Inside the Writer’s Head: I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Poet Laureate

Written by Pauletta Hansel, Writer-in-Residence, Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

Kari Gunter-Seymour, Ohio’s third poet laureate, is a woman with a mission: “to lift up all voices to spread the gospel of poetry far and wide.” Now in her second term, she is launching her newest project, I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing, an anthology of poetry from and about Ohio’s Appalachian communities. A grant from the American Academy of Poets and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will provide a copy of the anthology to libraries throughout Ohio, including the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library.

Find Inside the Writer's Head on Apple Podcasts, opens a new window, Google Podcasts, opens a new window, Stitcher, opens a new window, Spotify, opens a new window, or your favorite podcast app.

In this episode of “Inside the Writer’s Head,” I talk with Kari and a few Cincinnati area poets featured in the anthology about poetry, Appalachian literature and even a little football:

  • Kari Gunter-Seymour, opens a new window, Ohio Poet Laureate and a 9th generation Appalachian.
  • Dale Marie Prenatt, a West Virginia born poet, bookseller and Appalachian advocate living in Cincinnati.
  • Mark Youssef, a poet and physician practicing in the Cincinnati area.

Bengals fans: Kari’s most-read poem is “GEAUX JEAUX, opens a new window,” written in support of Athens County native and our own Bengal quarterback’s The Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund, opens a new window.

More to Explore

Read the works by the guests on this episode of “Inside the Writer’s Head” using your library card:


A Place So Deep Inside America It Can't Be Seen

Appalachian Reckoning


The Library Foundation’s Writer-in-Residence serves as our literary ambassador to the community. Find out more and view upcoming event dates on our Writer-in-Residence page, opens a new window.