In collaboration with the Huron City Council and the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Huron Public Library served as the administrative home of the Poet Laureate Program, assisting with the biennial selection process, public programming and specific goals of the Poet Laureate, and historical record keeping. Poet Laureates are named when an individual in the community shows poetic merit.
In 2018, Robert Reynolds was selected to be Huron’s fifth Poet Laureate. Robert is a NE Ohio native who spent a career travelling the Great Lakes as an officer in the Merchant Marine. When the sailor returned from sea, he settled in his favorite port of call, Huron. Here, he and his wife Shirley raised their family. His appointment as laureate stems from his use of poetry at civic events, and his occasional poems have become a meaningful part of the city’s Memorial Day observances.
Joel D. Rudinger taught creative writing at Bowling Green State University Firelands College from 1968 until 2013. Rudinger is a highly lauded poet with poems appearing in national literary magazines and reviews including New York Quarterly, New Waves, The Lamp, Alaska Poetry, Heartland and others. As an editor, he published Firelands Arts Review from 1972 - 1981 and Waterlines in 1990 and 1992. Rudinger holds degrees from University of Alaska, University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Bowling Green State University.
Ron Ruble is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Bowling Green State University Firelands College. He is the father of two sons, Eric and Kristofer, the grandfather of six, and great-grandfather of one. Ruble is a 1962 graduate of Otterbein College and holds a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University. He is an award winning playwright, poet and fiction writer. His work has been featured in Grand Lake Review, The Heartlands Today, Poet’s Corner, and Verses Magazine. His writing can be found in anthologies by Bottom Dog Press, Cader Publishing, Doll Printing Press, Eber & Wein Publishing, Iliad Press, Noble House, Quill Books, and Watermark Press. As Huron Poet Laureate, Ruble started his Words Walk initiative to promote the writing and reading of poetry at local schools. He also initiated the poetry mission adopted by the First Presbyterian Church in Huron with four public poetry readings per year.
Rob Smith is the author of six novels, but has been recognized for his poetry. In 2006, he won the Robert Frost Poetry Award given by the Frost Foundation in Lawrence, MA. As Huron Poet Laureate, Smith served during the City’s Bicentennial in 2010 and the poems he wrote for city events are included in his collection, The Immigrant’s House. When not writing, Smith enjoys sailing and refurbishing his home built in the 1850’s. Smith holds an undergraduate degree from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and master and doctoral degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Dr. Larry Smith is professor emeritus of English and Humanities at Bowling Green State University Firelands College. He is also director of the Firelands Writing Center and of Bottom Dog Press Inc. Smith is a published author, poet, critic, and screenwriter with 8 books of poetry and 5 books of fiction. As a reviewer and editor, he has edited six anthologies for Bottom Dog Press and acted as managing editor of Heartlands magazine. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets and a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship for criticism. He and his wife, Ann, are both from Mingo Junction, Ohio, in the industrial Ohio River Valley, and have lived in Huron since 1970.