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University of Southern Indiana prof named poet laureate

January 5, 2020 GMT

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A recently retired University of Southern Indiana professor already has a new job, as Indiana’s newest poet laureate.

The Indiana Arts Commission says Matthew Graham of Evansville began his two-year term as state poet laureate on Wednesday. He succeeds Adrian Matejka, who’s an Indiana University professor.

Graham’s reign continues through Dec. 31, 2021. His duties as poet laureate will include making public appearances at poetry readings or literary events and promoting poetry, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

Graham is the author of four books of poetry, including “The Geography of Home,” released in 2018. He’s received a number of national, regional and local awards including a Pushcart Prize, an Academy of American Poets Award and two grants from the Indiana Arts Commission.

Graham recently retired from the University of Southern Indiana, where he had taught all levels of creative writing, contemporary literature and worked with multicultural and international students in freshman composition.

He co-founded and co-directed “The Ropewalk Writers’ Retreat” in the historic southwestern Indiana town of New Harmony.