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Poet Laureate

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LIVING
April 25, 1999 | By Thomas J. Brady, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
As if her life weren't electrifying enough, lightning struck Rita Dove's home last September, destroying her husband's study and a lot of her archives. At the time, she had planned to spend the fall writing her second novel. Instead, "we spent the fall looking for faucet fixtures," the former two-term poet laureate of the United States (1993-95) lamented in a recent interview. The first time lightning struck, figuratively at least, was in 1987, when Dove, then 34, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Thomas and Beulah, a volume of poems about her maternal grandparents.
NEWS
November 7, 1996 | By Marguerite P. Jones, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Rachel Astarte Piccione has been named the 1996 Bucks County poet laureate. Chosen from more than 75 entries in the annual Bucks County Community College contest, Piccione's works were cited for their range and voice by the three judges. Her poetry has a "marvelously controlled intensity and an eye for details that gives significance to our lives," said Stanley W. Heim, director of the competition and a BCCC professor. Besides being a poet, Piccione, who lives in Bristol Township, is a performer, director and freelance writer, with a master's of fine-arts degree from Emerson College in Boston.
NEWS
February 6, 2016 | By John Timpane, Staff Writer
A lot of people in the Philadelphia poetry world are very happy today. On Friday morning, Mayor Kenney is scheduled to announce that Yolanda Wisher, a poet with a long history of publication and community activism, has been appointed Philadelphia poet laureate for 2016-17. The event is to include a short reading by the appointee. Wisher is the city's third laureate, succeeding Frank Sherlock (2014-15) and Sonia Sanchez (2012-13). Her duties will include readings, community service projects, and mentoring other poets.
NEWS
November 26, 2007
Former New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka was back in the news recently. He didn't get what he wanted, but his case is a reminder that the state remains without a poet-laureate post that can promote poetry and the arts. Time to fix that. Baraka's over-the-top poem after 9/11 - "Somebody Blew Up America" - got him booted from the job by then-Gov. James McGreevey in late 2002. His appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court this month. But Jersey officials went over the top, too - abolishing the laureate position in 2003, along with its $10,000 stipend.
NEWS
June 18, 2015 | By Caroline Simon, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seventeen-year-old David Jones, who'll be a senior this fall at West Philadelphia High, was not surprised when he learned he had been named Philadelphia's next youth poet laureate. "It was super cool," he said after receiving the honor during a City Hall ceremony in front of his family, friends, and city officials including Mayor Nutter. "Honestly, I kind of expected it. " Jones, who has been writing poetry for years, was calm and confident as he recited one of his poems, Birds , an homage to Maya Angelou's famous work.
NEWS
January 18, 2013 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
Siduri Beckman, 14, swoons over George Eliot's Silas Marner with a passion many girls her age reserve for, say, One Direction boy-band phenom Harry Styles. "I loooove that book," she said, sitting in the auditorium at her school, Julia R. Masterman. Correction. She loves Eliot's Middlemarch first, then Silas Marner . But Philadelphia's first youth poet laureate - Mayor Nutter announced her title this week - has never read Harry Potter. If her tastes seem a little serious, Beckman herself is not. She explains that her parents, Karen and Michael Beckman of West Philadelphia, named her Siduri after the "bartender to the gods" in the Epic of Gilgamesh . The literary Siduri knows the secret of everlasting life, Beckman says.
NEWS
June 28, 2002
As far as clocks - and it is time to think of them - I have one on my kitchen shelf and it is flat, with a machine-made flair, a perfect machine from 1948, at the latest, and made of shining plastic with the numbers sharp and clear and slightly magnified in that heartbreaking post-war style, the cord too short, though what does it matter, since the mechanism is broken and sits unplugged alongside a ...
NEWS
November 25, 2001 | By Catherine Quillman INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
As part of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program silver anniversary celebration, Bucks County Community College recently named Allen Hoey of Newtown as the 2001 poet laureate. Hoey, a professor of language and literature at the college, was selected from more than 100 entries as Bucks County's 25th poet laureate by a panel of three published poets. Hoey will receive a $500 prize and a proclamation from the Bucks County commissioners at a special awards ceremony Dec. 19. Also as part of the honor, Hoey will join 2000 poet laureate Joseph Chelius in a poetry reading next Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Orangery building at the community college's Newtown campus, at 275 Swamp Rd. in Newtown.
NEWS
May 23, 1993
America's next poet laureate, Rita Dove, was chosen last week - the first African American and, at 40, the youngest writer ever to hold the post. Dove, a professor of English at the University of Virginia, was chosen as "an outstanding representative of a new and richly variegated generation of American poets," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in announcing her appointment. She will assume the post in October. In both fiction and poetry, Dove has evoked the history of her family and the black experience in America.
NEWS
October 2, 2002 | By Tanya Barrientos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka is no stranger to controversy. He's built a career on it. Never one to shy away from thorny issues in his art, the 67-year-old writer now finds himself in the middle of a battle over freedom of speech and civic trust. Should the artist step down as the Garden State's poet laureate because four lines near the end of a 226-line poem repeat a widely discredited theory that Israel knew about the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack in advance?
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2016 | By John Timpane, Staff Writer
One day, as National Poetry Month came slouching toward Philadelphia, Larry Robin and the folks at Moonstone Arts Center had a bunch of bright ideas: Count all the places in Philadelphia that do poetry. It's a big poetry town, but how big exactly? Publish a Philly poetry newspaper listing them and all the great stuff happening for Poetry Month in this poetry town. Throw a big poetry weekend with a huge number of events, so you go from one to another and have a wonderful time.
NEWS
February 7, 2016
O n Friday, Mayor Kenney announced that Yolanda Wisher, 39, has been named Philadelphia's poet laureate for 2016-17. She is a community activist, a teacher, and a poet deeply aware of her city and its rhythms. As an introduction to her work, here's a Phillycentric poem titled "5 South 43rd Street, Floor 2. " It's vivid, vibrant, of the streets - and yet also written in mature, 21st-century, good old iambic pentameter. Here is a poet who is a Philadelphian who is a poet. - John Timpane Sometimes we would get hungry for the neighborhood.
NEWS
February 6, 2016
A story Friday on new Philadelphia poet laureate Yolanda Wisher misstated the day on which Mayor Kenney would announce her appointment. The event took place Friday.
NEWS
February 6, 2016 | By John Timpane, Staff Writer
A lot of people in the Philadelphia poetry world are very happy today. On Friday morning, Mayor Kenney is scheduled to announce that Yolanda Wisher, a poet with a long history of publication and community activism, has been appointed Philadelphia poet laureate for 2016-17. The event is to include a short reading by the appointee. Wisher is the city's third laureate, succeeding Frank Sherlock (2014-15) and Sonia Sanchez (2012-13). Her duties will include readings, community service projects, and mentoring other poets.
NEWS
September 14, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
Philadelphia has the poet laureate it deserves in Frank Sherlock. And as poet laureates go, Sherlock, 46, a native of Southwest Philadelphia and a product of 12 years of Catholic schooling, could not be better suited to this particular chapter in Philadelphia history: the papal visit. The pope and the poet share a name, a patron saint - St. Francis of Assisi, man of poverty and peace - and, as of this past week, their portraits share space on the celebrated wall at Dirty Frank's, one of the city's more iconic dives, decorated, of course, with images of famous Franks.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 10, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
'View' co-host wants civility Yes, she will disagree with many of the views shared by some of her fellow  The View  cohosts, but conservative cohost  Candace Cameron Bure  says she wants the gals to remain civil. On Tuesday, after wrapping up the new season's first episode, the  Full House  alumna told the New York Daily News, "We can have disagreements without it turning into argument. You can express different ideas without becoming distasteful or hurtful. " The talk show also features  Whoopi Goldberg ,  Paula Faris , and  Joy Behar . Sam Smith to croon for 007 British vocalist Sam Smith , 23, has confirmed that he has the rare honor of singing the theme song for the next James Bond picture, Spectre , which will feature Daniel Craig , Naomi Watts , Lea Seydoux , and the incomparable Monica Bellucci . The song, "Writing's on the Wall," will be available to buy Sept.
NEWS
July 31, 2015 | By Sofiya Ballin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sonia Sanchez wonders how she became "this woman with razor blades between her teeth. " "That's a great line, I think," she says of the imagery from her poem "Woman. " "I love how stuff comes through the body - starts at the toe jam and goes all the way up!" She makes jazzy hand motions from her feet all the way through her body. The 80-year-old award-winning poet, educator, mother, and activist sits on a couch in her airy Germantown home, African sculptures decorating the walls or standing at attention.
NEWS
June 18, 2015 | By Caroline Simon, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seventeen-year-old David Jones, who'll be a senior this fall at West Philadelphia High, was not surprised when he learned he had been named Philadelphia's next youth poet laureate. "It was super cool," he said after receiving the honor during a City Hall ceremony in front of his family, friends, and city officials including Mayor Nutter. "Honestly, I kind of expected it. " Jones, who has been writing poetry for years, was calm and confident as he recited one of his poems, Birds , an homage to Maya Angelou's famous work.
NEWS
June 14, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
SOMERS POINT, N.J. - Poetry was apparently too controversial for Atlantic City this year, as a plan to pay poets to read their work at the city Farmers' Market was abandoned by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority after some political blowback. But Somers Point has held the line against the (haiku) haters - naming, and paying, the bay town's first poet laureate, Northwestern grad-turned-wine-store-event-planner Maria Provenzano of Egg Harbor Township. Provenzano, 26, will put the concept to its first real test Saturday night, as she does two short, mostly unannounced "Pop Up Poetry" events, one at 7 p.m. at the bar at Sandi Point Coastal Bistro, formerly the famed Mac's, followed by another at Gregory's.
NEWS
September 19, 2014 | By Erin Edinger-Turoff, Inquirer Staff Writer
Several years ago, poet Sonia Sánchez had just returned from her three-mile morning walk. As she sat on her porch sipping green tea and reading the paper, she heard childish voices from the sidewalk nearby, raised in agitation. Aroused from her moment of tranquillity, she asked the schoolchildren why they were arguing and invited them onto her porch to quell their unrest. She asked them to listen to the birds singing - to feel the peace that embodied her home. "This is my house, this is my porch, but this is also my sidewalk," Sánchez told them.
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