In early 2003, writer Joe Survant was selected to succeed James Baker Hall as the new Poet Laureate for Kentucky.
A professor of English at Western Kentucky University since 1970, Joe has directed its Writing Program since 1994. He is the author of two prize-winning poetry collections: We Will All Be Changed, which won the State Street Press Poetry Prize, and Anne and Alpheus, 1842-1882, which received the 1995 Arkansas Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in such magazines as The American Voice, Chelsea, Poet & Critic, Stand Magazine, The Columbia Review, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Nimrod, Hellas, Exquisite Corpse, Zone 3, and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Two recent works are The Presence of Snow in the Tropics, published in 2001, and Rafting Rise, published in November of 2002.
Joe’s poetry is noted for its ability to weave the universal themes of God, love, loss, sorrow, aging, loneliness, the joys of life, and the fact of death into verse that captures the spirit of Kentucky and its people. His term as Poet Laureate runs from April 2003 to April 2005.