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Gov. Blunt Appoints State's First Poet Laureate

Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen
Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – Governor Matt Blunt has appointed Walter Bargen as the state's first official poet laureate citing Bargen's extensive creative writing experience. A resident of Ashland, Missouri, Bargen has published nine books and two chapbooks of poetry over the last 28 years and his poems and fiction have appeared in more than 100 magazines. Bargen's also a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry and a William Rockhill Nelson Award for best poetry book by a Missouri writer. Bargen will serve as the state's first official poet laureate for a two year term. And he's charged with promoting the arts in Missouri through appearances at public libraries and schools across the state. Bargen will also compose an original poem in honor of Missouri to be performed at an event commemorating the new position.

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