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Posted at 4:51 PM ET, 01/14/2011

McDonnell names Halifax author as Va. poet laureate

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

Legislators looking for advice on governing in poetry have a new source of possible guidance.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Friday that he has appointed author Kelly Cherry as Virginia's 11th Poet Laureate. She takes the post from Claudia Emerson, who held it since 2008. Virginia has named a poet laureate since 1936. Since 1998, the position has been described in law, which instructs the governor to appoint a poet from among a list forwarded by Poetry Society of Virginia.

Cherry, the author of 19 books, is an emerita professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and now lives in Halifax. She was born in Baton Rouge, La., grew up in Chesterfield, Va., and graduated from Mary Washington College.

She's won numerous awards, including the first-ever James G. Hanes Poetry Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

The current poet laureate of the United States is, of course, W.S. Merwin.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 14, 2011; 4:51 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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