USC Finalist Named for Poet Laureate

Carol Muske-Dukes, professor of English at USC College, was named as one of four finalists to be the 2005 California Poet Laureate.

The governor will appoint the poet laureate, who will then serve a two-year term beginning this spring, following confirmation from the state Senate.

“I feel very gratified by the acknowledgement,” Muske-Dukes said. “I am honored to be part of a tradition that extends all the way from Ina Coolbrith, an early California laureate, who came to the Golden State by covered wagon and wrote engaging poems about our state.”

The role of the California Poet Laureate is to spread the learning and appreciation of poetry across the state. The poet laureate will hold at least six public readings across the state in urban and rural locations, and will educate students, government leaders and business officials about the importance of artistic expression.

“Sparrow,” Muske-Dukes’ book of poems, was nominated for a National Book Award in 2003. She is a poet, fiction writer, critic and reviewer who has written seven books of poems, three novels and two essay collections.