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Worcester Poet Laureate & Youth Poet Laureate Programs

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.

All interested in applying or nominating a qualified candidate are encouraged to join the Poet Laureate Application Writing Workshop at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 28, 2022 through Zoom. In addition to a walkthrough of the application process, attendees will be able to ask questions of Cultural Development staff and current Worcester Poet Laureate Juan Matos. Register for this Virtual Workshop

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:

  • Enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and literary arts in Greater Worcester.
  • Celebrate the spirit of the people and special qualities of Worcester, the City of Innovation.
  • Raise awareness of the power of literature, poetry and the spoken word.
  • Provide a forum for collaborative art forms.
  • Engage and support an emerging generation of poets and spoken word artists.
  • Provide access to poetry and literary arts to all sectors of the community.
  • Encourage the reading and writing of both poetry and the written word.

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.

Poet Laureate

Juan Matos

Poet Laureate Juan MatosJuan 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.


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Youth Poet Laureate

Adael Mejia

Youth Poet Laureate Adael MejiaAdael 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.

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Poets Laureate Works

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:

Contact Information

Cultural Development
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Worcester, MA 01608

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