Marjory Wentworth has resigned from her position as South Carolina’s poet laureate after 17 years. In a letter dated Sept. 28 informing Gov. Henry McMaster, Wentworth noted her resignation was effective Oct. 1.

Wentworth, who was appointed to the position for life by former Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003, left the position with the hope that the state will put new blood into the position. “This really should be a rotating position,” Wentworth told the City Paper Friday morning, citing a proposal to appoint a new state poet laureate according to a defined term. “It’s an awkward thing because it’s a great honor.” She was the sixth person to serve as the state’s poet laureate, created by the legislature in 1934.

Wentworth admitted she felt a little burned out by the position and suggested that it needs to be revamped. “It’s something that needs to be supported through the Governor’s Office,” she said, adding that Sanford was the last state leader to bolster a poet laureate. In 2015, former Gov. Nikki Haley was sworn in for her second term without the poet laureate’s customary recitation — a spokesman said the program was full.

A spokesman for McMaster did not immediately reply to an email regarding Wentworth’s resignation.

During Wentworth’s time as poet laureate, she published several books of poetry, including Despite Gravity and The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle. In 2016, Wentworth, author Herb Frazier and historian Bernard Powers published We are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, recounting the 2015 Emanuel AME Church shooting and the days following.

Wentworth lives in Mount Pleasant and is currently an educator at the College of Charleston.

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