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Monday, December 10, 2012

There's 'Only One' Marc Harshman

How did I miss this wonderful news? Our own Marc Harshman of Wheeling is West Virginia's new poet laureate.  His appointment was made back in May, at which time Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said, "Whether it's one of his children's stories or a prose poem...", he hoped Harshman would, "...continue to challenge himself and inspire a new generation of writers."  Harshman later replied, "I was especially pleased that the governor's kind words noted my work for children, as I have always felt that there is really no divide between my work as a poet and my work as a children's author." 
This delightful poet and storyteller has written eleven books for children.  "Only One" was a Reading Rainbow review title on PBS TV and "The Storm" was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children, a Children's Book Council Notable Book for Social Studies, and a Parent's Choice Award Recipient.  He has published three volumes of poetry. 
His poet laureate designation is just one among many: Harshman was honored in 1994 by receiving the Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Collection Fellowship from the University of Minnesota.  He was also named the West Virginia State English teacher of the year by the West Virginia English Language Arts Council in 1995.  More recently he was named the recipient of the WV Arts Commission Fellowship in Poetry for the year 2000 and the Fellowship in Children's Literature for 2008.
I belatedly congratulate Marc on this honor and hope anyone who is unfamiliar with his work will take a moment to pick up any one of his creations, and listen.

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