List of U.S. states' Poets Laureate
Many U.S. states have the post of poet laureate, which is typically held by a prominent poet. The responsibilities of the poet laureate are typically similar to those of the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and the equivalent Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in the United States, to make public appearances and promote awareness of poetry and their geographical region.
Most holders of these titles reach preeminence by public competition, and use the office to further the knowledge and enjoyment of poetry and the written word by citizens of the states in which they hold office.
Laureates have occasionally been controversial; former New Jersey laureate Amiri Baraka refused to resign after a controversy over a poem, and so New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey abolished the position.
Current state poets laureate
45 states have created an post of state poet laureate. However, some are currently vacant or the post subsequently abolished. There has never been an official State Poet Laureate in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, or Ohio.
Idaho does not have a specific post of "poet laureate" but appoints a "Writer in Residence", the current occupant of which is Brady Udall, a novelist and short-story writer.
Two states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, abolished the post in 2003. New Jersey had appointed two poets before a controversial public reading by its second poet laureate in 2002 caused the state legislature and governor to eliminate the post. Pennsylvania appointed one poet, Samuel John Hazo, in 1993. He held the position for ten years before it was eliminated.
The following are the current Poets Laureate of their respective states:
- Press release of Gov. Ritter
- ; CCT Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism; retrieved on December 27, 2010
- Edmund Skellings died in 2012.
- ; Governor Abercrombie Proclaims Kealoha ‘Hawai'i Poet Laureate’
- Now "premier poet" (unofficial laureate, a position in existence since 1929) as opposed to official laureate (since 2005).
- William Kloefkorn, who died in 2011, had the title of Nebraska State Poet. Arguably the late John Neihardt is the Poet Laureate of Nebraska, a title that was permanently bestowed upon him in 1921. Lange-Kubick, Cindy (2011-05-19). "Nebraska loses state poet Bill Kloefkorn". Lincoln Journal-Star. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
- Mildred Breedlove (1904–1994) was named poet laureate in 1957, but disputed with officials over a commissioned work. Norman Kaye, a songwriter, was appointed in the 1960s although he had (and has) not published any poetry. He was named "laureate emeritus" in 2007 but no replacement was announced.
- "N.C. Poet Laureate Job Description". North Carolina Arts Council. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Kathleen Flenniken Named Washington State Poet Laureate for 2012-14. Retrieved on March 2, 2012
- . Retrieved on October 22, 2013
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- U.S. state poets laureate – a comprehensive guide
- Alaska state poet laureate
- California state poet laureate
- Connecticut state poet laureate
- Delaware state poet laureate
- Georgia state poet laureate
- Illinois state poet laureate
- Official state poems
- Washington state poet laureate
- Washington state poet laureate