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Professor emeritus Bruce Taylor named Eau Claire's second poet laureate

RELEASED: June 10, 2011

Bruce Taylor

Bruce Taylor

EAU CLAIRE — Bruce Taylor, UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of English, has been named poet laureate of the city of Eau Claire by the Eau Claire City Council.

Taylor is the city's second poet laureate and second UW-Eau Claire emeritus professor to hold the position. The city named Dr. Nadine St. Louis, professor emerita of English, as its first poet laureate in April 2010. St. Louis died Sept. 29, 2010.

"I was particularly pleased to accept the appointment in the name of my friend and English department colleague, Nadine St. Louis, who was Eau Claire's first poet laureate and whose term was so tragically cut short," Taylor said.

The Eau Claire poet laureate serves a two-year term. The appointee is expected to live or work in the community, be actively involved in community life, compose two poems relating to the community each year and to present them for publication in the local newspaper, and to function as the city's literary ambassador.

"Bruce has a distinguished career as a teacher and writer," said Douglas Pearson, UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of English and chair of the poet laureate nominating committee. "His work as a poet has been recognized by regional, national and international audiences. He's a creative guy, one of the first to see the possibilities of the Internet for creative writers."

Pearson also cited Taylor's success with his students.

"He taught many generations of young writers, and many of them have gone on to careers as teachers and, most impressively, as published writers," Pearson said. "More than anything, however, he taught students to appreciate the language of life and poetry. Hard to beat that."

Taylor retired from the UW-Eau Claire faculty in 2007 after 35 years teaching a variety of English and creative writing courses. His poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines such as Able Muse, The Chicago Review, The Columbia Review, Light, The Nation, The New York Quarterly, and Poetry. He has authored seven poetry collections, most recently "Pity the World: Poems New and Selected" in 2005. He also has served as editor for a number of poetry collections. In February the third edition of "Higher Learning: Reading and Writing about College," a book Taylor co-edited with Patti See, was published by Prentice Hall/Pearson Education.

Taylor has received a Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, an Excellence in Scholarship Award from UW-Eau Claire, a Bush Artist Fellowship, a Fulbright Hays Award to lecture at Koreyo University in South Korea and a Wisconsin Arts Board Creative Writing Fellowship. Taylor earned his bachelor's degree from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and master of arts and master of fine arts degrees from the University of Arkansas.

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JP/DW

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