Somerville Names First Ever Poet Laureate

poet laureate

The cat may already be out of the bag (it looks like the Somerville Times had the scoop back in December), but the City of Somerville has officially announced that Nicole Terez Dutton will serve a two-year term as the city’s first ever Poet Laureate. Dutton’s work has appeared in journals including Ploughshares, the Indiana Review and Salt Hill Journal, and she received the 2011 Cave Canem Poetry Prize for her collection If One Of Us Should Fall.

“Nicole’s work is poised and insightful, and I think it will really resonate with the Somerville community,” Greg Jenkins, Director of the Somerville Arts Council, said in a statement yesterday. “She conveyed a thoughtful perspective on her approach to this new position, and has a passion for promoting poetry through collaboration with youth, elders, and community groups. We’ve gained an impressive ambassador in Nicole Terez Dutton.”

The Arts Council announced that they were seeking applications for Poet Laureate in October of last year, and a panel of area poets, teachers and art administrators selected Dutton based on a series of criteria that included excellence in craftsmanship, a vision for the position and professional achievement in the poetry field.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as Somerville’s Poet Laureate and am excited to collaborate with the very talented and passionate members of our community to make poetry more accessible,” Terez Dutton said. “It is an amazing opportunity to share what I love, to connect with writers and readers and to bring poetry into wider conversation.”