Joyce Sutphen, a poet who teaches literature and creative writing at Gustavus Adolphus College, is the new Minnesota Poet Laureate, Gov. Mark Dayton announced today.
Her duties: to serve as the primary spokesperson, supporter and promoter of poetry in the state. Robert Bly had been the previous state poet laureate.
Dayton missed an opportunity, though, by forsaking some kind of meter when he announced the appointment. Instead he said: “Joyce Sutphen is a talented writer and teacher who will be a great voice for poetry in Minnesota.”
So in her honor, here’s a poem.
Pair those verbs with a strong noun
You writers, hone your voice!
Poetic license won’t be shut down,
‘Cause Mark’s appointed Joyce.
Here’s Sutphen’s bio from the governor’s office:
Sutphen grew up on a farm near St. Joseph, Minnesota, and currently lives in Chaska. She has degrees from the University of Minnesota, including a Master’s in English with an emphasis in writing and a Ph. D. in Renaissance Drama. She teaches literature and creative writing at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Sutphen has published several volumes of poetry, and has been honored with numerous awards including the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry.