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Peggy Vining: A member of the Ozark Creative Writers, Inc. Board of Directors for over 25 years, Ms. Vining is the Poet Laureate of Arkansas and a freelance writer who is active in a variety of literary organizations including Poet's Roundtable, Arkansas Penwomen, and The Arkansas Songwriters Association. She served as conference director and President of Ozark Creative Writers, Inc. for over fifteen years.
Position established October 10, 1923, with the passing of concurrent resolutions by both houses of the Arkansas legislature. House Concurrent Resolution Number 17 (March 28, 1953) installed Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni as state poet laureate. Upon Marioni's death, Ercil Brown served as interim Laureate until Lily Peter's appointment on October 6, 1971. Peter was the first person designated poet laureate under Act 90 (passed February 15, 1971), which authorized the governor to appoint the poet laureate.1
The official position of Poet Laureate is codified in Sec. 1-4-114 of the Arkansas Code, the full text of which follows:
Charles T. Davis (October 10, 1923-December 21, 1945)
Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni (March 28, 1953-March 1970)
Ercil Brown (interim appointee, March 1970-1971)
Lily Peter (1971-1991)
Verna Lee Hinegardner (1991-2003)
Title 1 - General Provisions
Chapter 4 - State Symbols, Motto, Etc.
§ 1-4-114 - Poet laureate.
Universal Citation: AR Code § 1-4-114 (2012)
(a) The Governor is authorized to designate or appoint, by proclamation, a Poet Laureate of the State of Arkansas, which shall be an honorary title in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and contributions in poetry by a person who is a resident of the State of Arkansas.
(b) The person designated or appointed by the Governor as Poet Laureate of the State of Arkansas shall be a person whose name was selected from a list of names submitted to the Governor upon recommendation of a committee consisting of the principal heads of the English departments of all state-supported universities and colleges.