Ray Chamberlin honored as Mishawaka's Poet Laureate
Ray Chamberlin was officially honored at the Mishawaka High School Alumni Luncheon as Mishawaka’s “Poet Laureate” on Wednesday, February 6, 2013.
Ray grew up on Wenger Street in Mishawaka, one of ten children, and was greatly influenced by his father, George Chamberlin, who was both a poet and a painter. Ray was a Mishawaka mail carrier for 25 years and began getting some local renown when he wrote a poem in response to the silly song, “The Little Blue Nun,” which was written by an Alabama football fan in protest of Notre Dame winning the 1977 national championship.
Ray sent his poem to Jon Thompson of WSBT’s “J.T. in the Morning” and signed it the Postal Poet. J.T. read it on the air and Ray had a new gig. He still has his poems read on the air by J.T. almost 35 year later. J.T. was a special guest at the Alumni Luncheon and honored Ray with a poem of his own.
Ray has tied some of his poems with first-day-of-issue stamps and given the proceeds to charity. He is the poet-in-residence at the Mishawaka Lions Club and has been honored as “Lion of the Year”. He has also served on the Mishawaka Penn Public Library Board for 16 years. Ray has been asked to read his poetry – mostly humorous but often poignant – at various functions and special occasions. He has touched many lives with his poems and entertained many people while writing about his adventures in life, all the while hoping to make life a little more enjoyable for those who read his poems.
The naming of Ray Chamberlin as Mishawaka’s “Poet Laureate” is a well-deserved honor for Ray, a truly distinguished and outstanding public servant, gentleman, and poet.