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Indiana Arts Commission

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What is a Poet Laureate?

Former State Treasurer Joyce Brinkman was named Indiana's first official Poet Laureate by House Resolution in 2002. After researching other states' Poet Laureate selection process and duties, the Indiana Arts Commission, Ms. Brinkman, and Senator Theresa Lubbers developed Senate Bill 433, which formalized the Poet Laureate for Indiana.

The IAC is charged with selecting the Poet Laureate, providing an annual stipend and per diem, and working with the State Department of Education in scheduling appearances.

The Indiana Poet Laureate official duties include:

  • Making presentations at schools, libraries, and other educational facilities
  • Promoting poetry and writing to schools and communities across the state
  • Providing advice on how to promote poetry and writing to the IAC and other organizations

The value of an Indiana Poet Laureate is not limited to poetry education for children and youth. There is a growing interest in poetry by adults across the country. One National Endowment for the Arts program is called "Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience." Working with the Armed Forces and U.S. Department of Defense, they offer writing workshops for returning troops. These workshops, led by outstanding novelists and poets, provide our troops the opportunity to write about and distill their wartime experiences.

The U.S. Poet Laureate, appointed by the Library of Congress, provides a number of services to communities across the country. One of the most enduring programs of the US Poet Laureate is the Favorite Poem Project, which was created to engage students and communities in the exploration of the power of poetry.

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