On August 20th, 2015, Volusia County appointed its Poets Laureate. Dr. David B. Axelrod, and M. B. McLatchey now have the rare distinction of being one of only two pairs of Laureates serving the same region simultaneously in the United States. Volusia County, Florida, joins Prince William County, Virginia, in welcoming two poets to the post.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VOLUSIA POET LAUREATE WEB PAGES hosted by CHI, Creative Happiness Institute, Inc.
The role of the Volusia Poet Laureate is to “Promote the reading, writing, and appreciation of poetry throughout the County and in so doing, promote greater literacy, cultural activity and tourism.” A selection committee advertised open nominations, screened nominees, and recommended both poets to the County Council with the assumption that one would be appointed. Wanting to provide even more benefit to their constituents, the Council, in turn decided to make both candidates a Poet Laureate.
To the many public events and performances Dr. Axelrod already presents, he plans to fund raise for and institute a Young Poets Mentoring Program. An earlier, similar project he instituted resulted in the publication of nine chapbooks by poets, ages 16 to 24, which were the result of pairings with established poets who worked with the young poets until a manuscript was perfected.
Other plans are for a variety of new venues throughout Volusia County, as well as visits to libraries and public schools.
INTERESTED IN HAVING DR. AXELROD VISIT WITH YOUR GROUP?
Dr. Axelrod has initiated a Young Poets Mentoring Program, in association with Kevin Campbell, who will institute a “Brave New Poets” performance venue, and Dylan Emerick-Brown who will be the Public Schools Liason.
The program will invite young poets to apply for study with established, published poets. Young poets who are accepted into the program will work to complete a body of poetry, selections from which will appear in an anthology &/or be published as a chapbook.