WHEREAS, Samuel Clemens, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Tennessee Williams, and Laura Ingalls Wilder all called our state home at some time; and

WHEREAS, art and literature are windows to man's soul;

and WHEREAS, our poets, and their poetry, help define our humanity; and

WHEREAS, as Goethe explained, "True poetry identifies itself as such by knowing how to liberate us from the earthly burdens that oppress us, by being a secular gospel, by creating inner cheerfulness and outward contentment"; and

WHEREAS, a great poem is capable of lifting our spirits, healing old wounds, creating bonds that last, and bridging any divide.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MATT BLUNT, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Missouri, do hereby establish the post of Missouri Poet Laureate.

The Poet Laureate shall serve for two years, at the pleasure of the governor, and be responsible for promoting the arts in Missouri by making at least six public appearances per year at public libraries and schools across the state. The Laureate shall also compose an original poem in honor of Missouri that may be used for publication and distribution.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 8th day of January, 2008.

[Matt Blunt's signature]
Matt Blunt


[Robin Carnahan's signature]
Robin Carnahan
Secretary of State

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