Sutphen Named Minnesota’s Poet Laureate

Posted on August 23rd, 2011 by

Joyce Sutphen

Joyce Sutphen, Professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College, was named Poet Laureate for the state of Minnesota by Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday, Aug. 23. In this role, she will serve as the primary spokesperson, supporter, and promoter of poetry in the state.

“Joyce Sutphen is a talented writer and teacher who will be a great voice for poetry in Minnesota,” Dayton said. “I am thrilled she will be serving as Poet Laureate for our state.”

Sutphen has published several collections of poetry including the anthology “To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present” (2006), which she co-edited. Her other collections include “First Words” (2009), “Straight Out of View” (1995), “Coming Back to the Body” (2000), “Fourteen Sonnets” (2005), and “Naming the Stars” (2004), which won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry in 2005. Her other awards include the Eunice Tietjen’s Memorial Prize from Poetry magazine, a Loft-McKnight Artist Fellowship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, and a grant from the Jerome Foundation.

Sutphen grew up on a farm near St. Joseph, Minn., and currently lives in Chaska. She holds three degrees from the University of Minnesota including a master’s degree in English and a Ph.D. in renaissance drama. Sutphen teaches a variety of courses at the College, mainly in the areas of poetry, creative writing and British literature. She will be the state’s second official Poet Laureate, replacing Robert Bly who was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2007.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin



  1. Bruce Henricksen says:

    Congratulations, Joyce–well deserved.
    Bruce Henricksen, Lost Hills Books

  2. Barbara Wilkinson says:

    Congratulations, Joyce! We are thrilled that you will be the voice for poetry in Minnesota.

    We will be listening.

    Barb and Steve Wilkinson