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The Carrboro Arts Committee has unanimously selected Fred Joiner as Carrboro’s new Poet Laureate. Fred Joiner is a poet and curator based in Chapel Hill, NC. His work has appeared in Callaloo, Gargoyle, and Fledgling Rag, among other publications. Fred has read his work nationally and internationally. Joiner has received awards and fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Most recently, one of Joiner’s poems was selected by curator and critic A.M. Weaver as part of her 5 x 5 public art project, Ceremonies of Dark Men. Another one of Joiner’s poems recently won the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Divine Comedy Poetry Contest, in response to Abdoulaye Konate’s textile work.
As a curator of literary and visual arts programming, Joiner has worked with the American Poetry Museum, Belfast Exposed Gallery (Northern Ireland), Hillyer Artspace, Honfleur Gallery, Medina Galerie (Bamako, Mali), the Phillips Collection, the Prince Georges African American Museum and Cultural Center, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and more. He is the co-founder of The Center for Poetic Thought in Washington, DC, he is a Board Member for The American Poetry Museum, a member of the Artist Advisory Board for the Orange County Arts Commission and a member of the Carrboro Poet’s Council.
As Carrboro’s Poet Laurate Joiner will server a two year term and be responsible for engaging in activities that enhance the presence of poetry in the social and civic life of Carrboro. Joiner will work with town staff for the planning of and participation in the West End Poetry Festival (held annually in October), Carrboro Day, outreach to local schools, and weekly readings at Board of Aldermen meetings. The Laureate will work in conjunction with the Carrboro Poets Council (a subcommittee of the Arts Committee). Joiner replaces Gary Phillips as the current Poet Laureate.
Joiner stated “As I look at the literary and arts landscape in Carrboro today, I am inspired by the support and success of the West End Poetry Festival, the various readings supported by the Recreation and Parks Department, and the weekly readings at Board of Alderman meetings. I am further inspired by all the new opportunities on the horizon such as the 203 Project and the Carrboro Truth Plaque project. I think poetry can play a vital role in keeping our community vibrant and including different voices and points of view.
Joiner will be officially introduced as the new Poet Laureate at the March 5, 2019 Carrboro Board of Aldermen meeting. Tune in on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. to cable channel 18 or Facebook Live for Carrboro Board of Aldermen meeting’s for weekly poetry readings.