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Sunday memorial set for late poet laureate

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Irene McKinney, poet laureate of West Virginia between 1994 and 2012, will be honored Sunday at a memorial held by the Department of Education and the Arts.

The memorial will begin at 3 p.m. at the West Virginia Culture Center. A reception will begin at 2 p.m.

Speakers for the program include Maggie Anderson, Jeff Mann, Devon McNamara and Jessie van Eerden. Marc Harshman, the current poet laureate of West Virginia, will host.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting and John Nakashima will provide a montage of radio and video clips from some of McKinney's most memorable interviews and readings. Music will be provided by Kate Long and Doug Van Gundy. A memorial quilt designed in part by Barbara Weaner will be on display.

McKinney, who died last year, was the daughter of a schoolteacher and grew up on her family farm in Belington. She published several collections of poetry, including "The Girl with the Stone in Her Lap," "Six O'Clock Mine Report" and "Unthinkable: Selected Poems 1976-2004." She taught or was a writer-in-residence at several colleges, including West Virginia Wesleyan, and her work was featured widely in print and broadcast shows, including Garrison Keillor's National Public Radio program "The Writer's Almanac."


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