Gov. Nixon appoints William Trowbridge as Missouri's new Poet Laureate

April 13, 2012
Jefferson City, MO

Gov. Jay Nixon today announced he has appointed William Trowbridge, of Lee's Summit, as Missouri's new Poet Laureate. Trowbridge is a distinguished university professor emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University, and the author of more than 340 published or forthcoming poems. His appointment will run for two years, and during his term, he will present and lecture on poetry to school, community and civic groups throughout the state.

"Professor Trowbridge is one of the country's outstanding poets, and we are honored to have him as Missouri's poet laureate," Gov. Nixon said. "With a number of outstanding candidates from our state, the decision is never easy. I appreciate the work of the Missouri Center for the Book and of the advisory committee in making its recommendation to me."

Professor Trowbridge has published eight collections of poems, including Ship of Fool in 2011, and his work has been reprinted in more than 30 anthologies and textbooks. He was co-editor of The Laurel Review from 1986 to 2000, and his poetry has earned several honors and awards.

Trowbridge obtained his bachelor's degree in philosophy and his master's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He earned his doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University. Trowbridge was on the faculty of Northwest Missouri State University from 1971 to 1998.

William Trowbridge is Missouri's third poet laureate; he succeeds David Clewell, of Webster Groves, a professor of English at Webster University in St. Louis.

An advisory committee, including three representatives of the Missouri Center for the Book and two members appointed by the Governor, was charged with reviewing and evaluating applications, and recommending candidates for appointment to the Governor. The members of the advisory committee were:

  • Dr. James Baumlin, a Professor of English at Missouri State University, who has published numerous books, essays and reviews;
  • Dr. Adam Davis, a professor in the Classical and Modern Languages Department at Truman State University;
  • Gabriel Fried, the author of two poetry collections and the poetry editor at Persea Books. He teaches in the graduate creative writing program at the University of Missouri;
  • Kris Kleindienst, a published author and columnist, and the owner of Left Bank Books, an independent bookstore with two locations in St. Louis; and
  • Nola Ruth, the chair of the Missouri Arts Council, who served for 17 years as the director of the Missouri Association of Community Arts Agencies.