A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government or conferring institution, who is often expected to compose poems for special events and occasions. It is a very ancient tradition, dating back to the first days of classical civilization, to associate laurel with proficiency in arts and poetry, or with victory. The United States Library of Congress appointed a Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1937 to 1984. An Act of Congress changed the name in 1985 to Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. A number of American states' legislatures, including Illinois, have created official government positions that are occupied by Poets Laureate who are prominent either locally, nationally, or sometimes both.Today, poets laureate make public appearances at poetry readings or literary events, and promote awareness of poetry within their geographical region.
Former Illinois Poets Laureate were Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks.
Wikipedia contributors. "Poet Laureate." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
Who Is The Poet Laureate for Illinois?
Kevin Stein is Illinois' Poet Laureate. Stein came to Bradley in 1984 from Indiana University, where he received the Ph.D. in American literature and the M. A. in Creative Writing.
In December 2003, The Governor of Illinois named Kevin Stein Illinois Poet Laureate, filling the position previously held by Gwendolyn Brooks, Carl Sandburg, and Howard Austin. This accolade is one of many Stein has earned during his career as poet, critic, editor, and teacher.
"Kevin Stein," Illinois Poet Laureate", Bradley University, web, 17 Mar 2014