Roscoe Burnems

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Poet Laureate of Richmond, Virginia, 2021–2023

Roscoe Burnems, also known as Douglas Powell, is an author, spoken-word artist, educator, and Richmond, Virginia’s first poet laureate. He is the author of the collections God, Love, Death and Other Synonyms (310 Brown Street, 2019); Chrysalis Under Fire (The Writer’s Den, LLC, 2018); and Fighting Demons (Prysmatic Dreams Publishing, 2014). 

During his time as a slam poet, Burnems has been a two-time Southern regional team finalist, National Poetry Slam Champion, and Season One Screen Time Slam Champion. As a poetry slam coach, he has been a NPS Group Piece finalist and taken Virginia Commonwealth University’s poetry team to rank third internationally.

Burnems is a TEDx speaker and the founder of the poetry-based art collective The Writer’s Den. In 2021, he received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.