Mike Orlock Appointed New Door County Poet Laureate

Sturgeon Bay poet Mike Orlock was appointed Door County’s new poet laureate during the March 23 meeting of the Door County Board of Supervisors. His tenure will run April 1 – the start of National Poetry Month – through March 31, 2023. He succeeds Nancy Rafal of Baileys Harbor as the county’s seventh poet laureate.

Orlock thanked the county board, selection committee and the poets who have so capably served before him. 

“I will strive to continue the fine work you have already done in the past,” he said, “representing the vibrant community of writers and artists who call this thumb of paradise home.” Orlock listed those who have held the position during his time in Door County and said it was a privilege to follow in their footsteps.

During her tenure, outgoing Poet Laureate Nancy Rafal worked with several organizations to create commemorative poems, and she actively promoted poetry during the pandemic through online offerings. 

Orlock is a former high school teacher and coach who retired to Sturgeon Bay in 2008 with his wife, Liz. He enjoys reading, film, travel and spending time with his two children and five grandchildren.

He has published two poetry collections: You Can Get There From Here: Poems of Door County & Other Places and Poetry Apocalypse & Selected Verse. He has earned the Wisconsin Writers’ Association Jade Ring Award and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Muse Prize, among other honors.

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