Three poets laureate selected to represent Richmond over next two years

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Richmond has selected three poets laureate instead of one to represent the city this year: Donte Clark, Brenda Quintanilla and Lincoln Bergman.
Richmond has selected three poets laureate instead of one to represent the city this year: (left to right) Donte Clark, Lincoln Bergman, Brenda Quintanilla.

Three poets laureate have been selected to represent Richmond: Donte Clark, Brenda Quintanilla and Lincoln Bergman.

“So impressive was the response to the call for applications this spring that the Poet Laureate Selection Panel was hard pressed to select just one,” City Manager Bill Lindsay stated in his latest newsletter.

Clark, Quintanilla and Bergman were selected not only for being skilled poets but for representing a “wide range of age, gender and cultural diversity.” A poetry slam was held June 25 to help a city panel decide on the finalists. The trio is now tasked with working together for the next two years to promote poetry among Richmond’s youth, and to act as spokespersons for the growing number of poets and writers in the city.

They will also work with the West Contra County Unified School District on poetry programs and events.

Dwayne Parish, the city’s first ever Poet Laureate, concluded his two-year term at the end of April, bringing his acrostic style to the Richmond community. A collection of his work will be published this year, Lindsay’s newsletter stated.

Other applicants for poets laureate this year included Nyabingha Zianni McDowell, Ivori Holson, Daniel Ari, and Collette McCaslin. They have been invited to join a new poetry committee.

“During the tryouts, each of the applicants expressed a desire to make a contribution to poetry in Richmond, whether or not they were chosen as Poet Laureate,” Lindsay’s newsletter said.

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