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Lyric Poetry Mural, Lyric Poetry (detail), by Henry O. Walker, in the South Corridor, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress.
Photographic print.

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
Library of Congress.

Current Laureate:
Sydney Lea

Start of Term:

November 4, 2011

Position History:
According to a February 7, 2003 press release from the Vermont Arts Council, "Robert Frost was declared Poet Laureate in 1961 [upon the adoption of Joint House Resolution 54 by the General Assembly]. In 1988 Governor Kunin re-established the position. (Reference: Executive Order No 69, 1988) Galway Kinnell was the first State Poet named for a term of 4 years as a result of this order in 1989." The Arts Council further notes that "the four-year appointment will be made by the Governor based on the recommendation of a distinguished panel. The panel will make its recommendation based upon how well the nominated poet meets the following criteria:

  • The Vermont Poet Laureate is a person who is a resident of Vermont; (Vermont being his/her primary residence)
  • whose poetry manifests a high degree of excellence;
  • who has produced a critically acclaimed body of work;
  • who has a long association with Vermont.

"The poet being nominated must agree to participate from time to time in official ceremonies and readings at the Vermont State House and other locations.

"The poet selected shall receive an honorarium of $1000 provided by the Vermont Arts Council."

The position was known under the title of "State Poet" from 1988-2007. The position was redesignated "Poet Laureate" by Gov. Jim Douglas at Ruth Stone’s investiture in 2007.

Chard DeNiord will succeed Sydney Lea as Vermont Poet Laureate on November 2, 2015.

Previous Laureates:
Ruth Stone (July 26, 2007-July 2011)
Grace Paley (March 5, 2003-July 25, 2007)
Ellen Bryant Voigt
Louise Gluck (1994-1998)
Galway Kinnell (1989-1993)
Robert Frost (1961-1963)

Further Resources:
Publications by Sydney Lea in the Library's online catalog.

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