Important Notice: Worcester Acting City Manager Eric Batista, in collaboration with the Worcester City Council and Cultural Development Division, is pleased to announce the nomination process for the City's next Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate will serve a three year term, from January 2023 through December 2025. Applications due by 5 p.m. on October 17, 2022.
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. Adael Mejia, a graduate of Burncoat High School, became the second Youth Poet Laureate in Worcester, preceded by Amina Mohammad. Meijia will serve from January 2022 through December 2023.
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.
Adael Mejia's father was a teacher in Ecuador and would bring young Adael to school, instructing him to practice his ABCs and write stories. As he grew older, Adael also discovered a love of theatre, dance, music, art and performing. Following his graduation from Burncoat High, Adael joined the City's first Create 508 program, where he found a passion for developing youth artists and growing the community. Adael looks forward to working with young people, including those in mental health and rehabilitation programs, in his two-year term as Youth Poet Laureate.
Below you will find an archive of poems and works by the Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate for the City of Worcester. Click on an option below to expand and view the poems offered: