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The distance from Pointe-de-l'Église, Nova Scotia, to Ottawa? More than 700 miles. Yet Georgette LeBlanc’s road from her hometown to Canada’s capital city took a decidedly southern detour.

LeBlanc, ’02, ’07, is completing her term as Canadian parliamentary poet laureate, a postition she secured based partially on work she completed as a UL Lafayette graduate student.

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Dr. Darrell Bourque, professor emeritus of English at UL Lafayette, “is the embodiment of a humanist.”

That’s why the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities selected the former state poet laureate for its 2019 Humanist of the Year Award. The recognition celebrated the Bourque’s deep affinity for the culture and people of his native state that’s reflected in his poetry.

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John Warner Smith, ’86, is the second consecutive Louisiana poet laureate – and the third in the past decade – with a UL Lafayette connection.

Warner, the first African American man to hold the post, succeeded Dr. Jack Bedell, ’98. Dr. Darrell Bourque, professor emeritus of English, was poet laureate from 2007 to 2011.

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