- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio would join 44 other states and the District of Columbia in establishing a state poet laureate under legislation on its way to the governor.

Under a Senate bill sponsored by Cincinnati Democrat Eric Kearney (KUHR’-nee), the governor would select the poet laureate from a list developed by the Ohio Arts Council. In the role, the poet laureate would work with the arts council on programs promoting literary arts and encouraging the creative interests of Ohioans.

The bill cleared the Legislature this week and heads next to Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-siks) desk.

Kearney said the legislation shows Ohio’s commitment to meaningful discourse and deeper thinking, and honors accomplished Ohio poets who include Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Nikki Giovanni.

The measure was supported by libraries, universities, professors and schoolchildren.


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