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  • A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government or conferring institution, who is often expected to compose poems for special events and occasions. It is a very ancient tradition, dating back to the first days of classical civilization, to associate laurel with proficiency in arts and poetry, or with victory. The Italians Albertino Mussato and Francesco Petrarca were the first to be crowned poets laureate after the classical age, respectively in 1315 and 1342. In Britain, the term dates from the appointment of Bernard André by Henry VII of England. In modern times, the title may also be conferred by an organization such as the Poetry Foundation, which has a designated Children's Poet Laureate. Other examples are the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate, which is designated by a "Presenting Partners" group from within the community; the Minnesota Poet Laureate chosen by the League of Minnesota Poets; the Northampton Poet Laureate chosen by the Northampton Arts Council, and the Martha's Vineyard Poet Laureate chosen by ten judges representing the Martha's Vineyard Poetry Society. Over a dozen national governments continue the poet laureate tradition. Wikipedia

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