Inaugural American Poets Laureate Fellowships Announced

April 26, 2019

Academy of American Poets LogoThe Academy of American Poets has announced a new fellowship program, which awards a total of $1,050,000 to poets currently serving their states, cities, and counties as poets laureate “in recognition of their literary merit and to support civic programs, which will take place over the next twelve months.” The following poets laureate have received the inaugural fellowships:

  • Grace Cavalieri, Poet Laureate of Maryland
  • Molly Fisk, Poet Laureate of Nevada County, California
  • Jaki Shelton Green, Poet Laureate of North Carolina
  • Fred L. Joiner, Poet Laureate of Carrboro, North Carolina
  • Robin Coste Lewis, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, California
  • Claudia Castro Luna, Poet Laureate of Washington State
  • Ed Madden, Poet Laureate of Columbia, South Carolina
  • Adrian Matejka, Poet Laureate of Indiana
  • Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Poet Laureate of Oklahoma
  • Paisley Rekdal, Poet Laureate of Utah and a 2016 AWP Award Series winner
  • Raquel Salas Rivera, Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Kim Shuck, Poet Laureate of San Francisco, California
  • TC Tolbert, Poet Laureate of Tucson, Arizona

Made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the fellowships were announced in coordination with this season’s programming theme of Poetry & Democracy from the Poetry Coalition, “an alliance of more than 20 organizations working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.” Michael Jacobs, Chairman of the Academy of American Poets, said in the announcement that, “by supporting Poets Laureate at the state and local level, we hope to ensure that more people become acquainted with poets and poetry where they live and have an opportunity to benefit from innovative and groundbreaking programming close to home.” Jennifer Benka, Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets, added that “we’re honored to help underwrite these talented poets who are leaders in their communities and who have been working on public projects for years with little or no support.”

Recipients of these fellowships were determined by a panel that included the poets Juan Felipe Herrera, Robert Pinsky, Natasha Trethewey, Natalie Diaz, and Mark Nowak, as well as Executive Director Jennifer Benka and others. The press release issued by the Academy of American Poets includes more information about the poets laureate who were honored and their plans for local and regional poetry initiatives.


Image Credit: Academy of American Poets

Previous Story:
Moveable Type: The Account
April 24, 2019

No Comments