Irene McKinney

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Poet Irene McKinney was born in Belington in Barbour County on April 20, 1939. She earned degrees from West Virginia Wesleyan College and West Virginia University and, in 1976, published her first book of poems, The Girl with the Stone in Her Lap. She served as director of creative writing at West Virginia Wesleyan and, in 1984, published another poetry collection entitled The Wasps and the Blue Hexagon.  The next year, she won a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and other prestigious honors.

Celebrating Irene McKinney, Sept. 15, 2013

Sep 27, 2013
Poet Irene McKinney
West Virginia and Regional History Collection, WVU Libraries

Irene McKinney was West Virginia's Poet Laureate until her death in 2012. 

West Virginia Morning - September 16, 2013

Sep 16, 2013

On this WV Morning, a West Virginia native is finding success as a game show historian, and we take a minute to remember former WV Poet Laureate Irene McKinney.

A TRIBUTE: Celebrating Irene McKinney

Sep 16, 2013

Irene McKinney, poet, editor, and teacher, published seven collections of poetry, six during her lifetime including Vivid Companion and Six O’Clock Mine Report, and the most recent, published posthumously, Have You Had Enough Darkness Yet? The recipient of numerous awards, she served as WV’s Poet Laureate from 1994 until her death early last year.