Mayor Walsh Announces Boston's New Poet Laureate
December 17, 2014
Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that Danielle Legros Georges, a lifelong writer and current faculty member at Lesley University, will be Boston’s next Poet Laureate. Legros Georges was selected by a diverse and distinguished search committee from a wide range of talented applicants. The City’s Poet Laureate is tasked with raising the status of poetry in the everyday consciousness of Bostonians, acting as an advocate for poetry, language and the arts, and creating a unique artistic legacy through public readings and civic events.
“Poetry is an art form to be celebrated. It helps us tell our stories and express ourselves,” said Mayor Walsh. “I look forward to the work Danielle will do to share her passion and talent for poetry throughout the Boston community.”
“Boston’s Poet Laureate position is a great statement by the city,” said Legros Georges. “This is a wonderful opportunity to bring poetry to Boston neighborhoods, schools and other settings—and to all Bostonians, from our young people in Boston Public Schools to our eldest residents in the senior community.”
Legros Georges is a professor in the Creative Arts and Learning Division at Lesley University. Her areas of academic focus and expertise include arts and education, contemporary American poetry, African-American poetry, Caribbean literature and studies, and literary translation. Her work with Lesley education students is largely focused on the arts in support of enhanced teaching practices.
Legros Georges describes her poetry as tackling a wide range of themes and asking philosophical questions that can lead to conversations about larger issues in life. Legros Georges work has been published in a wide variety of publications, including: Agni, The Boston Globe, Transition, World Literature Today, SpoKe, sx salon, The Caribbean Writer, Callaloo, Ibbetson Street, Salamander, Poeisis, Black Renaissance Noire, Macomère, The American Poetry Review and others. In 2001, Legros Georges published a collection of poems, entitled Maroon.
Legros Georges has been widely recognized a variety of recognition for her work with and recent literary awards such as: the 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in Poetry; the 2012 Massachusetts Cultural Council Finalist in Poetry; Lesley University Faculty Development Grants; and a 2013 Black Metropolis Research Consortium Fellowship/Andrew W. Mellon Grant.
Legros Georges was born in Haiti and grew up in Boston’s Haitian community in Mattapan. She received a B.S. in Communication Studies from Emerson College, and holds an M.F.A. in English and Creative Writing from New York University.
The Poet Laureate is a ceremonial appointment, and the chosen poet will be a significant fixture in Boston's cultural and artistic arena. The Poet Laureate may learn, teach, and embody the great literary traditions of Boston, from Amy Lowell to Robert Pinsky. Legros Georges will replace Sam Cornish, Boston’s current Poet Laureate. Cornish has served in the position since the program was established in 2008, generating new opportunities for education, awareness, and the promotion of literacy through the beauty and excellence of poetry.