Jaki Shelton Green Inducted NC’s Poet Laureate by Governor Cooper

Mebane resident Jaki Shelton Green (right) receives a laurel atop her head, signifying her induction as North Carolina’s ninth Poet Laureate, by Governor Roy Cooper (left) in a ceremony in the North Carolina State Capitol on February 18. Shelton Green read two poems and made a brief speech at the event, which can be seen on YouTube by visiting the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resource’s channel.

Jaki Shelton Green was inducted North Carolina’s ninth Poet Laureate on Monday, Feb. 18 at a ceremony in the North Carolina State Capitol.

Jaki Shelton Green is the first African American and the third woman to serve as the state’s ambassador for poetry and the spoken word.

It was a standing-room only crowd for the ceremony, which included a reading of “A Poem for Jaki Shelton Green” written by Shelby Stephenson, the previous Poet Laureate, for the induction.

Additionally, Jaki spoke and read two poems.

If you missed the event you can watch the complete ceremony on YouTube by visiting the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resource’s channel.

“Jaki encourages us to open our minds to the importance of telling stories from the heart and from personal experience,” said Governor Cooper. “She has encouraged North Carolinians to create poetry and contribute to the voice of our state — an uplifting voice that documents the expressions of a diverse people who are shaped by their experiences, their communities, and the history of North Carolina.”

To find out where Jaki will be appearing for readings and workshops please visit her calendar of events at https://www.ncarts.org/poet-laureate-appearances.