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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:
Ron Smith

Start of Term:
June 27, 2014

Position History:
Position established December 18, 1936; codified in Virginia Code, § 1-512. The text of the law follows:

The honorary position of Poet Laureate of Virginia is hereby created. Beginning in 1998, the Governor may appoint a poet laureate from a list of nominees submitted by the Poetry Society of Virginia. Each poet laureate shall serve a term of two years with no restrictions on reappointment.

(1997, c. 299, § 7.1-43; 2005, c. 839.)

The first Virginia state poet laureate was Carter Warner Wormeley, who served a lifetime appointment. Poets laureate from Charles Day to Ruby Altizer Roberts were appointed to one-year terms by the General Assembly.

Previous laureates include:
Carter Warner Wormeley (December 18, 1936-August 24, 1938)
Charles Day (appointed March 14, 1942)
Thomas Lomax Hunter (1948)
Leigh Buckner Hanes (1949)
Ruby Altizer Roberts (1950)
Guy Carleton Drewry (1970-1991)
Ruby Altizer Roberts (appointed Poet Laureate Emeritus in 1992)
Kathryn Forrester Thro (July 1, 1994-June 30, 1996)
Margaret Ward Morland (1996-1998)
Joseph Awad (1998-2000)
Grace Simpson (2000-2002)
George Garrett (July 9, 2002-2004)
Rita Dove (Sept. 20, 2004-June 25, 2006)
Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda (June 26, 2006-June 2008)
Claudia Emerson (August 26, 2008-July 28, 2010)
Kelly Cherry (July 29, 2010-June 30, 2012)
Sofia Starnes (August 2, 2012-June 26, 2014)

Further Resources:
Publications by Ron Smith in the Library's online catalog.


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