October 4, 1991
Verna Lee Hinegardner was appointed Arkansas’s poet laureate by Governor Bill Clinton, serving until 2003. She created the “minute,” a poetry form consisting of sixty syllables in rhyming couplets. The titles of some of her collections indicate her wry sense of humor, love of nature, and strong ties to family and friends: The Ageless Heart (1974), Mud and Music (1976), One Green Leaf (1978), and Seven Ages of Golf (For Women) (1980). In 2003, Governor Mike Huckabee appointed Peggy Vining of Little Rock (Pulaski County) to the position of Arkansas’s poet laureate. Before this time, the poet laureateship had been considered a life appointment. A small storm of publicity resulted, but in the end, Vining’s appointment stood.