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Texas State Poet Laureates

Poet Laureates

Adopted 1933
Amended on September 1, 2001.

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 82, 43rd Legislature, Regular Session (1933) authorized appointment of a committee by the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House to designate an outstanding and recognized poet, who is also a citizen of the state of Texas, as poet laureate.

Texas State Poet Laureates: Poet Laureates

Date Poet Laureates
1932-1934 Judd Mortimer Lewis, Houston
1934-1936 Aline T. Michaelis, Austin
1936-1939 Grace Noll Crowell, Dallas
1939-1941 Lexie Dean Robertson, Rising Star
1941-1943 Nancy Richey Ranson, Dallas
1943-1945 Dollilee Davis Smith, Cleburne
1945-1947 David Riley Russell, Dallas
1947-1949 Aline B. Carter, San Antonio
1949-1951 Carlos Ashley, Llano
1951-1953 Arthur M. Sampley, Denton
1953-1955 Mildred Lindsey Raiborn, San Angelo
Dee Walker, Texas City, alternate
1955-1957 Pierre Bernard Hill, Hunt
1957-1959 Margaret Royalty Edwards, Waco
1959-1961 J.V. Chandler, Kingsville
Edna Coe Majors, Colorado City, alternate
1961 Lorena Simon, Port Arthur
1962 Marvin Davis Winsett, Dallas
1963 Gwendolyn Bennett Pappas, Houston
Vassar Miller, Houston, alternate
1964-1965 Jenny Lind Porter, Austin
Edith Rayzor Canant, Texas City, alternate
1966 Bessie Maas Rowe, Port Arthur
Grace Marie Scott, Abilene, alternate
1967 William. E. Bard, Dallas
Bessie Maas Rowe, Port Arthur, alternate
1968 Kathryn Henry Harris, Waco
Sybil Leonard Armes, El Paso, alternate
1969-1970 Anne B. Marely, Austin
Rose Davidson Speer, Brady, alternate
1970-1971 Robby K. Mitchell, McKinney
Faye Carr Adams, Dallas, alternate
1971-1972 Terry Fontenot, Port Arthur
Faye Carr Adams, Dallas, alternate
1972-1973 Mrs. Clark Gresham, Burkburnett
Marion McDaniel, Sidney, alternate
1973-1974 Violette Newton, Beaumont
Stella Woodall, San Antonio, alternate
1974-1975 Lila Todd O'Neil, Port Arthur
C.W. Miller, San Antonio, alternate
1975-1976 Ethel Osborn Hill, Port Arthur
Gene Shuford, Denton, alternate
1976-1977 Florice Stripling Jeffers, Burkburnett
Vera L. Eckert, San Angelo, alternate
1977-1978 Ruth Carruth, Vernon
Joy Gresham Hagstrom, Burkburnett, alternate
1978-1979 Patsy Stodghill, Dallas
Dorothy B. Elfstroman, Galveston, alternate
1979-1980 Dorothy B. Elfstroman, Galveston
Ruth Carruth, Vernon, alternate
1980-1981 Weems S. Dykes, McCamey
Mildred Crabtree Speer, Amarillo, alternate
1981-1982 none designated
1982-1983 William D. Barney, Fort Worth
Vassar Miller, Houston, alternate
1983-1984 none designated
1984-1985 none designated
1985-1986 none designated
1986-1987 none designated
1987-1988 Ruth E. Reuther, Wichita Falls
1988-1989 Vassar Miller, Houston
1989-1990 none designated
1990-1991 none designated
1991-1992 none designated
1992-1993 none designated
1993-1994 Mildred Baass, Victoria
1994-1995 none designated
1995-1996 none designated
1996-1997 none designated
1997-1998 none designated
1998-1999 none designated
2000 James Hoggard, Wichita Falls
2001 Walter McDonald, Lubbock

Texas House Concurrent Resolution SB1043

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
By Duncan SB1043
AN ACT relating to creating a committee to appoint a poet laureate, a state musician, and state artists.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Title 106, Revised Statutes, is amended by adding Article 6139k to read as follows:

Art. 6139k. POET LAUREATE, STATE MUSICIAN, AND STATE ARTISTS
Sec. 1. DESIGNATING A POET LAUREATE, A STATE MUSICIAN, AND STATE ARTISTS.
(a) The Texas poet laureate, state musician, and state artist committee shall designate a poet laureate of Texas, a Texas state musician, a Texas state artist for two-dimensional media, and a Texas state artist for three-dimensional media.
(b) The Texas poet laureate, state musician, and state artist committee shall choose the poet laureate, the state musician, and the state artists from a list of individuals submitted by the Texas Commission on the Arts.
(c) The individuals designated as the poet laureate, the state musician, and the state artists do not receive any pay or emolument.
(d) The individuals designated as poet laureate, as state musician, and as state artists keep the designation for one year from the date of the designation ceremony.
Sec. 2. TEXAS POET LAUREATE, STATE MUSICIAN, AND STATE ARTIST COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED.
(a) The Texas poet laureate, state musician, and state artist committee consists of the following seven members:

(1) one member appointed by the governor;
(2) three members appointed by the lieutenant governor; and
(3) three members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(b) One member appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives must be the chair of the house committee that has primary jurisdiction over arts and cultural matters who serves on the committee as an additional duty of the chairmanship.
(c) Members of the committee who are not members of the legislature serve for a two-year term that expires October 1 of each odd-numbered year.
(d) The members of the committee shall select a presiding officer from the members of the committee.
Sec. 3. RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TEXAS COMMISSION ON THE ARTS.
(a) The Texas Commission on the Arts shall solicit nominations from the arts and cultural community for the poet laureate, the state musician, and the state artists. The commission shall use the commission's Texas Cultural & Arts Network, the media, public meetings, newsletters, the Writer's League of Texas, and other appropriate methods to distribute information about the nomination process.
(b) The Texas Commission on the Arts may receive submissions from poets, musicians, and artists who have been nominated.
(c) The Texas Commission on the Arts may assemble a group of artists, musicians, writers, scholars, and other appropriate experts in the fields of visual arts, music, and literature to:

(1) review the submissions from the nominated poets, musicians, and artists; and
(2) provide advice and recommendations to the commission on who should be considered for designation as poet laureate, as state musician, and as a state artist.

(d) The Texas Commission on the Arts shall submit to the Texas poet laureate, state musician, and state artist committee a list of not more than 10 individuals who are worthy of being designated as the poet laureate, a list of not more than 10 individuals who are worthy of being designated as the state musician, a list of not more than 10 individuals who are worthy of being designated as the state artist for two-dimensional media, and a list of not more than 10 individuals who are worthy of being designated as the state artist for three-dimensional media.
Sec. 4. DESIGNATION CEREMONY. The governor and members of the Texas poet laureate, state musician, and state artist committee shall honor the individuals designated as poet laureate, as state musician, and as a state artist in a ceremony at the State Capitol.
SECTION 2.
(a) This Act takes effect September 1, 2001.
(b) As soon as possible after the effective date of this Act, the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint the initial members of the Texas poet laureate, state musician, and state artist committee.

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