Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein is stepping away from the position effective December 1st.
The Bradley University English Professor has served in the role for 14 years. As state poet laureate, Stein offered nearly 250 presentations, poetry readings, school visits and judging activities. The Poetry Now project was one of his most notable endeavors. Stein presented his work at more than 5o libraries in Illinois and donated funds for the purchase of collections written by Illinois poets.
For the vast majority of his time in the role, Stein’s also collaborated with Secretary of State Jesse White, the Illinois State Library, and the Center For The Book doing the Gwendolyn Brooks Emerging Poets Contest. He says he’s grateful for the opportunity to that’s offered surprising rewards, deepened his understanding of poetry’s gifts and also enriched his appreciation of Illinois's diverse citizenry.
Gov. Bruce Rauner office says he will establish a search committee to initiate the selection process for the state’s next poet laureate.