- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio will join 44 other states and the District of Columbia in establishing a state poet laureate.

The measure was one of 40 bills Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) signed on Friday.

The bill from Cincinnati Democrat Eric Kearney (KUHR’-nee) would allow the governor to 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.

Kearney says 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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