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Crystal Ann Williams Appointed to Oregon Arts Commission

Crystal Williams

Portland, Ore (August 6, 2012)--Governor John Kitzhaber has appointed Crystal Ann Williams of Portland to the Oregon Arts Commission.

Williams is a poet, professor of creative writing, recipient of an Oregon Arts Commission individual artist fellowship, and the Reed College Dean for Institutional Diversity. Williams is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Troubled Tongues, winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award and finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She is the recipient of additional grants and fellowships from organizations like Literary Arts, and the MacDowell Arts Colony, one of the nation’s premier admission-by-jury artist communities. In 2010, Williams was the inaugural Mary R. Field Distinguished Visiting Professor of Writing at DePauw University. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, The Sun, The Northwest Review, The Indiana Review, 5 AM, and Callaloo, and can be found in many anthologies.

“The arts play an essential role in the creation and perpetuation of healthy, vibrant, exciting, and informed communities,” said Williams. “The arts commission has played a crucial role in supporting people and organizations doing critical artistic work that promotes innovation, creativity, and inclusion in all areas of our lives. The work of the Commission has reaped enormous benefit to the entire region, and I am deeply honored to be appointed to the Commission.”

“Crystal’s appointment to the Oregon Arts Commission is a well deserved recognition of the contributions she has made to the arts in Oregon through her poetry and by her efficacy as an advocate for artists and arts organizations," said Reed College President John R. Kroger. “She is a tremendous poet and a powerful advocate for the arts. We offer her our congratulations.”

In addition to her role as Reed College Dean of Institutional Diversity, Williams has retained her position on Reed’s faculty as Associate Professor of Creative Writing.  She has been a member of the Reed College faculty since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts from New York University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Cornell.