New York, NY (July 25, 2023)—The Academy of American Poets announced today that it is awarding $50,000 each to its 2023 Poet Laureate Fellows for a combined total of $1.1 million. These twenty-three individuals serve as poets laureate of states, counties, and cities across the United States and will be leading public poetry programs in their respective communities in 2023–24. The Academy will additionally provide $114,500 total in matching grants to help secure the pledged support of the Fellows’ projects from twelve local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

“The Academy of American Poets celebrates the unique position poets laureate occupy at state and local levels, elevating the possibilities poetry can bring to community conversations and reminding us that our national spirit can be nourished by the power of the written and spoken word,” said Ricardo Maldonado, President and Executive Director of the Academy. “We are inspired by these projects—which include intergenerational workshops, city- and statewide festivals, community-generated publications, and more—that the twenty-three Fellows will carry out, and grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the nonprofit organizations supporting this life-affirming work.”

Through its Poet Laureate Fellowship program, the Academy of American Poets—a leading financial supporter of poets in the United States—has awarded a total of $5.45 million in fellowships to one hundred and four poets laureate since 2019, plus more than $360,000 in matching grants to secure project support from forty-seven local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. In addition to helping these Fellows reach tens of thousands of individuals in ninety-two different communities through creative and timely poetry programs, the Academy has helped encourage the creation of more than forty new poet laureate positions across the nation since launching this program. The fellowships are made possible by the Mellon Foundation, which awarded the Academy two grants to fund the program. 

“Collectively the voice and vision of these twenty-three poets laureate will bring together community members through the craft and creativity of poetry and illuminate place through words,” said Elizabeth Alexander, president of the Mellon Foundation. “We are proud to continue our support of the Poet Laureate Fellowship program and to honor the Academy of American Poets’ enduring commitment to the unique power of poetry.” 

“We want to thank the following panelists for their generous investment of time and expertise in recommending the recipients of the 2023 Fellowships: Francisco Aragón, the founding director of Letras Latinas at Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies; Ed Madden, the former poet laureate of Columbia, South Carolina; Olivia Morgan, the founder of National Student Poets; and Tracy K. Smith, former U.S. poet laureate and a member of the Academy’s Board of Chancellors,” said Tess O’Dwyer, Board Chair. Final award decisions were approved by members of the Academy of American Poets’ Board of Directors.

The 2023 Poet Laureate Fellows and the communities they serve are Diannely Antigua (Portsmouth, NH), Lisa Bickmore (Utah), Jennifer Bartell Boykin (Columbia, SC), Joseph Bruchac (Saratoga Springs, NY), Lauren Camp (New Mexico), Laura Da’ (Redmond, WA), Oliver de la Paz (Worcester, MA), Farnaz Fatemi (Santa Cruz County, CA), Nicholas Gulig (Fort Atkinson, WI), Peter J. Harris and Carla Rachel Sameth (Altadena, CA), Taylor Johnson (Takoma Park, MD), Yalie Saweda Kamara (Cincinnati, OH), Brandy Nālani McDougall (Hawaiʻi), Gloria Muñoz (St. Petersburg, FL), Sharon Kennedy-Nolle (Sullivan County, NY), Shin Yu Pai (Seattle, WA), Willie Perdomo (New York), Jason Magabo Perez (San Diego, CA), Glenis Redmond (Greenville, SC), Erin Elizabeth Smith (Oak Ridge, TN), Junious Ward (Charlotte, NC), and Joaquín Zihuatanejo (Dallas, TX).

Additional information about the 2023 Poet Laureate Fellows and their projects: 

Diannely Antigua, Poet Laureate Fellow, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Diannely Antigua will develop The Bread & Poetry Project, which will honor The Hoot Poetry Reading series and the Esther Buffler Poet-in-Residence program, two legacy projects created by former Portsmouth poets laureate. She will also continue her Bread & Poetry podcast and partner with local organizations NH PANTHER and HAVEN to lead writing workshops, putting into practice poetry’s power to enact social change. 

Antigua is a Dominican American poet and educator. She is the author of Good Monster (Copper Canyon Press, 2024) and Ugly Music (YesYes Books, 2019), winner of the Pamet River Prize and a 2020 Whiting Award. She is the recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Community of Writers, and the Fine Arts Work Center and was a finalist for the 2021 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. 

Lisa Bickmore, Poet Laureate Fellow, Utah
Lisa Bickmore will create and digitally archive micro-editions of chapbooks with writers throughout Utah, as well as work with youth and educators to publish broadsides centered around the ecological crisis facing the Great Salt Lake, which will be featured at events and readings throughout Utah. Bickmore will also continue presenting the Utah Poetry Festival and expand its regional reach. 

Bickmore is the author of Ephemerist (Red Mountain Press, 2017), which contains the poem “Eidolon,” winner of the 2015 Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize; flicker (Elixir Press, 2016), winner of the 2014 Antivenom Poetry Award; and Haste (Signature Books, 1994; reissued in 2023). She is the founder and publisher of the new independent nonprofit Lightscatter Press. 

Jennifer Bartell Boykin, Poet Laureate Fellow, Columbia, South Carolina
Jennifer Bartell Boykin will partner with The Watering Hole to conduct debate slam poetry workshops with Columbia youth that will culminate in a debate slam at the Soda City Poetry Festival. The festival—open to the public and poets of all ages—will also feature panels, readings, a book fair, open mics, an ekphrasis pop-up, and more. Some of the youth who participate in Boykin’s workshops will offer a presentation about their experiences at a festival panel.

Boykin is the author of Traveling Mercy (Finishing Line Press, 2023), which will be published under the name Jennifer Bartell. She teaches creative writing and English at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina. A Spectrum Scholar (American Library Association) and an Augusta Baker Scholar (University of South Carolina), she has fellowships from Callaloo and The Watering Hole. 

Joseph Bruchac, Poet Laureate Fellow, Saratoga Springs, New York
Joseph Bruchac will work with students at Saratoga Springs schools to create a poetry anthology that draws on Indigenous history, connecting them with Native students at the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation and the Onondaga Nation School. He will also arrange visits to Saratoga Springs and reservation schools by contemporary Native poets, provide poetry books to students, and bring together Native and non-Native students to read at Saratoga Arts. 

The author of more than one hundred and eighty books in several genres, Bruchac is a member of the Nulhegan, Abenaki Nation Elders Council. He is the founder of the Greenfield Review Press, a pioneering publisher of Native American and African writers and bilingual (English/Abenaki) books. His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, an American Book Award, and the National Education Association Civil Rights Award. He is the inaugural poet laureate of Saratoga Springs. 

Lauren Camp, Poet Laureate Fellow, New Mexico
In partnership with the New Mexico Center for the Book and New Mexico Arts, Lauren Camp will lead a series of free creative writing workshops in schools and libraries throughout New Mexico with a focus on students and elders in underserved and rural communities. She will also partner with the New Mexico History Museum to create broadsides that will be available to state libraries in 2025.

Camp is the author of seven poetry collections, including An Eye in Each Square (River River Books, 2023) and Worn Smooth Between Devourings (NYQ Books, 2023). Her honors include fellowships from the Taft-Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities and Black Earth Institute, a Dorset Prize, and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award and the Adrienne Rich Award. She teaches for Poetry Out Loud–New Mexico. 

Laura Da’, Poet Laureate Fellow, Redmond, Washington
Laura Da’ will produce a poetic map and walking installation of the Lake Sammamish ecosystem. The project will include an online, interactive brochure that encourages participants to learn more about the history of Lake Sammamish, a poetry walk installed at the sites of Idylwood Creek and Idylwood Park on the shores of Lake Sammamish, and a permanent installation of selected prompts. 

Da’ is Eastern Shawnee and the author of Instruments of the True Measure (University of Arizona Press, 2018), winner of the Washington State Book Award, and Tributaries (University of Arizona Press, 2015), winner of the American Book Award. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and Tin House. 

Oliver de la Paz, Poet Laureate Fellow, Worcester, Massachusetts
Oliver de la Paz will collaborate with the Worcester County Poetry Association in supporting and promoting the Rain Poetry project, a series of public art installations that will be revealed at an annual public ceremony. He will also assist with the production of video and photographic archives of the project culminating in a display of the works that will be available via web and social media and as a print anthology.

De la Paz was born in Manila, Philippines. He is the author and editor of seven books, including The Diaspora Sonnets (Liveright Press, 2023) and The Boy in the Labyrinth (University of Akron Press, 2019), a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry. His honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and Artist Trust. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program. 

Farnaz Fatemi, Poet Laureate Fellow, Santa Cruz County, California
In partnership with the Wick Poetry Center and several local Santa Cruz County organizations, Farnaz Fatemi will produce a series of nine monthly pop-up teen poetry workshops (three of which will be bilingual) led by local poets, during which participants will be invited to write about place in consideration of the lasting impacts of the 2020 fires and recent flooding across Santa Cruz County. The workshops will culminate in a permanent digital poetry space that will launch during National Poetry Month in April 2024. 

Fatemi is an Iranian American poet and writer and the author of Sister Tongue (Kent State University Press, 2022), winner of the 2021 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of prizes and fellowships from Djerassi, Jentel, and the Center for Women Writers. 

Nicholas Gulig, Poet Laureate Fellow, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Nicholas Gulig’s project, “The Lake,” is a recreation of Wisconsin poet Lorine Niedecker’s trip around Lake Superior. It will be produced as a short film by PBS Wisconsin and included in an interactive map that can be used as a teaching resource. Incorporating lessons on the history of the region, climate change research, and examples of Indigenous art related to Lake Superior, the map will help inspire students to write their own poems about local bodies of water. In partnership with the Friends of Lorine Niedecker, Gulig will also spearhead an annual competition to celebrate these poems and have them read at an annual festival.

Gulig is a Thai American poet and the author of several collections. A 2011 Fulbright Fellow, he is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

Peter J. Harris and Carla Rachel Sameth, Poet Laureate Fellows, Altadena, California
Peter J. Harris’s and Carla Rachel Sameth’s project, “Ode to the Land,” will pair senior citizens and high school students for poetry workshops and create a public poetry reading series focused on place, home, and odes to iconic natural and cultural settings in Altadena, CA, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. The workshops will feature guest poets and performing artists who have expertise in presenting the ode as well as other lyric and narrative forms of praise poetry. The readings will be live streamed from various locations, including the Tongva Taraxat Paxaavxa Conservancy site, Zorthian Ranch, Charles White Park, and the Eaton Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center. 

Harris is the author of several collections, including Safe Arms: 20 Love & Erotic Poems (FlowerSong Press, 2022) and Bless the Ashes (Tia Chucha Press, 2014), which won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award. His book of essays, The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right,’ won the American Book Award. The founding director of The Black Man of Happiness Project, he is a 2023 artist in residence at The Nicholson Project in Washington, D.C. 

Sameth is the author of a debut full-length collection, Secondary Inspections (Nymeria Publishing, 2023), which is forthcoming in November; the chapbook What Is Left (dancing girl press, 2021); and the memoir One Day on the Gold Line (originally published by Black Rose Writing, 2019; reissued by Golden Foothills Press, 2022). She teaches creative writing with the Los Angeles Writing Project and at Southern New Hampshire University. She was selected to be a 2019–23 “Pride Poet” for the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. 

Taylor Johnson, Poet Laureate Fellow, Takoma Park, Maryland
Taylor Johnson will promote conversation, collaboration, and play, supporting individual and collective explorations into poetry and the creative impulse. These ideas will take the form of a reading series featuring the work of local poets in intergenerational conversation, a six-month weekly study and generative space to discuss and create poetry, and a project with local student poets about home and belonging.

Johnson is the author of Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), winner of the 2021 Norma Farber First Book Award. He is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, as well as a recipient of the 2017 Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers from Lambda Literary. He was the inaugural Guggenheim Poet-in-Residence in 2022. 

Yalie Saweda Kamara, Poet Laureate Fellow, Cincinnati, Ohio
Yalie Saweda Kamara will launch “Keep the Lights On,” an installation of a series of polyvocal, community-generated poems aimed at  democratizing art through free poetry workshops and outdoor display. These poems will be projected onto select building walls throughout Cincinnati and illustrated by local artists.

Kamara is a Sierra Leonean American writer, educator, and researcher from Oakland, CA. She is the author of the debut full-length collection Besaydoo (Milkweed Editions, 2024) and two chapbooks, as well as the editor of the anthology What You Need to Know About Me: Young Writers on Their Experience of Immigration (The Hawkins Project, 2022). The recipient of the 2023 Elizabeth Alexander Award for Poetry, the 2022 Jake Adam York Prize, and several fellowships, she is an assistant professor of English at Xavier University. 

Brandy Nālani McDougall, Poet Laureate Fellow, Hawaiʻi
In partnership with the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities, Brandy Nālani McDougall will promote poetry as a way to connect with ʻāina (land and water) through workshops and readings, and provide poetry posters to local schools and public libraries. McDougall will also create Puka Kinikini, an online archive of Hawaiʻi poems in multiple languages and local poets’ video performances, as well as a print anthology of contemporary poetry in the Hawaiian language.

From the ahupuaʻa of Aʻapueo in Kula, Maui, McDougall is the author of two poetry collections, ʻĀina Hānau, Birth Land (University of Arizona Press, 2023) and The Salt-Wind, Ka Makani Paʻakai (Kuleana ʻŌiwi Press, 2008), as well as a critical monograph, Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature (University of Arizona Press, 2016). A recipient of several fellowships, she is an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 

Gloria Muñoz, Poet Laureate Fellow, St. Petersburg, Florida
In partnership with Florida Humanities, Gloria Muñoz will launch the City of Writers Lab, which aims to connect youth and emerging poets with working writers through a series of programs including an after-school poetry and art program with NOMADstudio at the Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center; a series of multigenerational community conversations with St. Pete Youth Farm featuring a poet and a local farmer, farmworker, or food activist; and workshops at Tombolo Books in collaboration with local literary nonprofits including Keep St. Pete Lit, Kitchen Table Literary Arts, Cultured Books Literacy Foundation, and Wordier Than Thou. 

Muñoz is a Colombian American writer, translator, and advocate for multilingual literacy. She is the author of Danzirly/Dawn’s Early (University of Arizona Press, 2021), which won the 2019 Ambroggio Prize and the 2021 Gold Medal Florida Book Award. Her other honors include being a Macondista, a Hedgebrook Fellowship, a Highlights Foundation’s Diverse Verse Fellowship, Lumina’s Multilingual Writing Award, a Las Musas Mentorship, and attending the Tin House YA Workshop. Through Moonlit Música, the company she cofounded, she writes and composes music for bilingual children’s programming in audio, film, and curriculum. She also teaches and volunteers with literary and environmental nonprofits. 

Sharon Kennedy-Nolle, Poet Laureate Fellow, Sullivan County, New York
Sharon Kennedy-Nolle’s project, “Catskilled Poetry for Healing,” will utilize poetry as a tool for healing and self-empowerment and will be targeted to residents, including youth, afflicted by mental illness and substance abuse. Supported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Catholic Charities, the project consists of a three-month period of outreach to their affiliates; a six-month series of poetry workshops; a daylong interdisciplinary symposium bridging poetry, mental health, and public policy, for which the Hurleyville Performing Arts Center is also a partner; and a permanent public arts installation featuring the workshop’s poetry mounted on plaques and installed in the county’s eleven public libraries.

Kennedy-Nolle is the author of Black Wick: Selected Elegies, the 2020 Chapbook Editor’s Pick by Variant Literature Press and a 2021 finalist for Black Lawrence Press’s St. Lawrence Book Award.

Shin Yu Pai, Poet Laureate Fellow, Seattle, Washington 
With additional support from the Windrose Fund of the Common Counsel Foundation, Shin Yu Pai will organize a year of large-scale poetry activations, including the distribution of posters featuring Seattle poetry to public libraries and community spaces.

Pai is a Taiwanese American poet, essayist, and artist and the author of several books, including Less Desolate (Blue Cactus Press, 2023) and No Neutral (Empty Bowl, 2023). From 2015 to 2017, she served as the fourth poet laureate of Redmond, WA. A three-time MacDowell Fellow, she is the creator and host of Ten Thousand Things, a podcast on Asian American stories for KUOW Public Radio, Seattle’s NPR affiliate station. 

Willie Perdomo, Poet Laureate Fellow, New York
In partnership with the Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Willie Perdomo will create “A New York State of Poetry,” a workshop and reading series, and the East Harlem Poetry Collective, which will offer craft workshops and coach local youth poets to facilitate workshops in their neighborhoods. He will also produce Street Poetry is My Every Day, a podcast celebrating the history of poetry in New York through interviews, poetry readings, and performances in nontraditional spaces. 

Perdomo grew up in East Harlem and is the author of several collections, including Smoking Lovely: The Remix (Haymarket Books, 2021) and The Crazy Bunch (Penguin Books, 2019). Winner of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, the New York City Book Award, and a PEN Open Book Award, he teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy. 

Jason Magabo Perez, Poet Laureate Fellow, San Diego, California
In collaboration with Pacific Arts Movement, among other San Diego–based organizations and schools, Jason Magabo Perez will launch a youth empowerment poetry project that includes youth mentorship and workshops on poetry, performance-making, filmmaking, and video art. The project will feature collaborations with local high school ethnic studies and English teachers and the development of open-access poetry curricula, grassroots publishing initiatives, and a culminating youth poetry summit in San Diego.

Perez is a poet, essayist, fiction writer, performer, educator, community organizer, and the author of the full-length collection of poetry and prose titled This is for the Mostless (WordTech Editions, 2017), and a number of performance works such as You Will Gonna Go Crazy (Kularts, Inc., 2011), which was funded by a Challenge America Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He blends poetry, prose, performance, film/video, ethnography, and oral history to explore the lived histories, contemporary experiences, and futures of Filipino American communities. He serves as a Community Arts Fellow at Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies and as an associate professor and the director of ethnic studies at California State University San Marcos. 

Glenis Redmond, Poet Laureate Fellow, Greenville, South Carolina 
Glenis Redmond will work with the Metropolitan Arts Council to launch “Verse and Visual,” a project pairing ten poets with ten visual artists for an ekphrastic collaboration; commission ten poets to write work inspired by Greenville City Parks; present local and regional poets at Artisphere, Greenville’s largest arts festival; aid the Arts in Public Places Commission to appoint Greenville’s first youth poet laureate; continue both her Little Free Libraries project and Unity Park Poetry workshops with the city of Greenville; and—in partnership with the Peace Center—convene past and present poets laureate Jaki Shelton Green, Joy Harjo, Ed Madden, and Crystal Wilkinson for a poet laureate reading in Greenville on May 10, 2024. 

Redmond is a Cave Canem Alumni and the author of six books of poetry. Her recent book The Listening Skin (Four Way Books, 2022) was long listed for the PEN American Open Book Award and the Julie Suk Award. Her honors also include South Carolina’s highest arts award, the Governor’s Award, and she was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors. As a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, she has created and facilitated poetry workshops for school districts across the country. She is the inaugural poet laureate of Greenville.

Erin Elizabeth Smith, Poet Laureate Fellow, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Erin Elizabeth Smith will host a two-day survival and healing retreat for survivors of sexual assault. Open to writers of all backgrounds from Oak Ridge, the retreat will connect survivors with poets and writers from across the country who use trauma-informed teaching techniques and focus on healing, safety, and comfort. The retreat will culminate in an anthology project, which will be available in print and online. 

Born in South Carolina, Smith is the executive director of Sundress Publications and the Sundress Academy for the Arts. She is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, most recently Down (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2020), and is a distinguished lecturer in the English department at the University of Tennessee. 

Junious Ward, Poet Laureate Fellow, Charlotte, North Carolina 
Junious Ward will establish a citywide violence prevention program for Charlotte’s youth in collaboration with the Mecklenburg County Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention. He also plans to establish Charlotte’s first youth poet laureate position. The youth poet laureate will work with Ward to conduct public readings, civic events, programming, and community outreach. The individual will also receive mentorship and guidance from the Charlotte poet laureate in the areas of writing, performance, event planning, and implementation.

Ward is a poet and teaching artist. He is a National Slam Champion (2018), an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion (2019), and the author of Composition (Button Poetry, 2023) and Sing Me A Lesser Wound (Bull City Press, 2020). He is on the boards of The Watering Hole, BreatheINK, BOOM, and Guerilla Poets. He is the inaugural poet laureate of Charlotte. 

Joaquín Zihuatanejo, Poet Laureate Fellow, Dallas, Texas 
As the founder of the Dallas Youth Poets, Joaquín Zihuatanejo will continue his work engaging young people in the community by creating a Dallas Poet Laureate Youth Poetry Scholarship for high school juniors and seniors. He will tour schools in traditionally underserved communities, with an emphasis on southern, eastern, and western Dallas, and host writing workshops and youth poetry slams. In addition, Zihuatanejo will create a broadside series that will feature living poets from Dallas and promote the Express Yourself Youth Poetry Anthology in the city.

Zihuatanejo is a poet and award-winning teacher. He is the author of numerous collections, including Occupy Whiteness (Deep Vellum Books, 2024), and the only poet to have won both the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship and the World Cup of Poetry Slam Championship. He is the inaugural poet laureate of Dallas. 

About the Academy of American Poets  

Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the United States’ leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states and beyond. The organization annually awards $1.3+ million to more than two hundred poets at various stages of their careers through its prize program, which includes the Poet Laureate Fellowships. The organization also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; established and organizes National Poetry Month each April; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides free resources to K–12 educators, including the award-winning weekly Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition that promotes the value poets bring to our culture. To learn more about the Academy of American Poets, including its staff, its Board of Directors, and its Board of Chancellors, visit:

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through its grants, the Mellon Foundation seeks to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at