Jon Gadbois '05, a UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate, was appointed Steven Point's poet laureate in February 2015.
For Jon, director of advertising for Boston Inc. in Stevens Point, the three-year volunteer appointment will allow him to share his passion for all poetry forms with those in his community — especially youth.
As a teen, Jon used the written word to express himself, which helped him deal with all the emotions involved in growing up.
“I still look back on some of those first writings I did in middle school,” Jon said. “I keep them in part because it’s fun to look back and laugh, but also because it shows my progression as a writer. By the time I graduated from high school, I had gotten pretty good at writing what I would later use as slam poems and hip-hop lyrics.”
Jon’s introduction to poetry slams while at UW-Eau Claire marked a turning point in his writing style and future projects.
“I’m certain that I would not be where I am now in the poetry world had it not been for Bruce Taylor (UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of English) encouraging me to perform in my first poetry slam at the Acoustic Café. Life is full of chance encounters that can set you off in directions you may never have imagined,” Jon said. “Certainly, that’s the case with mine and with my appointment as poet laureate.”