October 10, 1923
The position of Poet Laureate of Arkansas was established by concurrent resolutions of both houses of the General Assembly. In Arkansas, as elsewhere, the title of poet laureate is generally awarded on grounds not restricted to fame or literary eminence; none of the best-known or most distinguished Arkansas poets have received the title. The term “laureate” refers to the ancient custom of crowning a person with a wreath made from leaves of the laurel tree. In antiquity, military heroes, athletic champions, and winners in singing, music, and poetry contests typically received this honor. In modern times, monarchs, governing bodies, or other organizations have named poets laureate, often in recognition of a significant talent but sometimes for political or other reasons.