Lutherans in Minnesota

Gustavus Adolphus College professor named Minnesota’s Poet Laureate

Gustavus Adolphus College Professor of English Joyce Sutphen was recently named Poet Laureate for the state of Minnesota by Gov. Mark Dayton. In this role, she will serve as the primary spokesperson, supporter, and promoter of poetry in the state.

“Joyce Sutphen is a talented writer and teacher who will be a great voice for poetry in Minnesota,” Dayton said. “I am thrilled she will be serving as Poet Laureate for our state.”

Sutphen has published several collections of poetry including the anthology To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present (2006), which she co-edited. Her other collections include First Words (2009), Straight Out of View (1995), Coming Back to the Body (2000), Fourteen Sonnets (2005), and Naming the Stars (2004), which won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry in 2005. Her other awards include the Eunice Tietjen’s Memorial Prize from Poetry magazine, a Loft-McKnight Artist Fellowship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, and a grant from the Jerome Foundation.

Sutphen grew up on a farm near St. Joseph, Minnesota, and currently lives in Chaska. She holds three degrees from the University of Minnesota, including a master’s degree in English and a Ph.D. in Renaissance drama. Sutphen teaches a variety of courses, mainly in the areas of poetry, creative writing, and British literature.

She will be the state’s second official Poet Laureate, succeeding Robert Bly, who was appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2007.

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