Louisiana's New Poet Laureate Was State Labor Secretary

Poetry word written on wood block.

Louisiana has a new poet laureate, with a background well beyond fine arts.

John Warner Smith's tenure in the two-year position begins Wednesday but before that, worked as Louisiana labor secretary under former Governor Kathleen Blanco.

Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities announced Smith's selection and called him a "trailblazer" who is devoted to education.

Smith takes over from Jack Bedell, who has been Louisiana's poet laureate since 2017.

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