Two Altadena Poets Laureate have been honored by the Academy of American Poets, being named 2023-4 Fellows.
By News Desk
Peter J. Harris and Carla Rachel Sameth have each been awarded 50,000, plus additional grant money to further endow their joint literary project within the community. The fellowships are made possible by grants from the Mellon Foundation and are dedicated to furthering the development of poetry and poets laureate in communities nationwide.
Mr. Harris, author of several books of poetry and the founding director of The Black Man of Happiness Project. In addition to winning the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for ‘Bless the Ashes’, his collected essays, ‘The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right,’ won the American Book Award. He is a 2023 artist in residence at The Nicholson Project in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Sameth, a teacher of creative writing with the Los Angeles Writing Project and at Southern New Hampshire University, is the 2019–23 “Pride Poet” for the City of West Hollywood’s ‘One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival’. Her first full-length collection of poems entitled ‘Secondary Inspections’ will be published by Nymeria Publishing in November.
Together, these two poets’ public project has received a grant of 50K. Entitled ‘Ode to the Land’, it will combine senior citizens’ work, HS poetry workshops and will feature lyric narrative poems on home and nature surrounding the beautiful Altadena area. There will be public readings at local venues such as Zorthian Ranch and Eaton Canyon.
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