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Current Laureate:
John Warner Smith

Start of Term:
August 14, 2019

Position History:
Position established 1942 (Revised Statutes, 49:171 and 49:173). First laureate was Emma Wilson Emery. The poet is appointed by the governor to a term of two years. Formerly, the term of appointment was concurrent with that of the governor. Darrell Bourque, appointed poet laureate in November 2007 by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, was notified on June 24, 2008, that through an oversight his "name was not submitted to the Senate for confirmation for the position of Louisiana State Poet Laureate" for the second year of his term and as such the position of Louisiana state poet was deemed vacant. On May 20, 2009, Gov. Bobby Jindal officially appointed Bourque Louisiana's poet laureate.

Previous Laureates:
Emma Wilson Emery (1942-1970)
Ethel Green Russell (1970-1973)
Dr. George William Noel Cooper (1973-1976)
Henry Thomas Voltz (1976-1980)
Jean McGivney Boese (1980-1988)
Pinkie Gordon Lane(1988-1992)
Sylvia Davison Lott Buckley (1992-1996)
Jean McGivney Boese (1996-2004)
Brenda Marie Osbey (March 7, 2005-2007)
Darrell Bourque (November 2007-June 2008; May 20, 2009-May 2011)
Julie Kane (May 2011-May 2013)
Ava Leavell Haymon (June 21, 2013-June 2015)
Peter Cooley (August 14, 2015-August 14, 2017)
Jack Bedell (August 15, 2017-August 13, 2019)

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

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