Welcome to the Arkansas Poet Laureate Website!
Peggy Caudle Vining, A Rare Jewel
Timely treasures are buried in the “time capsule” beneath City Hall in Little Rock. Included is an award winning poem written by Peggy Caudle Vining, Poet Laureate of Arkansas. Vining is an often published poet and has won numerous awards for her poetry, including the coveted Sybil Nash Abrams Award for her seven sonnet sequence entitled Arkansas, the Natural State.
Considered a literary gem by many, Vining was appointed Arkansas Poet Laureate by Governor Mike Huckabee in 2003 for her many contributions to the literary arts. Though the post has no specific obligations, Vining feels that it is “important to promote within the community a greater appreciation of poetry". Her focus thus far has been with pre-school and elementary classrooms. “From an early age, I loved the challenge of finding words that rhymed, and I take great pleasure in giving that joy to young children.”
Since 1963, Vining has been a member of Poet’s Roundtable of Arkansas (PRA) which is associated with the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. She attributes her writing success to the “wonderful poets of PRA that mentored, encouraged and inspired me to keep writing”. Vining has served as state PRA President for three separate terms. She has been director of the Ozark Creative Writers Conference, the Arkansas Writers Conference and still serves on the official Board of each. She has also served as state President of Arkansas Penwomen and Arkansas Songwriters Association and is a member of Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas. Her bio is listed in Who’s Who of Editors, Writers and Poets and several other such books and anthologies. She is presently compiling a collection of her published works entitled “Tethered to the Moment”.
Loved and appreciated for her artistic abilities and her work with children, Vining has nurtured over 6000 pre-schoolers during her teaching career. For twenty one years, she was Instructor and Director of the UALR Children’s Center having earned a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. She currently works with Mission Friends and Pre-school Choir at Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock.
Married 60 years, Vining cherishes her family; She is Mother of five (four daughters and one son)and grandmother of eleven and Greatgrandmother of eight. In 1982 she was named “Arkansas Mother of the Year” by American Mothers, Inc (AMI), an organization which honors mothers and promotes the moral and spiritual foundation of the home. She served as President of the Arkansas Association of AMI for a number of years thereafter and more recently served on the national AMI Board of Directors. Vining is also active in many other community organizations. A twenty-seven year cancer survivor, she was honored with a “Point of Light Award” from President Bush for her volunteer work with CARTI.
In March, 2007, Vining was recognized and honored by the State of Arkansas 86th General Assembly with House Concurrent Resolution 1038. She was honored yet again with the Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award for the Arts on October 21, 2008.
Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Songwriter, Poet, and Volunteer. . . Vining’s devotion to education, poetry and to the community has already enriched the lives of many of us. Arkansas is fortunate indeed to have such a jewel.