Haitian-American Professor Danielle Legros Georges Is Boston’s New Poet Laureate


This article by Ed Siegel appeared in 990.9WBUR, Boston’s MPR news station.

Danielle Legros Georges will be the new poet laureate of Boston. The announcement came Monday night at a sold-out welcoming Q&A session with Julie Burros, Boston’s chief of arts and culture, at the Paramount Center after one of the attendees asked that the city not forget the spoken word as it expands its advocacy for the arts under Mayor Marty Walsh.

Georges is a professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, where her areas of academic focus and expertise are listed as contemporary American poetry, African-American poetry, Caribbean literature and studies, literary translation, and the arts in education.
 She has a BS in communication studies from Emerson College and an MFA in English, creative writing, from New York University.

According to information on the Mass. Poetry Festival website, Georges is the author of a poetry collection, “Maroon,” and is a 2014 recipient of a Mass. Cultural Council Fellowship in Poetry.

She’s quoted on the website as saying, “America is best when it recognizes its inherent plurality. Americans are best when, embracing plurality, we move toward and seek to understand those around us. Americans are best when we are engaged and dialogic. Not presuming sameness paradoxically allows us to arrive at shared qualities. It allows us to see that, though different in many ways, de Crèvecoeur, Wheatley, and Lazarus, were each immigrants or the daughter of immigrants. They were bicultural, and bilingual, if not speakers of several languages.”

The Haitian-American’s “Poem for the Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere,” about Haiti, has been read on “Bill Moyers’ Journal.” It begins:

“Oh poorest country, this is not your name.
You should be called beacon, and flame,

almond and bougainvillea, garden
and green mountain, villa and hut,

little girl with red ribbons in her hair,
books-under-arm, charmed by the light”

For the full poem, see here.

Here are more examples of her work:


Small Axe

For the original report go to http://artery.wbur.org/2014/12/15/danielle-legros-georges

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