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Stanley Plumly
For Immediate Release
October 1st, 2009

Contacts: David Ottalini, 301-405-4076 or

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- A noted University of Maryland author, scholar and educator will now be able to carry his passion for the written word beyond the classroom to a statewide audience.

Stanley Plumly
, a distinguished university professor of English and co-founder of the department's graduate program in creative writing, was named poet laureate for the state of Maryland during a ceremony Oct. 1 in Annapolis.

"We are fortunate to have Stanley Plumly, one of our nation's most critically acclaimed poets, as Maryland's new poet laureate," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a prepared statement. "Poetry has the ability to give voice to those experiences, feelings and ideas that are most meaningful and most important, and I look forward to working with [Plumly] as he travels around our state to share his gift."

Read Governor O'Malley's Press Release
View the Governor's Event Photos

Listen to the WYPR-FM
Maryland Morning
interview with Tom Hall for Monday, October 12, 2009

Plumly is the state's ninth poet laureate, appointed to a three-year term that will take him to public and private schools, libraries, community centers and other events to promote poetry and inspire Maryland residents to honor and appreciate creative prose.

Plumly says that while he is "flattered and pleased" by the honor, the position is as much about poetry itself as it is about any one poet. "It is a public way of celebrating the value and vitality of poetry in our culture and in our personal lives," he says.

The author of 10 books of poetry, Plumly's work has been recognized with the Los Angeles TimesBook Prize, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Poetry Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. The New Yorker called his 2008 book, "Posthumous Keats," a "moving new study of the poet's work and legend."

"The university community has long known Stanley Plumly to be a passionate ambassador for poetry and literature. For him to now share his creativity and knowledge to a much broader audience is significant. We could not be more proud of him as a scholar and as a colleague," says Nariman Farvardin, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

English Professor Michael Collier, a close friend of Plumly for more than 25 years, was the state's poet laureate from 2001 to 2004. "It's important to do what you can to create a public presence for poetry," Collier says. "Interestingly, people respond very positively to the notion of a poet laureate."

Collier says he has been greatly influenced by Plumly's "capacious intelligence, his passion for teaching and the example of his quietly fierce work ethic."

Lindsay Bernal graduated from the M.F.A. program in creative writing in 2007 and is now the academic coordinator for the program. "Part of the reason I am still at the University of Maryland is that I wanted to continue interacting with Stanley," says Bernal. "Many of our graduates from the creative writing program continue their communication with Stanley even after they leave; he is always available as a mentor."

Plumly will be the focus of a two-day conference at the university at the end of October, when some of the nation's most distinguished poets and literary critics will gather in College Park for "A Celebration of Stanley Plumly and Poetry."

The Oct. 28 and 29 event will welcome back many poets who studied under Plumly and include a keynote lecture by David Baker, professor of English at Denison University and poetry editor of The Kenyon Review.

Robert Levine
, professor of English at Maryland and director of the department's Center for Literary and Comparative Studies -- which is sponsoring the event -- says that Plumly is not only a great artist, but also a great critical thinker who is intensely interested in literature. "You can learn a lot from him on how to read poetry and how to think about poetry," Levine says.

Prof. Plumly's Department of English Website
"A Celebration of Stanley Plumly" Event
High Resolution photographs are available of Prof. Plumly

Related News Items:

Plumly's Postumous Keats (2008) Wins More Praise
Old Heart Wins 2008 LA Times Book Award
UM Newsdesk Interview 2007
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