Ohio may establish poet laureate

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio is one of six states that don’t have an official state poet – but a bill in the Ohio Legislature could change that.

A bill that has passed the Senate would create the position of Ohio poet laureate.

Chiquita Mullins Lee, a program coordinator with the Ohio Arts Council, tells The Columbus Dispatch that popular music has helped create awareness about the powerful art of poetry. That makes the establishment of the Ohio position timely.

The bill says qualifications for the job would include “proven history in poetry that includes works published in books, anthologies, literary journals, or magazines…”

While 44 states have an official poet, the role is a more recent trend, with many states establishing it only within the past 20 years.

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