John Prine Named Honorary Illinois Poet Laureate

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has named folk music legend John Prine — who died earlier this year from COVID-19 complications — the state's first honorary poet laureate.

The proclamation issued Tuesday recognizes Prine, who grew up in west suburban Maywood, for his “unparalleled musical legacy” and recaps Prine’s career from Chicago area mailman to successful singer-songwriter in the early-1970s.

Prine was a cancer survivor. He was 73 at the time of his April 7 death, in Nashville, and was considered a top-tier songwriter whose richly textured tunes include “Paradise,” “Hello in There,” and “Angel From Montgomery.” 

The posthumous nod to Prine comes as Illinois prepares to identify its next poet laureate.