The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Northampton Arts Council Announces 2024-2026 Poet Laureate

 Poet Laureate to Host Poetry Night Celebrating BIPOC Poetry in the Valley

The Northampton Arts Council is thrilled to announce the appointment of Franny Choi as Northampton’s poet laureate for the 2024–2026 term. As Northampton’s 10th laureate, Choi joins the illustrious ranks of poets Karen Skolfield, Martin Espada, Janet Aalfs, Jack Gilbert, Lesléa Newman, Lenelle Moïse, Richard Michelson, Patrick Donnelly, and Amy Dryansky.

The Northampton Poet Laureate position is a two-year term and celebrates Northampton’s vibrant and diverse poetry community through activities of interest to the chosen poet and will educate the public about the importance of poets and poetry to Northampton’s civic and artistic life. The selection committee read poetry by various nominees, discussed a wide range of quality in all their work, and considered their success in the larger poetry world. 

Franny Choi is the author of three poetry collections: The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On (Ecco, 2022), Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019), and Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). Their writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. A recipient of the Lily/Rosenberg Fellowship, Princeton’s Holmes National Poetry Prize, and the Elgin Award, Franny is Faculty in Literature at Bennington College and the founder of Brew & Forge, an organization with a mission to build connections between writers, organizers, and movement workers. Franny is at work on a forthcoming essay collection. You can see their work at

Franny Choi and Brew & Forge will be hosting an event on Friday, March 1, 2024, at 6:00 PM, in the Flex Space at 33 Hawley Street. Along with a reading by Franny, this event will showcase poets of color from across the Pioneer Valley and introduce attendees to powerful grassroots organizing happening locally. Celebrate the richness of BIPOC poetry in the region, learn about local initiatives, and support writers and activists working for racial justice. Admission is free. Donations are welcome and will go toward Brew & Forge’s work supporting poets and community organizers of color in Western Mass and across the Northeast.

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