Brainerd Memorial Library
920 SAYBROOK ROAD, HADDAM, CT 06438     P:860.345.2204

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Haddam Poet Laureate

BML Announces the Selection of Haddam’s First Poet Laureate!

Town of Haddam: Invitation to Bid on Town Wide Lawn Maintenance 2020-22 | HKN

Lorraine Riess has been selected for a two-year appointment as the Poet Laureate of Haddam. Lorraine, a published poet, and a Haddam resident will serve in the honorary position as the ambassador of the community’s literary life on January 1, 2021.

The selection was made by a committee of community representatives that considered applicants’ breadth of experience in poetry, comfort level in public speaking, and achievements of distinction.

Although the position is unpaid, the Haddam Poet Laureate position is endorsed by the Town of Haddam and will be assisted by the Brainerd Memorial Library in the coordination of scheduling of events.

“Brainerd Memorial Library is delighted to announce the selection of Lorraine Riess as Haddam’s first Poet Laureate,” said Marijean Conrad, President of the Library Board of Trustees. “Lorraine is an accomplished poet who will give us a unique appreciation of life in Haddam. Our congratulations and best wishes go to Lorraine on this honor.”

Margaret Gibson, Connecticut’s State Poet Laureate, welcomed Lorraine to the ranks of Poet Laureates serving in more than thirty cities and towns across the state and said, “Ms. Riess is not only an accomplished poet, but she is also a generous and a compassionate listener, able to offer her insights and experience to others. Part of my focus as the State of Connecticut Poet Laureate is to offer the Town Poet Laureates opportunities to work together as we all bring poetry into the lives of our communities, whether in readings, workshops, community discussions.  Poems give voice to our essential humanity, using language with imagination to engage our attention and reach out to each other.  What good news that Haddam will be joining a state-wide expansion of language arts and imagination into the community!”

poet laureate (plural: poets laureate) is a poet officially appointed by a government or conferring institution, typically expected to compose poems for special events and occasions. 

Albertino Mussato and Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) of Italy, were the first crowned poets laureate, in 1315 and 1342. In Britain, the term dates from the appointment of Bernard André by Henry VII of England.

The royal office of Poet Laureate in England dates from the appointment of John Dryden in 1668. Today, a Laureate title may be conferred by an organization such as the Poetry Foundation, unconnected with the United States Poet Laureate.

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