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Word Up

Word Up

County Adds To Cultural Evolution With The Opening Of The Office Of The Poet Laureate

By Hamil R. Harris

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In an effort to highlight literary arts and to foster a greater appreciation of poetry, the Prince George’s County Council has established the position of Poet Laureate in the Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council (PGAHC) and Poet J. Joy Mathews Alford has been named to that post.

The council created the position “to inspire deeper engagement in the written and spoken word in Prince George’s County,” and according to county officials a law was passed creating a post that will   shed light on the importance of the literary arts and poetry in the county.

The move is another step in the county’s progress toward creating a cultural identity and greater destination power for Prince George’s.

“I truly thank our county council for their unanimous support of CR 502018,” says PGAHC Executive Director Rhonda Dallas.  “Collectively, we have established a significant cultural legacy within the arts community as we intend to fully engage the Office of Poet Laureate to inspire both our youth and our adults and build community throughout Prince George's County.”

The Poet Laureate program will come under the PGAHC.

Alford, also known as, “Sistah Joy,” says that she’s honored to be named as the Poet Laureate and that she plans to use her post to provide opportunities for poets from all walks of life in the county and to ensure “a solid foundation for poetry throughout the county.”

 “I look forward to building bridges between generations and cultures as well as between the poetry community and those for whom poets speak,” Alford said in a statement. “Being a part of creating an enhanced poetry experience in Prince George’s County is an incredible opportunity and privilege that I’m excited to work toward over the next three years.”    

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