and in September she'll begin visiting small Texas towns in a project she's created, the Little Town, Texas Tour.

A press release says:
The tour's main mission is to bring poetry to teens across Texas, making poetry more accessible and relevant to students, especially in towns that may be underserved in the arts. Morton will visit schools, where she will host a "Day of Poetry" in different cities, partnering with schools, community centers and other venues across the state.

Each "Day of Poetry" will include a Little Town, Texas Poetry and Art Contest, readings by Ms. Morton from her selected collection of works, readings from the top three poetry contest winners, a question and answer session with Ms. Morton, and the incorporation of other art forms into the day's festivities.

Morton's long-term goal as part of the Little Town, Texas Tour is to create and publish a book to include her own poems about the towns she visits and the first place student poem or artwork winners from each town on the tour.

Morton also plans to visit oncology and cancer centers across the state, where she will share from Redefining Beauty, a poetry collection she wrote during her own diagnosis, treatment and survival of breast cancer in 2008.

The Denton Record Chronicle article about Morton has more about her life and her battle with cancer:
Morton was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer last year but she says her prognosis is good. Like many patients, she sought out both information and solace in books after "that first kick in the gut."

"I needed some salt in my teeth. I needed some grit. I needed something more than kittens and rainbows," Morton said. "So I decided to write it myself. In that way, poetry took me by the hand and led me through it."

The writing she did became Redefining Beauty, a collection of poetry and photos she hopes will help women in chemotherapy.

She's got more about herself up at her Web site, kkmorton.com, and you can also become her fan on Facebook!