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LSU Press Author Ron Smith Named Virginia Poet Laureate

07/02/2014 03:52 PM

BATON ROUGE – LSU Press poet Ron Smith was recently selected as Virginia’s new poet laureate by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Replacing former poet laureate Sofia M. Starnes, Smith will serve in the position for a two-year term.

Smith spoke with his alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University, about the honor, and said, “I am delighted and humbled to be poet laureate of the ‘Cradle of Presidents’ (and also of poets). Virginia is rich in poets, poets who deserve much more recognition and more readers than they currently have.”

Smith is the author of three books of poetry: “Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery,” “Moon Road: Poems 1986-2005,” and most recently, “Its Ghostly Workshop,” published in 2013 by LSU Press. He holds an MFA from VCU, and he is the writer-in-residence and George O. Squires Chair of Distinguished Teaching at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond.

“Its Ghostly Workshop” probes the fallibility of philosophy, while strengthening the quest for certainty. Wondering and weighing, these are poems capable of conviction as well as doubt. Like the city of Rome, the subject at the book’s center, “Its Ghostly Workshop” aims to rewire us, to “virus” us, to “rush” us “with visionary blazes, cascades / of memory, incandescent logic.”

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