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Governor Tomblin Appoints Marc Harshman West Virginia Poet Laureate

5/17/2012 CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Marc Harshman as West Virginia’s Poet Laureate, filling the vacancy left by the late Irene McKinney who passed away in February 2012. Harshman’s appointment is effective immediately.

“I’m pleased Marc has accepted this unique opportunity to serve as Poet Laureate,” said Gov. Tomblin. “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 in 1973, Yale University Divinity School with a Master of Arts in Religion in 1975 and the University of Pittsburgh with a Master of Arts in English in 1978.

A poet and storyteller, Harshman has authored 11 children’s books 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. Two new children’s titles are forthcoming and he is at work on several other projects in both poetry and children’s books.

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.

Harshman resides with his wife, Cheryl, in Wheeling, W.Va. He has one daughter, Sarah.