John Prine Named First Honorary Poet Laureate in Illinois History

July 1, 2020

It was a strong, city-wide grief we felt when John Prine passed away from COVID-19 in April, but Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has claimed the mailman from Maywood as one of our own. John Prine has been named the first Honorary Poet Laureate in Illinois history.

In a quote to ABC 7 Chicago, Prine’s widow, Fiona Whelan Prine said, “I have no doubt that John would be proud and delighted to receive this recognition from his home state of Illinois. John had 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, Governor Pritzker, for this wonderful recognition.”

Good work J.B. We miss you John.