K-State professor named as new poet laureate of Kansas

photo by: Courtesy of Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission

Traci Brimhall has been named as Kansas' new poet laureate.

A Kansas State University professor has been named as the state’s new poet laureate.

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Thursday that the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission has selected Traci Brimhall, a professor and director of creative writing, as the poet laureate of Kansas. Her four-year term will begin on Jan 1.

“Supporting and celebrating poetry is essential to preserving our state’s rich history for future generations,” Kelly said in a news release. “That’s why I’m glad Traci will be our next Kansas Poet Laureate. Her passion and introspection make her the perfect advocate for poetry and the arts.”

Poet laureate is an honorary position of the KCAIC that promotes the arts, especially the reading and writing of poetry, for all Kansans. The program was established in 2004.

As the poet laureate, Brimhall will conduct public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations across the state. Her plans for the laureateship will focus on connecting with Kansans through the shared experience of language, Kansas’ agricultural roots and food.

“I am delighted to serve Kansas as the next Poet Laureate,” Brimhall said in the release. “I love connecting with others and building community, and I can’t wait for the next few years of celebrating creativity in the Sunflower State.”

Brimhall is the author of four poetry collections, most recently “Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod.” Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Orion and Best American Poetry. She received the 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry, among numerous other awards.


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