It’s official. The new Missouri State Poet Laureate is Walter Bargen, who hails from Ashland, Missouri, and who is also an acquaintance of mine. The official announcement is here.
Yesterday I was online constantly waiting for the press announcement. Of course, as such things go, I had to close up and go to work. When I got home, there were messages on the phone, a score of emails…everyone knew about it before I did, it seemed.
No matter. This is the culmination of years of effort on the part of certain members of the Missouri Center for the Book and two and half years of that during my tenure as president, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Walter is, according to those I know who know such things, a first-rate poet. I can say with confidence that he is a decent, intelligent man who will do the office proud. This is a major cool event and I am delighted.