Poet Laureates of Virginia

PSV Guidelines and Procedures for Poet Laureate Nominations

The president of the Poetry Society of Virginia will appoint a committee to make recommendations and to assist him/her in the task of preparing nominations for the governor. The committee will be appointed a year before the nomination is required.

The committee will consist of at least three members, including the chairman. Following approved criteria, committee members will invite, in writing, suggestions from three to six persons outside the society who are in positions to make knowledgeable recommendations, and whose opinions would be generally respected. One of these persons will be the executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The following criteria will be observed in making recommendations of laureate candidates:

The poet must be a resident of Virginia and have resided here at least ten years. The poet must be published in literary journals and have had at least one book of poems published. Honors and awards received for his or her poetry should be taken into account. The poet must be physically able and willing to make at least some requested appearances during the laureateship. The poet need not be a teacher or a member of the PSV.

At the February Executive Committee meeting of the Poetry Society, the laureate committee, based on its own considerations and those of persons outside the society who have responded, will propose three to six names to the executive committee. All members of the executive committee will have the opportunity to propose names. Then the executive committee will vote to select six names to be placed before the membership in the March newsletter. On the newsletter ballot there will be a space for write-in votes. Members will be given a deadline of April 1 to get their ballots in to the committee.

The president of the society will recommend the three to six names receiving the most votes in a letter to the governor, in the order of preference. Before the letter is drafted the society will check with the poets regarding their willingness to serve if appointed and to request a biographical note and samples of their work to attach to the letter.

Current Poet Laureate 2016: Tim Seibles

Tim Seibles appointed Poet Laureate of Virginia

Professor of English at Old Dominion University and nationally lauded poet Tim Seibles, has been made poet laureate of Virginia by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Seibles has been on the faculty of Old Dominion since 1995. He was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012, has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and won an Open Voice Award from the National Writers Voice Project.

Seibles, with an undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University, taught high school English for 10 years in Dallas before completing an MFA in creative writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, while it was associated with Norwich University.

Click here to learn more about Tim through this interview at AltDaily.com.

Past Poets Laureate of Virginia

Ron Smith

2014 - 2016

Sofia M. Starnes

2012 - 2014

Kelly Cherry

2010 - 2012

Claudia Emerson

2008 - 2010

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda

2006 - 2008

Rita Dove

2004 - 2006

George Garrett

2002 - 2004
Grace Simpson

2000 - 2002
Joseph Awad

1998 - 2000
Margaret Ward Moreland

Kathryn Forrester Thro

Ruby Altizer Roberts

Guy Carleton Drewry

Ruby Altizer Roberts

Leigh Buckner Hanes

Thomas Lomax Hunter

Charles Day

Carter Warner Wormeley


Special Project by Four Poets Laureate of Virginia

poet laureate - four

Title: Four Virginia Poets Laureate: A Teaching Guide
Editors: Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda and Edward W. Lull

Four Poets Laureates of Virginia,
George Garrett (2002-2004), Grace Simpson (2000-2002),
Joseph Awad 1998-2000), and Margaret Ward Morland (1996-1998)
rewarded the audience with a memorable evening of poetry.

Price: $10.95 + $2.75 S&H
A DVD of the performance
is available for $15.00.

For purchase information:
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