Tomblin taps Wheeling writer as WV's poet laureate - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Tomblin taps Wheeling writer as WV's poet laureate

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Marc Harshman -- Source: Marc Harshman -- Source:

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Marc Harshman as the state's newest poet laureate on May 18, replacing Irene McKinney, who died in February.

Harshman is a poet and storyteller who has authored 11 children's books. He lives in Wheeling.

"I'm pleased Marc has accepted this unique opportunity to serve as poet laureate," Tomblin said in a release from his office. "Whether it's one of his children's stories or a prose poem, Marc's creativity serves as a reminder of the immeasurable talent of West Virginia's authors. I hope, in this new capacity, he will continue to challenge himself and inspire a new generation of writers."

Harshman graduated from Bethany College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973, Yale University Divinity School with a Master of Arts degree in religion in 1975 and the University of Pittsburgh with a Master of Arts degree in English in 1978.

Several of Harshman's children's books have garnered national attention, including "Only One," a Reading Rainbow review title on PBS TV; and "The Storm," a Junior Library Guild selection, a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children, a Children's Book Council Notable Book for Social Studies, and a 1995 Parent's Choice Award recipient.

The news release said Harshman is currently working on two new children's books and is busy with several other writing projects.

Harshman is a recipient of the West Virginia Arts Commission Fellowship in Poetry, and his prose poems have recently won an award from Literal Latté and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous other journals and been anthologized in the landmark West Virginia poetry collection, Wild Sweet Notes, as well as by Kent State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, the University of Arizona, and multiple volumes of Shepherd University's Anthology of Appalachian Writers.

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