Barbara Larsen of Sister Bay has been named Door County’s Poet Laureate for 2011. Larsen who has published 6 volumes of poetry, finds inspiration in Door County’s natural beauty. Her duties as Poet Laureate encompass something she has been doing since moving to Door County in 1986 – sharing her love of the written word with the people of her community.
In some respects Larsen has been functioning as an informal poet laureate for years. She has published six volumes of her verse (two with illustrations by Gretchen Maring); wrote Trilogy, poetry that was set to music and performed by the Peninsula Chamber Singers; and has offered poetry writing workshops at The Clearing, Bjorklunden, Scandia Village, and Gibraltar Schools. She is active in two writing groups that she helped to found, the Wallace Group and Unabridged Poets.
Her work has been published in a number of journals, including Free Verse (now Verse Wisconsin), Rag Mag, the Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar, and the Wisconsin People and Ideas Magazine. She has won awards in the Peninsula Pulse Hal Grutzmacher poetry writing contest, and in 1995 received the Jade Ring for poetry in a competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association.
Barbara Larsen is going to spend 2011 as Door County’s poet evangelist and we will be a richer community because of her work. Larsen will serve a two-year term and is expected to compose poems related to the community and for special occasions, as well as serving as the community’s “literary ambassador.”