George Kalamaras, Indiana's Poet Laureate 2014-2016, bio
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George Kalamaras & Bootsie


George Kalamaras was born on the South Side of Chicago and grew up listening to the blues—beginning with Ray Charles, all of whose albums his mother had.


He is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990.  Kalamaras served as Indiana's Poet Laureate from 2014-2016. He is the author of 15 books of poetry, including Gold Carp Jack Fruit Mirrors (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2008) and The Theory and Function of Mangoes (Four Way Books, 2000), which won the Four Way Books Intro Series.  C & R Press recently published The Recumbent Galaxy, a book of poems he co-authored with Alvaro Cardona-Hine, as first prize in C & R Press’s Open Competition.


Hundreds of his poems have appeared in journals and anthologies in the United States, Canada, Greece, India, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, including The Best American Poetry 2008 and 1997, American Letters & Commentary, New American Writing, and elsewhere.  He is the recipient of Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1993) and the Indiana Arts Commission (2001), and first prize in the 1998 Abiko Quarterly International Poetry Prize (Japan). 

George & Alvaro
George Kalamaras (right) with co-author Alvaro Cardona-Hine

George's poems about Charles Mingus, Art Blakey, Eric Dolphy, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan and Max Roach have been published in a limited edition poetry pamphlet, available from Longhouse Publishers. Or email Longhouse at:

You can read more about George, listen to him read his poetry, and find links to interviews at:

Elixir Press:

New Michigan Press/ DIAGRAM:

Hunger Mountain (interview and poems):


His column, “So Many Roads,” takes its title from the Otis Rush song, which is also known by, “So Many Roads, So Many Trains.”  George first heard this cut from his favorite British bluesman, John Mayall, on his Looking Back LP (1969), and it melted his heart (and continues to with each and every spin of the disc).



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