Florida Poet Laureate Comes to Florida Tech in Humanities Lecture Series

MELBOURNE, FLA.—As part of Florida Tech’s Humanities Lecture Series, Edmund Skellings, Florida Poet Laureate, will be guest lecturer Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hartley Room of the Denius Student Center.

Skellings will present “The Future of Poetry in Video and Audio” and will read from his collected poems. He also will show a 3D animation of his poems, which have won prizes around the world.

The poet was selected from among more than 400 other Florida poets to earn the title of Poet Laureate in 1980. He was appointed to the lifetime honor by Gov. Robert Graham. The author of seven books of poems, Skellings’ most recent is Collected Poems 1958-1998, published by the University Press of Florida in Gainesville.

Florida established the position of Poet Laureate in 1928. The Poet Laureate serves without term and without compensation. The first Poet Laureate was Franklin L. Wood, appointed by Gov. John W. Martin in 1929. The second was Vivian Laramore Rader of Miami. She served from 1931 until her death in 1973 at age 83.

In 1973, Skellings joined the faculty of Florida International University as director of the International Institute for Creative Communication. This brought poetry programs to more than 100,000 South Florida children with publications of subsequent anthologies of their writing. In 1982, the institute founded ARTNET, the first arts and humanities microcomputer network in the United States.

In 1990, Skellings was appointed founding director of the Florida Center for Electronic Communication at Florida Atlantic University on the Fort Lauderdale campus. Under his direction, the center established a supercomputer multimedia studio laboratory to research and demonstrate state-of-the-art educational technologies.

Recently retired from academic university work, Skellings devotes his time between writing poetry and directing the Edmund Skellings Poetry Foundation. Its mission is to promote a wider audience for poetry.

The presentation is open and free to the public. The Denius Student Center is located in the heart of the campus, off Country Club Road.

For more information, call (321) 674-8082.

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