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City of Athens Will Select a Poet Laureate

Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (

The city of Athens will join a few others around the state in selecting a Poet Laureate. Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor is a professor of TESOL and World Language Education at UGA. She says the program will celebrate and encourage literary arts in Athens.

"First, I would love to see more pubic eyes on poetry in Athens just like Amanda Gorman brought to the United States. It's like "Wow! Poetry doesn't have to be something that feels really difficult or reserved only for those with great scholarship and literature and letters. It's something that can really grab and unify all of us.'"

The position is part of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission’s Public Art Master Plan. The Poet Laureate will serve a two-year term and receive a $2,000 honorarium, with the possibility of additional funding.

"We have a public information session scheduled for February 16th at 6 pm. That will be by zoom, and that zoom link is located on the Athens Cultural Affairs website. The applications are due by March 2nd."

Georgia has a state Poet Laureate as do some cities in the state, fun fact: Cahnmann-Taylor says the Waffle House restaurant chain has a Poet Laureate. For more information on the Athens position, visit the ACAC’s website.

You can hear more from Professor Cahnmann-Taylor on Athens News Matters.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
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