Gov. Kasich Announces Dave Lucas as Ohio Poet Laureate

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. John R. Kasich has named Dave Lucas of Cleveland Heights as Ohio’s poet laureate. Lucas, whose two-year term began January 1, succeeds the state’s first poet laureate, Dr. Amit Majmudar. 


“Our state’s poet laureate has an opportunity to engage Ohioans of every age in unique and challenging ways,” said Kasich.  “I’m confident Mr. Lucas will fulfill the special calling that comes with this honor, to help us look at our world from a new perspective and I wish him the best in his new role.”


“I am grateful, humbled, and eager for the opportunity to serve as the Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio, and to celebrate poetry wherever we may find it—in books, on stage, and on screens; and in the metaphors that help us to understand our world and each other,” said Lucas.


During his time as poet laureate, Lucas said he wants to help Ohioans use poetry to understand and enhance their lives. He is planning a multimedia project involving people from diverse places and backgrounds allowing them to experience a variety of opinions about poetry.


As a native Ohioan, born in Cleveland, Lucas earned his B.A. (English) at John Carroll University, M.F.A. (Creative Writing) at the University of Virginia, and M.A. and Ph.D. (English Language and Literature) at the University of Michigan. He has been an instructor at Case Western Reserve University; the Cleveland Clinic Program in Medical Humanities, Lerner College of Medicine; the John Carroll Young Writers Workshop; and Sweet Briar/James Madison University.


His achievements have included: The Reva and David Logan Foundation, For Your Gift grant award; the Cleveland Arts Prize, Emerging Artist in Literature; and a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture in Greater Cleveland. His work, Weather, was awarded the 2012 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. His poems are anthologized in The Bedford Introduction to Literature and Best New Poets 2005, among other publications.


Legislation creating the position of the state’s official poet was passed in 2014. Lucas was recommended for the position by the Ohio Poet Laureate Selection Committee, following an extensive statewide nomination and review process. Members of the selection committee were:


  • Ginger Warner, Ohio Arts Council board chair and selection committee chair
  • Caprice Bragg, Ohio Arts Council board member
  • Juan Cespedes, Ohio Arts Council board member
  • Jon D. Holt, Ohio Arts Council board member
  • Bill White, Ohio Arts Council board member
  • Eric H. Kearney, former state senator
  • Sandra Lim, poet


Photo courtesy of Dave Lucas

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