Poet Laureate of Texas

Year Title
2022 Poet Laureate of Texas


In 2022, Cyrus Cassells was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. In honor of Juneteenth, Cassells will hold a poetry contest for students in grades six through twelve across the state that encourages them to explore what makes the day significant. Final judges will be Texas poets Wendy Barker, Jennifer Chang, Amanda Johnston, and Roger Reeves, as well as Texas historian Martha Hartzog. The contest will end with a public reading and ceremony at the Neill-Cochran House Museum in Austin, which has fostered several African American events and cultural exhibitions and features the city of Austin's only intact slave cabin. The ten winning students will receive travel stipends to the Austin ceremony. The judges, screeners, top three winners, and seven honorable mentions will each receive an honorarium, plus copies of Pulitzer Prize winner Annette Reed’s book On Juneteenth and Edward Cotham Jr.'s Juneteenth: The Story Behind the Celebration.