where the writers are
I'm poet laureate, now what?

I want to say something profound, but the most I can do is write a poem.

After permanently moving away from New York and Florida in 2005 I adopted Georgia, and Georgia has returned the favor. This past August, Mayor Mickey Thompson and City Council Members appointed me as Poet Laureate of Douglasville, GA. My first official duty was to read a 9/11 poem for the annual commemoration and I blogged about that here on Red Room.

Not knowing what I could do, as poet laureate, to help my community I decided to focus on business and the arts. Lord knows both could use a financial lift these days. So far I have attended local awards ceremonies and ribbon cuttings (sans poems). The next one up is a ribbon cutting for Dog River Library. What a wonderful concept to build a library instead of closing down a library. I am proud to live in Douglasville with its beautiful country living, friendly and compassionate people, a small town that cares about the arts.

Even before my appointment, I wracked my brain for ways to show others how potentially lucrative and fun poetry can be by producing a TV reality poetry competition called “The Greatest American Poet” (see http://poetrytv.org) and other strange poetry projects. It is still my desire to do something helpful for poets and poetry, but the most I think I can do is be responsible for every word I write.

I am very much looking forward to reading Red Room blogger ideas on what they would try to accomplish as a poet laureate.