In 1933, the Texas Legislature created the post of Texas Poet Laureate. The post was filled continuously until 1981. Since then the post has been vacant all but a handful of years. The last Poet Laureate left the post in 1994. This project is an effort to convince Austin that the post is important and that Texans want someone in the post.

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Signature Count

November 2081
November 1476
November 1376
November 645



The notes are primarily provided by the people suggesting the names.

Nominee Times
Dr. Frederick Turner 1
Naomi Shihab Nye 1
Robert Trammell 2
Thom the World Poet 1
Bruce Bond 1
Budd Powell Mahan 1

My nomination for this position was made via the governor's office last spring; it was not even/ever recognized. My nomination is the 16th president of the Poetry Society of Texas, who served 5 years in that position; and only replaced at his request.. He supports poets and poetry to the greatest degree by sponsoring the largest annual contest prizes for PST and Poetry In Schools. He currently serves as 3rd Vice President of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. He is an award winning poet, photographer, and actor. But his most prominent role is that of Teacher of children-at-risk in the Richardson schools, and nominated as Teacher of the Year -1998.

Albert Huffstickler 1

Albert is an old man who looks like a tramp, and who has lived like a tramp, but who writes pretty damn good poetry. He lives in Austin and has published about a million poems and several books. I want him for poet laureate simply because he cusses, smokes, looks like hammered hell, says whatever he feels like, and is brilliant.

His poetry has been anthologized in Best Texas Writing 1 and Grow Old Along with Me--The Best Is Yet To Be. He's been published in any number of small magazines, including The Hawk, Salvaged from Coreys, Nerve Cowboy and there's an amusing bit of rumination by the man in The Austin Chronicle.

Clebo Rainey 1
Robert Bly 1
Ray Hinman 1
Leona Welch 1

She is founder and first president of Texoma Poetry Society, now serving as Corresponding Secretary of Poetry Society of Texas, She is also the head of Poetry In Schools project in Texas and has been recommended by National Federation of State Poetry Societies to help establish Poetry in School projects in other states. She served also as editor of Galaxy of Verse. She was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Texoma at the PST Summer Conference hosted by Texoma Poetry Society. It was presented by the Denison Mayor, Wayne Chambliss. Sherman Mayor Julie Ellis Starr witnessed and acknowledged the honor bestowed on Leona.

Leona is published in her own right, and has won many, many prizes for her work. She has read in as featured poet in many places (Barnes and Nobles, other Poetry Society's meetings, and even at a Slam in Dallas).Her reading voice is phenomenal in my opinion. She lives the Texoma Poetry Society's motto "Promoting Poetry by Participation". She has chaired benefits for the Crisis Center for two years, Began the Adopt a Crisis Child for Christmas program, and helped on the Adopt a Highway Program.