Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/28/1995 08:06 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HSTA - 02/28/95                                                               
 Number 390                                                                    
 SCR 4 - POET LAUREATE OF ALASKA                                             
 KRAG JOHNSEN, Intern from the University of Alaska Anchorage, was             
 there to represent Senator Leman who sponsored SCR 4.  This piece             
 of legislation, which establishes the Poet Laureate of Alaska, is             
 designed to act as a vehicle for confirming Mr. Thomas Sexton for             
 Poet Laureate of Alaska.  Mr. Sexton is a long-time Anchorage                 
 resident and a constituent of Senator Leman's.  Mr. Sexton received           
 his Masters Degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and               
 upon his graduation he spent 24 years as a professor there.  He               
 recently retired with the title of "Emeritus Professor of English."           
 His poetry has been published in journals across the U.S. and he              
 has been included in four anthologies.                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he was unfamiliar with the program and             
 asked wondered how it works.  He said he currently knows a person             
 who received Poet Laureate, and this person is now being replaced,            
 so this cannot be a lifetime appointment.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if Mr. Sexton is the only candidate and,           
 also, how a person becomes a candidate for Poet Laureate.                     
 MR. JOHNSEN explained that Poet Laureate is selected and nominated            
 on the basis of their talent, artistic excellence, and service to             
 the community.  He did not say if there were any other nominees.              
 In Mr. Sexton's case, he was nominated by the Alaska State Counsel            
 on the Arts.  The appointment is a two-year term, which is                    
 confirmed every new legislative session.  Senator Leman has set               
 forth SCR 4 to name Mr. Thomas Sexton as Poet Laureate of Alaska.             
 The legislature must confirm that appointment, for it is only                 
 through the legislative process that the Poet Laureate appointment            
 can be confirmed.                                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS shared that the first Poet Laureate of Alaska           
 was a Chugiak resident, and she is the grandmother of his staff-              
 person, Bill Stoltz.                                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER made a motion to move SCR 4 out of committee.           
 There being no objections, the motion passed.                                 

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