MONTPELIER – Longtime Vermont poet Mary Ruefle was declared Vermont’s next Poet Laureate during a ceremony at the Vermont Arts Council on Monday.
A new Poet Laureate is appointed by the Governor every four years, and nominees must have a critically acclaimed body of work, a long association with Vermont. As part of the position, Ruefle may be asked to participate in official ceremonies at the Vermont State House.
“I am honored to be appointed to this office,” Ruefle said. “I am honored to join the ranks of those who served before me. I am humble and scared, but I am used to that.”
Ruefle has lived in Vermont since the early 1970s and has received fellowships from the National Endowment from the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She’s also been featured in “Best American Poetry” and “Great American Prose Poems”.
Robert Frost was declared Vermont’s first Poet Laureate in 1961. After a brief hiatus, Governor Madeline Kunin revived the position in the 1980s. Ruefle is Vermont’s ninth Poet Laureate.