Junious Ward

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Poet Laureate of Charlotte, North Carolina, 2023–

Junious “Jay” Ward is a poet and teaching artist from Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the author of Composition (Button Poetry, 2023) and Sing Me A Lesser Wound (Bull City Press, 2020). His work can be found in Columbia Journal, DIAGRAM, Diode Poetry Journal, Four Way Review, and elsewhere.

Ward is a 2018 National Slam champion and a 2019 Individual World Poetry Slam champion.

Ward is a board member for The Watering Hole, BreatheINK, BOOM Charlotte, and Guerrilla Poets. He has attended Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, The Watering Hole, The Frost Place, and Tin House’s Winter Workshop.

Ward currently serves as Charlotte’s inaugural poet laureate. In 2023, Ward received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship