FMU’s Edwins earns distinction
Francis Marion University, in collaboration with Coker University, has named FMU Professor Dr. Jo Angela Edwins the inaugural Pee Dee Region Poet Laureate.
Edwins was honored at a special ceremony at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center earlier this month.
Edwins has been a member of the faculty at Francis Marion since 2004 and has served as the Department of English’s Pee Dee Federal Savings Bank Professor of English since 2017.
As poet laureate, Edwins is responsible for promoting the appreciation, composition, and study of poetry throughout the region. Edwins will also be tasked with presenting readings and talks regarding poetry and to occasionally compose and read poems related to events in the community such as mayoral inaugurations, facility dedications, or commemoration of important historical moments in the community.
FMU President Dr. Fred Carter said the regional poet laureate honors were a fitting tribute for a scholar of Edwins’ caliber.
“JoAngela Edwins is a gifted poet and a respected member of FMU’s academic community,” said Carter. “She has been recognized as a Board of Trustees Research Scholar, and is the driving force behind FMU’s Fiction and Poetry Festival, a signal event on the University’s academic calendar. This new office will allow her to share her passion, her skill, and her scholarship with an even wider audience. That’s good news for our community.”
The Pee Dee region is defined as Florence, Darlington, Marion, Marlboro, Dillon, Chesterfield, and Williamsburg counties for the purposes of the poet laureate.