April 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 44 F

Annapolis names Poet Laureate for City

Temple Cone
Temple Cone, poet laureate for the City of Annapolis

Mayor Gavin Buckley today announces the selection of U.S. Naval Academy English Professor Temple Cone as poet laureate for the City of Annapolis for the 2018-2020 term. A selection panel convened under the City of Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission (AIPPC) that includes notable literary figures from the City selected Professor Cone and submitted his nomination to the Mayor, who conferred.

“I am proud to announce the appointment of Temple Cone as our City’s poet laureate,” said Mayor Buckley. “Temple is an outstanding, recognized poet with a record of engaging and encouraging creativity in his students. His ideas for building common ground and fostering creative expression in our community through poetry are inspiring.”

AIPPC Chair Ellen O. Moyer said, “Annapolis is leaping forward in support of literary arts today, as we appoint our first official poet laureate.”  Gwen Manseau and Barbara Torreon, co-chairs of the AIPPC Poet Laureate selection panel, said that Professor Cone plans to lead programs and events with a focus on sharing poetic experience, including by linking Annapolis students with local senior communities and establishing poetry contests, workshops for military personnel, and talks in which writers and readers of poetry speak about their struggles with poetry.

Cone is the author of numerous books of his own poetry and reference works on American poetry. His honors include two Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and an Annie Award for Literary Achievement from the Anne Arundel Arts Council. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, a M.F.A. from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. from Hollins University. He contributed this verse upon receiving word of his appointment:

“Because we take for granted how wondrous

Life is, poetry exists to show us

Known things with new eyes. The Poet Laureate

Has many tasks: to encourage writing, create

New occasions for the sharing of poems,

Help readers find delight in what comes

From saying the right words in the right order.

But I consider such tasks an honor.”

Cone will be invested on June 18 after a reception and will begin his term of service on July 1.He will serve a two-year term and is encouraged to nurture appreciation of poetry and literature by conducting public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations in neighborhoods, schools, institutions of higher learning, and other public settings in geographically diverse areas of the city.

“This is a huge moment for the arts in our city,” said William Rowel, Public Engagement & Community Relations Director. “As Carl Sandburg once said, ‘Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.’ Our dream is that in institutionalizing a poet laureate post in the City of Annapolis, we will light a flame in the literary community that has been stifled in the past.”

Further information is available at www.annapolis.gov/poetlaureate.

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