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Joyce Sutphen named Minnesota Poet Laureate

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Joyce Sutphen
Gov. Mark Dayton named Joyce Sutphen of Chaska as Minnesota's new poet laureate on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011.
Image courtesy Poetry Foundation

Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday that a college professor who lives in Chaska will serve as the state's next poet laureate. 

Dayton appointed Joyce Sutphen as Minnesota's primary supporter and promoter of poetry. Sutphen is a published and award-winning poet who teaches literature and creative writing at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

  During a State Capitol news conference, Sutphen said one of her goals is to organize events that bring together poets from around the state. She said many people contribute to the state of poetry in Minnesota.

  "A plethora of publishers, large and small, that provide us with beautiful books and journals," Sutphen said. "The people who organize readings, who work in the schools, who put poems into the parks, into galleries, and on sidewalks and in film and on the radio. And all those who take time to read and write poetry."

As poet laureate, Sutphen will serve as the state's primary spokesperson, supporter and promoter of poetry. She'll work with the Minnesota Humanities Center to organize a poetry event in the coming months. 

Sutphen succeeds Robert Bly, who was named the state's first official poet laureate in 2007, shortly after the Legislature created the position.