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Governor Dayton names Joyce Sutphen as Poet Laureate

August 23, 2011

Governor Mark Dayton announced today the appointment of Joyce Sutphen as the Poet Laureate for the State of Minnesota.  She will serve as the primary spokesperson, supporter and promoter of poetry in the state.
About the appointment, Governor Dayton said, “Joyce Sutphen is a talented writer and teacher who will be a great voice for poetry in Minnesota.  I am thrilled she will be serving as Poet Laureate for our state.”
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 Masters 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. 
Sutphen is the second official Minnesota Poet Laureate, replacing Robert Bly who was appointed by Governor Pawlenty in 2007.  The position was established by the Legislature in 2007, and the Minnesota Humanities Center is responsible for soliciting nominations, screening candidates and making recommendations to the Governor.  The Poet Laureate serves at the pleasure of the Governor. 
The Minnesota Humanities Center is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1971, and affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The Center provides leadership, resources, and programs that advance the study of the humanities and enhance the work of schools, colleges, and cultural organizations.  
A biography of Joyce Sutphen is attached.