United for Libraries designates Stroud Public Library a Literary Landmark in honor of Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/06/2013

Contact:

Jillian Kalonick
Marketing / Public Relations
United for Libraries (United)
800-545-2433 ext.2160
jkalonick@ala.org

PHILADELPHIA — United for Libraries, in partnership with Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO), designated Stroud Public Library a Literary Landmark in honor of poet Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel (1918-2007) on Sunday, April 28.

The dedication took place at Stroud Public Schools and featured award-winning author and Route 66 expert Michael Wallis as master of ceremonies; author and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz; a screening of “Down an Old Road: The Poetic Life of Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel” by Chris Simon, Sageland Media; music by the Stroud High School Show Choir; remarks by family member Pattee Russell-Curry; and a reception by the Stroud Library Society. Awards were presented to 23 winning entries for the Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel Poetry Contest for rural high school students in Lincoln and Creek counties.

Born near Stroud in 1918, Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel lived in Lincoln and Creek counties until the effects of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl led her family to migrate to California in 1936. Her writing validated the migrant experience; she became known as the “Okie Poet” in the Central Valley of California and was named Tulare’s Bicentennial Poet and Poet Laureate. Throughout her life her Oklahoma roots remained strong, and she has many poems about her early life in Lincoln and Creek counties and love for Oklahoma.

The Stroud Public Library owns a collection of McDaniel’s books and papers. The library co-sponsored the Literary Landmark dedication and will be the site for the bronze plaque.

FOLIO has a statewide Literary Landmark program and has dedicated 10 other Oklahoma Literary Landmark sites, including those for Woody Guthrie, Ralph Ellison, John Berryman and Will Rogers. For more information, visit http://www.okfriends.net/landmarks.html.

The Literary Landmark program is administered by United for Libraries. More than 130 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated since the program began in 1986. Any library or group may apply for a Literary Landmark through United for Libraries. More information is available on the United for Libraries website. 

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library Trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or jkalonick@ala.org.

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