NC Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green at Library

The Chatham Community Library will commemorate National Poetry Month in April with a presentation by NC Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green. The virtual event, entitled “An Evening with the North Carolina Poet Laureate,” will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Jaki Shelton Green is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointee, and 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Green, a professor of Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, has been named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill.

Her publications include: Dead on ArrivalMasksDead on Arrival and New PoemsConjure Bluessinging a tree into dancebreath of the songFeeding the Lightand i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst.

Owner of SistaWRITE, Green provides retreats for women writers in Sedona, Arizona; Martha’s Vineyard; Ocracoke, North Carolina; Northern Morocco; and Tullamore, Ireland.

National Poetry Month was introduced in 1996 and was inspired by the success of Black History Month, held each February, and Women’s History Month, held in March. In 1995, the Academy of American Poets convened a group of publishers, booksellers, librarians, literary organizations, poets, and teachers to discuss the need and usefulness of a similar month-long holiday to celebrate poetry.

To register for this event and to receive virtual meeting instructions, individuals may contact Chatham Community Library Branch Manager Rita Van Duinen at

This event is free and open to the public and made possible with the generous support of the Friends of the Chatham Community Library.