The opportunity came along to give back to the program that gave so much to me as laurerate. The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program was looking for a new chair and I couldn’t pass up the chance to once again be a part of the program’s twenty five year history of building community with poetry.
The twelfth poet laureate, Tammi Truax, needed help finishing her challenging term that happened almost entirely during Covid lockdowns, and a new laureate needed to be chosen. Myself and the new board helped Tammi finish in style with her new book A Bridge to Japan and assembled a new laureate selection committee.
After meeting Diannely Antigua, hearing her read and then reading her book, I felt the magic of her presence and her words and nominated her to be the next laureate. Myself and the board were very excited when the selection committee chose Diannely to be the thirteenth poet laureate of Portsmouth.
Diannely is the youngest person to be a laureate in Portsmouth and the first person of color. Diannely is an incredible poet, she’s extremely motivated to make a difference, and her representation is sorely needed in a town and state that is not exactly known for its diversity. The next two years are going to be a blast as we help Diannely achieve her community building goals and usher the program into the future.
Diannely is already doing great work with her new podcast Bread & Poetry. Check out her first episode on Simplecast or look up Bread & Poetry on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!