Poet Laureate of Edgefield, SC

Year Title
2022 Poet Laureate of Edgefield, SC


In 2022, J. Drew Lanham was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Lanham's project, “Literary Reparations,” proposes through illumination, education, and dedication, to recognize Dave Drake as the first poet laureate of Edgefield County and the premier poet laureate of South Carolina. Drake, who lived in the 1800s, was an enslaved African American man known for his exceptional pottery, on which he sometimes wrote poems. The project will draw on a unique and complicated history, seeking to uplift communities by illuminating an oppressed poet’s words. It will incorporate civic engagement and education through poetry readings and writing projects, and build on the momentum of gathering around a heroic figure. The project places history in the present and melds poetry into civic policy. Lanham will also work to have a day in February or April proclaimed as “Dave Drake Poetry Day,” which will be celebrated with readings, workshops, and poetry contests.