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Blanco Names University of Louisiana-Lafayette Professor Emeritus State Poet Laureate


Gov. Kathleen Blanco has named a professor emeritus at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette as the state’s next poet laureate.

Darrell Bourque’s two-year appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate.

Bourque, 65, is the second poet laureate nominated by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities under a selection process set up by former Gov. Mike Foster. He succeeds Brenda Marie Osbey.

Louisiana’s poet laureate serves a two-year term and is expected to deliver an annual reading in a location in the state as designated by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Bourque has four published collections, including “The Blue Boat,” which was the inaugural issue of special editions of the Center for Louisiana Studies.

He is a resident of rural St. Landry Parish.

Michael Sartisky, president of the LEH and chairman of the nomination committee, said Bourque is an original and authentic voice of the area where he lives.

“He expresses not only his own personal vision of the world, but through him speaks most of the culture of that region as well,” he said.

Bourque said he is honored by the appointment, and poetry is a vital part of a people and their culture.

“The ideas that we have about art, that we have about the world we live in, that we have about our human mission are interrelated and connected to the geography we grow out of,” he said. “The whole of Louisiana is connected on some basic level that to me is almost poetry.”

Information from: The Advocate,

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