Governor Appoints USD English Professor as South Dakota Poet Laureate

University of South Dakota English professor Lee Ann Roripaugh will serve as as South Dakota’s new poet laureate. 

Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed Roripaugh, of Vermillion, as the successor to poet David Allan Evans, who served in the post since 2002 but announced his retirement earlier this year.

“South Dakota has a rich tradition in the arts, and Roripaugh’s work is outstanding,” said Michael Pangburn, director of the South Dakota Arts Council, which serves South Dakotans and their communities through the arts and works closely with the poet laureate. “Roripaugh is committed to serving the poetry community and has the knowledge and expertise to do so."

Roripaugh is the author of four volumes of poetry and has received various awards and recognitions. She currently teaches creative writing at USD and is the editor of the national, quarterly journal South Dakota Review.

Under the terms of a law passed this year, Roripaugh will serve a four-year term that ends on July 1, 2019. Future governors will have the opportunity, every four years, to name a new poet laureate to promote poetry and represent South Dakota’s varied literary traditions.

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