Governor Bobby Jindal has named Natchitoches English professor Julie Kane the 2011-2013 Poet Laureate of Louisiana.
Julie Kane, PhD, is a professor of English at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. A tireless promoter of poetry in the state, she is a recipient of the National Poetry Series award (2002), the Donald Justice Poetry Prize (2009), and a Fulbright Scholarship (2002). In 2005, she was selected as a juror for the National Book Award in Poetry. Subject to confirmation by the state Senate, Kane will succeed the state’s current poet laureate Darrell Bourque on May 21.
Dr. Kane’s poetry collections – Jazz Funeral, Rhythm & Booze and Body and Soul – celebrate the culture of New Orleans. She is also the co-author of the Vietnam memoir Counterpart: A South Vietnamese Naval Officer’s War and an editor of the anthologies Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical and Creative Responses to Everette Maddox and Voices of the American South.
The LEH will confer the award on Julie Kane, Louisiana’s Poet Laureate at 6 p.m. June 23 at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, or LEH, Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette St., in New Orleans. She also will give her first official public reading as Poet Laureate. The program will be free and open to the public.
“After lengthy deliberation the panel felt that these accomplished and reputable poets are the most qualified of those nominated,” the Poet Laureate Panel stated in its written recommendations to the governor. “Each writes about his or her own cultural experiences in Louisiana – three different voices with three different expressions. We realize that only one can be chosen for this honor, but I am compelled to express the panel’s agreement that several others, in addition to the aforementioned, are worthy of this award to represent the state of Louisiana as its literary ambassador in the years to come.”
“The LEH is honored to be able to confer this award on so worthy a poet as Julie Kane,” said Dr. Michael Sartisky.