Indiana's state poet laureate position was unofficially established in 1927 and officially created in 2005. In 2016, Shari Wagner began her two-year term as poet laureate of the state. Her work revolves around the Indiana landscape and voices of the state's historical figures. Wagner is the author of two books of poetry, most recently The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana (Bottom Dog Press, 2013). Her poetry has appeared in The Writer's Almanac and Best American Nonrequired Reading, and she has been awarded two fellowships from the Indiana Arts Commission. She currently teaches poetry at the Indiana Writers Center.

In December 2017, Adrian Matejka was named the new state poet laureate of Indiana. He will serve from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2019.

upcoming events

Apr 27 2018 to Apr 28 2018
POETPALOOZA 2018: A Tri-State Poetry Summit

Village Lights hosts POETPALOOZA 2018: A Tri-State Poetry Summit, presenting readings and signings by nationally and regionally acclaimed published poets from Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, including three Kentucky Poets Laureate. For our 7th Poetpalooza, we'll be welcoming old friends and new. This year’s Featured Independent Publisher is Larkspur Press, a fine letterpress print shop located in Monterey, Kentucky. The printer, Gray Zeitz, a poet in his own right, has been named a Treasure of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Poetpalooza will kick off Friday evening, April 28th, with a return appearance by the ever-popular Reservoir Dogwoods, spoken word performance group par excellence. Following the Dogwoods, two Indiana poets will read, while another Indiana poet (and Dogwood), Tony Brewer, and his trusty typewriter, provide “Poetry on Demand” in front of the store “as the mood strikes and the weather permits.” The evening will wrap up with an open mic session (members of the community encouraged to participate - open walk-in sign-up) and an encore set by the Dogwoods.

Saturday, April 28th will begin with a poet’s meet-and-greet with mini-quiches and Red Roaster coffee. Readings by poets of Larkspur Press will be scattered through the day, interspersed with readings by other prominent poets from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, including former Kentucky Poet Laureate Richard Taylor, immediate past Kentucky Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon, and curent Kentucky Poet Laureate Frederick Smock. The evening will close with another open mic session (again, community encouraged to participate).

Poetpalooza is an annual flow-through event, held in our upstairs Reading Room during regular business hours, with books from the participating poets and the Featured Small Press available for purchase. It is free and open to the public. Visitors can stand, sit, browse, listen, come and go, throughout the event. Each poet will take the stage for 20 minutes. After reading, they will be available for signing and conversation.

For more information on Poetpalooza visit our events calendar at

Facebook event page:

5:00pm to 8:45pm
110 East Main Street
47250 Madison, Indiana

recent & featured listings

typesort descending name state
Literary Organization The Indiana Arts Commission Indiana
Literary Organization The Writers' Center of Indiana Indiana
Literary Organization Arts Council of Indianapolis Indiana
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Destinations Booksellers Indiana
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Viewpoint Books Indiana
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Von's Books Indiana
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Boxcar Books Indiana
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore The Indiana University Bookstore Indiana
Literary Magazine African American Review Indiana
Literary Magazine Indiana Review Indiana




—Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 2016



Just off of Highway 12, Sandburg’s signature
of time & eternity: the muggy marshes

& thick forests of the mind, sand that sings
its memory of glaciers & the glaciers before

them. 14,000 years of them.