John Prine has been named the first honorary poet laureate of his home state of Illinois. This honor celebrates the late country folk singer-songwriter for his writing and musical contributions.
Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the news on Twitter, saying, "John Prine leaves behind an unparalleled musical legacy and was beloved by family and millions of fans who hope that in Heaven he finds Paradise waitin’ just as he longed for."
Regarding the honor, Prine's widow Fiona Whelan Prine said in a statement, “John had a great respect for Writers of all kinds. He regarded Poets as being among those whose work carried weight, relevance and elevated craft. It is such an honor for me, our sons, and the entire Prine family to acknowledge that our beloved John will be named an Honorary Poet Laureate of the State of Illinois. Thank you, Gov. Pritzker, for this wonderful recognition.”
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Article image: John Prine photographed in August 2016. (Yellowstone National Park [Available through Public Domain] via Flickr.)