The New Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi

BethAnnFennellyPhil Bryant, governor of the state of Mississippi, has appointed Beth Ann Fennelly as the state’s poet laureate. Professor Fennelly has been serving as the director of the master of fine arts in creative writing program at the University of Mississippi. She will step down from this post to concentrate of efforts to promote poetry in the state’s public schools. She will also create and read poetry at state events.

In accepting the post, Professor Fennelly stated that “southerners in general and Mississippians in particular are known to have produced many of our nation’s greatest writers. It will give me great joy to help promote literary arts throughout the state and encourage future generations of Mississippi storytellers and writers.”

Professor Fennelly has written three collections of poetry, a novel entitled The Tilted World (Harper, 2013) and a work of nonfiction Great With Child: Letters to a Young Mother (W.W. Norton, 2006).

Fennelly is a native of New Jersey and grew up in Chicago. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Arkansas.

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