Missouri's state poet laureate serves a two-year term and is currently held by Aliki Barnstone, who was appointed in 2016. Barnstone has published three chapbooks and eight poetry collections, most recently Dwelling (Sheep Meadow Press, 2016). She has received multiple awards and fellowships, including a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry. She is currently professor of English and creative writing at University of Missouri.

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Missouri poet laureate

Aliki Barnstone

Aliki Barnstone is the author of three chapbooks and eight poetry collections, including Dwelling (Sheep Meadow Press, 2016) and Bright Body (White...



The moon in time lapse sliding over skyline
the way a remote frisbee might wheel through air
as slowly as a banjo once floated across the wide
Missouri River in my

The quake last night was nothing personal, 
you told me this morning. I think one always wonders, 
unless, of course, something is visible: tremors 
that take us, private and willy-nilly, are usual.

But the earth said last night that what I feel, 
you feel; what secretly moves you, moves me. 
One small,