CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina poet laureate Marjory Wentworth has decided to bid goodbye to the job penning and promoting verses in the Palmetto State after 17 years.
Wentworth, a professor of English at the College of Charleston who has published several books of poetry, told news outlets Friday she had stepped down from the non-salaried honorary position.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed serving as poet laureate. But after 17 years, it’s time to pass the honor onto someone else,” Wentworth said in a statement.
Wentworth said she hoped her resignation would generate momentum toward a bill in the state legislature that would allow the position to rotate among poets in the state.
First appointed by Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003, Wentworth was the sixth person named to the role after the state legislature created the position in 1934.
She was excluded from Nikki Haley's second gubernatorial inauguration in 2015, when organizers said they cut the two-minute reading of Wentworth's “One River, One Boat,” which mentioned both slavery and the Confederate battle flag flying next to the Statehouse, because of time constraints. She was also not invited to read at Henry McMaster's inauguration in 2019.
As poet laureate, Wentworth has participated at a number of events, organized festivals and written poems for certain occasions.
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