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Carrboro Town News

Posted on: December 5, 2022

Mayor Seils Proclaims December 6 as Fred Joiner Day in Carrboro

Fred Joiner at The Art Center

CARRBORO, N.C. – Mayor Damon Seils has proclaimed Tuesday, Dec. 6, as Fred Joiner Day “in gratitude for Fred Joiner’s leadership and service as poet laureate of Carrboro and his invaluable contributions to the life and spirit of our community.”

Joiner will be formally recognized during the Town Council meeting scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St. The distinguished poet laureate was also recently honored before a live audience at The Arts Center during a performance of Dom Flemons, the “The American Songster.” 

First appointed as poet laureate for Carrboro in 2019, Joiner has served the town for three years, sharing his kindness and humble spirit with the community. His poetry choruses with references to Black History, hope, trauma, and tragedy.

Joiner is known for carrying a suitcase of his favorite, well-worn poetry books to share with poets and nonpoets. He has continued the tradition of opening meetings of the Town Council by reciting his own and others’ poems, poems that inform and inspire the Council as well as the audience both present and tuned in.

During his term, Joiner has organized poetry readings at Epilogue Books and curated storytelling and creative writing workshops with people experiencing homelessness.

He has served as the chair of the Orange County Arts Commission and helped spearhead the creation of an arts space in the Eno River Mill in Hillsborough to support artists and other creative people in our community.

Joiner has been at the peak of the artistic world of Washington, DC, serving on the boards of nonprofit organizations such as the American Poetry Museum and starting the Center for Poetic Thought.

In addition to publishing in numerous poetry publications, Fred was the winner of the Divine Comedy Poetry Contest sponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; and was selected as a Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets in 2019, one of only thirteen poets chosen from across the United States for their literary merit to “enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities, as well as create new work.”

Read the full proclamation here https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12142/Fred-Joiner-Day-2022

Fred Joiner with Mayor Damon Seils

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