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The Poet Laureate Of Indian River County

Sean Sexton — poet, artist and cattle rancher — is a unique Renaissance man

Sean Sexton has filled several shelves with his journals of poetry and sketches.

Sean Sexton has filled several shelves with his journals of poetry and sketches.

When the Indian River County commissioners named the county’s first poet laureate, they chose, without a doubt, the most appropriate person. Sean Sexton is a third-generation resident, indeed the grandson of Waldo Sexton who pioneered the county’s agriculture and tourism industries. Sean has gained a national reputation for depicting its landscape, life and values in his poetry.

His journey as a poet, however, cannot be separated from his journey as a cattle rancher and artist. Integral to this journey is the land where he grew up and returned after college to live, work and raise a family with his wife and fellow artist, Sharon. His poetry is authentic to his environment, profound in its representation of life among family, friends and his cattle and is now fully appreciated with the bestowing of the title “Poet Laureate of Indian River County.”

Self-taught in the art of poetry, Sexton earns praise from acclaimed poets such as Helen Pruitt Wallace, creative writing professor at Eckerd College, who serves as poet laureate of St. Petersburg, Florida. 

“Sean Sexton’s the real deal,” Wallace says. “His poems are grist and bone and a lot of heart. His work rides that delicate balance between raw grounded detail and evocative metaphorical leaps, until we, as readers, find ourselves ‘in a place/ you’ve never been before’ (from Sexton’s poem “Metamorphosis”). How lucky we are that Sean invites us on his poignant, sometimes funny, always generous, poetic journey.”