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Current Official Laureate:
Matthew Graham

Start of Term:
January 1, 2020 (term ends December 31, 2021)

Current Premiere Poet (unofficial poet laureate)
Michael Erdelen

Start of Term
October 2016

Position History:
Senate Enrolled Act No. 433 (effective July 1, 2005; codified as IC 1-2-12) created the official position of Indiana State Poet Laureate. The first state poet laureate was Joyce Brinkman, who was honored as poet laureate of Indiana by the house of representatives in House Resolution 73-2002. Laureates serve a two-year term that begins January 1 following their selection. Selection of the Indiana State Poet Laureate is made by the executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission along with seven members chosen by the commission who represent state supported and private institutions of higher education.

Indiana also has a well-established unofficial position of state poet laureate. In 1929, Emory A. Richardson was appointed poet laureate. In 1977, House Concurrent Resolution 63 recognized Arthur Franklin Mapes as poet laureate. Beginning in 1945, the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs (ISFPC) has appointed the poet laureate. From 1945-1974, a new laureate was chosen each year. The term length was extended to two years in 1976, and then to five years in 1993. From 1998 to 2007, the term of office was three years. In the fall of 2007, the title of the position was changed to "Premiere Poet" to avoid confusion with the state-appointed poet laureate, and Peggy Martin was selected the first Premier Poet. At the time of Martin's naming, previous living poets laureate Glenna Glee Jenkins, Esther Towns, Carol Ogdon Floyd, Kay (Kinnaman) Sims and Jeanne Losey were rehonored as Premier Poets. The selection of the Premier Poet is chosen by an ISFPC committee consisting of the current President, 1st Vice President, and the reigning Premiere Poet. The Premiere Poet must be an Indiana resident.

Previous Official Laureates:
Joyce Brinkman (July 1, 2005-June 2008)
Norbert Krapf (June 17, 2008-June 2010)
Karen Kovacik (Jan. 1, 2012-Dec. 31, 2013)
George Kalamaras (Jan. 1, 2014-Dec. 31, 2015)
Shari Wagner (Jan. 1, 2016-Dec. 31, 2017)
Adrian Matejka(Jan. 1, 2018-Dec. 31, 2019)

Previous Unofficial Laureates (Premiere Poets):
Emory A. Richardson (named 1929 by motion of the General Assembly)
Mary Hagler LeMaster (1945)
Florence Marie Taylor (1946)
William Chitwood (1947)
Effie Lydia Fisher (1948)
Mina Morris Scott (1949)
Ollah Eloise Toph (1950)
Alma C. Mahan (1951)
Mable Newman (1952)
Myrl G. New (1953)
Thelma Howell Porter (1954)
Nellie Baldwin Rudser (1955)
Samuel S. Biddle (1956)
Gwen Robert Boyer (1957)
Jeannette Vaughn Konley (1958)
Clarence O. Adams (1959)
Carl Stader (1960)
Carl Stader (1961)
Mildred Musgrave (1962)
Mable Skeen (1963)
Lloyd Whitehead (1964)
Glen Galbraith (1965)
Frances Brown Price (1966)
Elsie Startzman (1967)
Mildred Musgrave Shartle (1968)
Paul Startzman (1969)
Dr. Earl Marlott (1970)
Marjorie Sea Fortmeyer (1971)
Mary Simmons (1972)
Florence Helen McGaughey (1973)
Frances Brown Price (1974)
Laverne Hanson Brown (1976-1977)
Arthur Franklin Mapes (named 1977 by House Concurrent Resolution 63)
Glenna Glee Jenkins (1979-1980)
Vivian Pierson Ramsey (1981-1982)
Esther Alman (1983-1984)
Kay (Kinnaman) Sims (1985-1986)
Dena Adams (1987-1988)
Paula Fehn (1989-1990)
Dr. J.C.Bacala (1991-1992)
Jeanne Losey (1993-1997)
Esther Towns (1998-2000)
Glenna Glee Jenkins (2001-2003)
Carol Ogdon Floyd (2004-October 2007)
Peggy Martin (Fall 2007-Fall 2010)
Cecil Tresslar (Fall 2010-Fall 2013)
Mary Couch (Fall 2013-Fall 2016)

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  July 15, 2020
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