Trapeta B. Mayson

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Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2020-2021

Trapeta B. Mayson was born in Liberia. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was a young girl, and she was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in Political Science and Master’s Degrees in Social Services and Business from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and Villanova University School of Business respectively. The author of two self published poetry collections, Mocha Melodies (Liberian Girl Publishing Company), and the chapbook She Was Once Herself (2012), Mayson also released the music and poetry projects SCAT and This Is How We Get Through, in collaboration with jazz guitarist Monnette Sudler. A Cave Canem, Pew, and Aspen Words fellow, she was awarded a Leeway Transformation Award and is a Pennsylvanian Council on the Arts grantee, among others. In addition to her poetry work, Mayson is a licensed clinical social worker and Chief Program Officer at a community mental health agency in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Greene Street Artist Cooperative and is the 2020-2021 City of Philadelphia Poet Laureate. In 2021, she received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.