WHEREAS, Missouri has produced some of the most outstanding poets and writers of our time, including Samuel Clemens, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Tennessee Williams, Maya Angelou, and Laura Ingalls Wilder; and

WHEREAS, our poets, and their poetry, help define our humanity, and have contributed immeasurably to the culture of our state, the nation, and the world; and

WHEREAS, an awareness and appreciation of poetry increases literacy, creativity, and advanced communication skills; 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, JEREMIAH W. (JAY) NIXON, 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 be named in January, 2010, and biennially thereafter, and shall serve for two years, at the pleasure of the Governor. In addition to other criteria established, the Poet Laureate must be a published poet, a resident of Missouri, be active in the poetry community, and be willing and able to promote poetry in the state of Missouri throughout the two-year term. The Poet Laureate shall be responsible for promoting the arts in Missouri by making public appearances at public libraries and schools across the state. The Poet Laureate shall also compose an original poem in honor of Missouri that may be used for publication and distribution.

The Poet Laureate shall be selected by the Governor from open nominations solicited from across the state. The Missouri Poet Laureate Advisory Committee is hereby created and established, and shall be comprised of three members of the Missouri Center for the Book and two members appointed by the Governor. The Advisory Committee shall meet as necessary to assist in soliciting, publicizing, and encouraging nominations; to recommend appropriate additional criteria for the nomination process and for the post; to review and evaluate nominees; and to make recommendations to the Governor for appointment to the post of Missouri Poet Laureate. All members of the Advisory Committee shall have expertise in contemporary American poetry, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

Following the Governor's selection of a Poet Laureate in January of 2010, the Advisory Committee shall next meet in September, 2011 to begin work on the nomination process for the succeeding Poet Laureate, and shall convene for such purpose thereafter every other year.

Executive Order 08-01 is hereby superseded and replaced by this Executive Order.

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 24th day of December, 2009.

[Jay Nixon's signature]
Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon


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

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