Florida Poet Laureate Skellings to Retire from Florida Tech; Digital Archives Become Available

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology announces the May retirement of Edmund Skellings, Florida’s Poet Laureate and professor of humanities in the College of Psychology and Liberal Arts. Skellings has taught at the university since early 2008.

“We have been honored to have Dr. Skellings at our campus,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese. “His work exemplifies our Florida Tech slogan, ‘High Tech with a Human Touch.’”

The Skellings archives are now accessible online at http://research.fit.edu/edmundskellings/

Skellings was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize. He was selected from among more than 400 other Florida poets to earn the title of Poet Laureate in 1980. Appointed to the lifetime honor by former Gov. Robert Graham, he is the author of seven books of poems. His most recent is Collected Poems 1958-1998, published by the University Press of Florida.

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

He is the recipient of numerous state, national and international awards. Among them are the 25th Anniversary Award for Video Art, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2004, for “Senior Citizen;” the Crystal Award of Excellence, Videographer Award, 2002, for “Word Songs;” a National Video Festival Award, 1994, for “SuperPoems;” and a Joey Award of Excellence, 1995, for “Nearing the Millennium.”

Skellings resides in West Melbourne with wife, Louise, a retired professor.

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