Some exciting news for students of one University of Northern Iowa professor.

Earlier this month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds appointed the most recent Iowa Poet Laureate. This latest individual who will be stepping into this role is UNI Professor Vince Gotera.

In a statement made through the college, the San Francisco native was honored to receive this recognition,

"I’m elated to promote poetry in the state and inspire Iowans to read and write poetry, to bring beauty and art to our everyday lives.”

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A Little About Vince Gotera...

Vince Gotera
University Photographer

From 2000 to 2016 he was the editor for the the "longest-lived literary magazine" in the country the North American Review, according to a press release from UNI officials.

Gotera has been a professor at the University of Northern Iowa for thirty years now. He teaches classes on literature and creative writing at the college.

While working here, he has received multiple honors and recognitions such as; the Faculty Excellence Award and the statewide Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

His colleague from the university Jim O’Loughlin, languages & literatures professor and department head, had nothing other than kind things to say about Gotera.

“As a writer, editor and educator, Vince Gotera represents the best of Iowa’s fertile poetic tradition,” said O'Loughlin.

He also just so happened to nominate his friend to the Iowa Poet Laureate shortlist.

“Iowa has not only been where he has lived and worked for the last three decades, but he has also exemplified the work ethic and openness to influences that I have come to associate with our state. As poet laureate, he would be an inspiration to younger writers and a proud proponent of poetry in Iowa.

Professor Gotera also is a published author.

He has penned 300 poems across the globe as well as four collections of poetry. In addition, he's won several awards for his poetry over the years.

What Exactly Is the Iowa Poet Laureate?

It's an honorary appointment made by the governor of the state which aims to emphasize and honor the "importance of poetry in Iowans'  everyday lives.

They are selected from a shortlist of nominees put together by volunteers.

The Iowa Poet Laureate serves for two years in this position, and is overseen by the Iowa Arts Council in collaboration with Humanities Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Vince Gotera will be the fifth poet laureate for the Hawkeye State.

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