The City Manager, Mayor, the Worcester City Council and the Office of Cultural Development have announced the appointments of the City of Worcester Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate.
The City of Worcester Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate will serve as official ambassadors of our historic, vibrant poetic and literary culture, using their positions to promote our great writers and the transformative qualities of poetry and the written word throughout the community.
The objectives of the City of Worcester's Poet Laureate Programs are to:
A five person committee was formed to review dozens of applications to the Poet Laureate programs. Distinguished poet, community activist, and long-time educator Juan Matos has been selected as Worcester's next Poet Laureate, to serve from January 2020 until December 2022. Amina Mohammed, a senior at Holy Name High School, will become the first Youth Poet Laureate in Worcester as well as the first in the state of Massachusetts. Mohammad will serve from January 2020 through December 2021.
Juan Matos earned a Master's Degree in bilingual education at Worcester State University and went on to teach Spanish Literature and ESL for 32 years, the last 22 of which in Worcester Public Schools. During this time he wrote and published 12 poetry books and anthologies, took part in local and international literary festivals and founded several literary groups and workshops.
Youth Poet Laureate Amina Mohammed grew up in Worcester's Main South neighborhood, the daughter of an immigrant family. Her parents worked long hours to provide for her and her siblings with considerable support from neighbors. Mohammad is the first Youth Poet Laureate in the state of Massachusetts.