ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan announced Dec. 14 the appointment of Grace Cavalieri as Maryland’s 10th poet laureate. Cavalieri has published 24 books and chapbooks of poetry, produced 26 plays, and hosted approximately 2,000 weekly radio shows and numerous literary workshops. The Poet Laureate of Maryland is an honorary state position in which the individual selected will serve at the discretion of the governor for up to a four-year term renewable by the governor’s consent.
“We’re honored to have Grace Cavalieri join the distinguished ranks of Maryland’s poet laureates,” said Governor Hogan. “Her lifelong passion for and dedication to poetry and the arts is nothing short of astounding, and I’m confident Marylanders will enjoy her readings and develop a greater understanding and appreciation for poetry through her service.”
Cavalieri has written texts and lyrics performed for opera and television and also established two publishing houses, one of which she still operates directly as a small press that focuses on publishing poets.
She is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the inaugural Columbia Merit Award for “significant contributions to poetry,” the Pen-Fiction Award, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Medal.
The Maryland Poet Laureate position was formally established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1959 and authorizes the governor to appoint a citizen of the state as Poet Laureate of Maryland. The Poet Laureate provides public readings for the citizens of Maryland, ensuring that people in all geographic regions of the state have access to at least one reading during the term of service. The Poet Laureate also undertakes projects that make poetry more available and accessible to citizens of Maryland of all ages. The Poet Laureate is appointed by the governor based on a recommendation from the Poet Laureate Review Committee, a diverse committee of qualified individuals who represent various arts and humanities communities throughout the state.
Nine Poet Laureates have served for the state since the inception of this Act in 1959. Past Poet Laureates include (in order of service): Maria B. Coker, Vincent Godfrey Burns, Lucille Clifton, Reed Whittemore, Linda Pastan, Roland Flint, Michael Collier, Michael Glaserand Stanley Plumly.
More information on Maryland’s Poet Laureate can be found here.