Help Choose W.Va. Poet Laureate's New Poetry Book Cover


West Virginia University Press is set to publish West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman’s latest collection of poetry: Believe What You Can in October 2016. And the publishers are looking for help in choosing a cover for the book.

In Believe What You Can Harshman explores the struggle of having an awareness of the eventual death of all living things in four sections, each of which suggests a different coping strategy.

The cover contest includes a choice between three different covers.

Voting will be open until February 15. All three covers were designed by the press’s art director, Than Saffel.

Harshman was born in Indiana and came to West Virginia first to attend Bethany College. He later settled with his wife in the northern panhandle where he was a teacher for many years. He was appointed poet laureate by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in May 2012 following the death of his predecessor, Irene McKinney, who served as poet laureate for 18 years.

Harshman has published several children’s books, and his last book of poetry, Green-Silver and Silent was well received by fans who found roughly thirty years of his poems under one cover. Harshman is featured on a new podcast from West Virginia Public Broadcasting called the Poetry Break, where he delivers poems of his own as well as other Appalachian poets’ work.