To commemorate National Poetry Month, we need to recognize the apparent first Minnesota Poet Laureate, Margarette Ball Dickson.Born in Iowa, she earned a B.A. Iowa State Teachers College, an MA from the University of South Dakota. She also studied for a time at the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago. She then taught at a variety of different schools before she settled in Staples, Minnesota and founded the Dickson-Haining School of Creative Writing. She served as editor for a variety of different magazines. She also cofounded the League of Minnesota Poets. For her work, in 1938, she received the Rockefeller Center Gold Medal award.
In 1934 the Washington, D.C. based Poet Laureate League named her Minnesota Poet Laureate. She held the title until 1961, just two years before her death. At times, the title of Minnesota Poet Laureate lacked official state designation. The Minnesota government refused to pass legislation recognizing the title until 2007. At that time, Robert Bly received the honor from Governor Tim Pawlenty. The current title belongs to Joyce Sutphen, who received the title in 2011.