Georgia

In 1925, Georgia established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Chelsea Rathburn, who was appointed in 2019. Rathburn is the author of several poetry collections, including Still Life with Mother and Knife (Louisiana State University Press, 2019).

In 2016, Hank Stewart was named poet laureate of Atlanta, Georgia.

recent & featured listings

Georgia poet laureaute
Chelsea Rathburn

In 2019, Chelsea Rathburn was appointed as the poet laureate of Georgia. She is the author of Still Life with Mother and Knife (Louisiana State University Press, 2019), A Raft of Grief (Autumn House, 2013), and The Shifting Line (University of Evansville, 2005). She directs the creative writing program at Young Harris College and lives in Blairsville, Georgia.

Chelsea Rathburn

Related Poets

Related Poems

Nocturne: Georgia Coast

The shrimping boats are late today;
The dusk has caught them cold.
Swift darkness gathers up the sun,
And all the beckoning gold
That guides them safely into port
Is lost beneath the tide.
Now the lean moon swings overhead,
And Venus, salty-eyed.

They will be late an hour or more,
The fishermen, blaming dark's
Swift mischief or the stubborn sea,
But as their lanterns' sparks
Ride shoreward at the foam's white rim,
Until they reach the pier
I cannot say if their catch is shrimp,
Or fireflies burning clear.

The Song Of The Chattahoochee

Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover's pain to attain the plain
Far from the hills of Habersham,
Far from the valleys of Hall.

All down the hills of Habersham,
All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried 'Abide, abide,'
The willful waterweeds held me thrall,
The laving laurel turned my tide,
The ferns and the fondling grass said 'Stay,'
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed 'Abide, abide,
Here in the hills of Habersham,
Here in the valleys of Hall.'

High o'er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, 'Pass not, so cold, these manifold
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
These glades in the valleys of Hall.'

And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone
-- Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet and amethyst --
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call --
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main,
The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
Calls through the valleys of Hall.

An Unemployed Machinist

An unemployed
machinist
An unemployed machinist
who travelled
here
who travelled here
from Georgia
from Georgia 10 days ago
10 days ago
and could not find
a job
and could not find a job
walked
into a police station
walking into a police station
yesterday and said
yesterday
and said:

"I'm tired
of being scared
I'm tired of being scared."