Home » Gov. Bevin names Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2017-18

Gov. Bevin names Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2017-18

Frederick Smock
Frederick Smock

For two-year term

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 18, 2017) — Gov. Matt Bevin has appointed Louisville poet, author and teacher Frederick Smock as Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2017-18, the Kentucky Arts Council announced today. Smock, will be formally inducted during a ceremony on Kentucky Writers’ Day, May 1 at the Old State Capitol in Frankfort. Smock will serve through the end of 2018.

“I’m thrilled,” Smock said. “Jim Wayne Miller (2015 Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame inductee) has said that Kentucky is a writerly state, and that’s so true. Many of our poets laureate have been writers I’ve looked up to, and I’m excited to join their company.”

With the exception of one summer teaching in Denmark, Smock has lived, written and taught in Kentucky all his life. An author of 10 books of poems and essays, with two more on the way, and four chapbooks, Smock has earned several awards for his writing and teaching, including the 2002 Henry Leadingham Poetry Prize, the 2003 Jim Wayne Miller Prize for Poetry, Bellarmine University’s 2005 Wilson Wyatt Faculty Award and the 2008 Kentucky Literary Award for Poetry. The Kentucky Arts Council honored him in 1995 with an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship in poetry.

The Kentucky poet laureate promotes the literary arts in Kentucky through readings of his work at community and educational events, meetings, seminars and conferences across the state. Since 1995, the governor has appointed the position in consultation with the arts council. Smock succeeds poet laureate George Ella Lyon, who was appointed in 2015.