West Virginia

The current state poet laureate of West Virginia is Marc Harshman, named in 2012. Harshman is the author of eleven picture books for children and three poetry chapbooks, most recently Local Journeys (Finishing Line Press, 2004). He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Arts Commission in 2008. After retiring from teaching middle school students at the Sand Hill School in Dallas, West Virginia, Harshman began writing full-time.

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type namesort ascending state
Literary Organization West Virginia Writers, Inc. West Virginia
Small Press West Virginia University Press West Virginia
Literary Organization West Virginia Poetry Society West Virginia
Literary Organization West Virginia Humanities Council West Virginia
Literary Organization West Virginia Commission on the Arts West Virginia
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Taylor Books West Virginia
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Main Line Books West Virginia
Literary Magazine Kestrel West Virginia
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Hearthside Books West Virginia
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Four Seasons Books West Virginia


Fall kingdom conquered first by bedlam,
then bedlam’s hunger—hush—heavy
in the air between the hills that crash
like waves into each other. What is a hive
without its queen? Thirst can rule, so can want.
A crown of needles, a gown of clouds she parts.
It would have to shine. And burn. And be 
a sign of something infinite and turn things 
and people nearby into their wilder selves 
and be dangerous to the ordinary nature of 
signs and glow like a tiny hole in space

to which a god presses his eye and stares. 
Or her eye. Some divine impossible stretch 
of the

at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 

The rivers meet become one and disappear
At the sea and the young find the solace
Of drugs and fucking. Falling-in-love

Is the story they tell later living a while
Maybe in misery or in joyful fits
Of circumstance dying off eventually