Delaware’s Poet Laureate is an honorary position appointed by, and serving at the pleasure of, the Governor. The Poet Laureate serves as an advocate, educator, and presenter of poetry throughout the state.
The Delaware Division of the Arts promotes the Poet Laureate’s events and activities and manages the Poet Laureate’s calendar of appearances. The Division also provides a stipend to the Poet Laureate for appearances at nonprofit organizations.
Delaware General Assembly passes a resolution authorizing an annual appointment by the Governor of a Poet Laureate for the State of Delaware. No specific duties were assigned to the position at that time.
An act to create the honorary office of Poet Laureate for the State of Delaware was passed by the General Assembly. The act authorized the Governor to appoint an individual to serve a two-year term and perform duties as requested by the Governor.
The 1964 act authorizes the Governor to appoint the Poet Laureate for a two-year term, performing duties as requested by the Governor and the Secretary of State.
A new bill passed in June to replace the two-year term limit of service with an open-ended, honorary position that serves at the pleasure of the Governor.
Since 1947, the State of Delaware has had sixteen (16) Poets Laureate.
|Poets Laureate||Appointed by Governor||Term of Service|
|Edna Deemer Leach, Wilmington||Walter W. Bacon||1947 – 1949|
|Jeannette Slocomb Edwards, Wilmington||Elbert N. Carvel||1950 – 1954|
|Frances Shannon Flowers McNeal, Newark||Caleb Boggs||1954 – 1955|
|Katherine King Johnson, Dover||Caleb Boggs||1955 – 1956|
|David Hudson, Wilmington||Caleb Boggs||1956 – 1960|
|Alison Kimball Bradford, Wilmington||David P. Buckson||1961 – 1962|
|Marguerite Eleanor Weaver, Wilmington||Elbert N. Carvel||1962 – 1963|
|Mother M. Aloysius Peach, O.S.U., Wilmington||Elbert N. Carvel||1963 – 1965|
|Dr. Percival Rudolph Roberts, III, Newark||Charles L. Terry, Jr.||1965 – 1966|
|Joyce M. Carlson, Wilmington||Charles L. Terry, Jr.||1967 – 1968|
|Antonia Bissell Laird, Wilmington||Charles L. Terry, Jr.||1969 – 1970|
|Dr. Harry O. Eisenberg, New Castle||Russell W. Peterson||1971 – 1975|
|David Hudson, Wilmington||Sherman W. Tribbitt||1975 – 1979|
|Jean Lanyon, Wilmington||Pierre S. duPont IV||1979 – 1981*|
|Dr. Fleda Brown, Newark||Ruth Ann Minner||2001 – 2007|
|Dr. JoAnn Balingit, Newark||Ruth Ann Minner||2008 – 2015|
|Rep. Nnamdi Chukwuocha & Albert Mills, Wilmington||Jack A. Markell||2015 – Present|
*There were no Poets Laureate appointed from 1981 – 2001.
Related Topics: Delaware, delaware division of the arts, Delaware Poets Laureate, Department of State, Division of the Arts, Nnamdi Chukwuocha, Poet Laureate, poetry, spoken word, spoken word artist, State of Delaware, twin poets