Aggie Poet Laureate

The Creative Writing Program and the Bluford Library of North Carolina A&T State university jointly hosts a competitive competition for the selection of A&T’s Aggie Poet Laureate: A consultant in Poetry. A poet Laureate could be thought of as an ambassador of Poetry in that she or he makes it her or his business to raise the consciousness of the community to poetry and its value both written and spoken. During the tenure, The Aggie Poet Laureate will give public readings, initiate projects to help promote poetry awareness and literacy. The Poet Laurate will serve a term of one year (1) April to April. Ms. Veronica C. Kelley  is the current Aggie Poet Laureate for the 2017-2018 academic year. If you are interested in booking the Aggie Poet Laureate click here.

Do You Want to Become the Next Aggie Poet Laureate?

Any A&T student in GOOD academic standing is eligible to apply and serve.

· All submissions will be submitted in electronic format using Microsoft Word.

· All submissions must be received by the submission deadline (March 15, each year to be considered.

Click here to read more…

What does an Aggie Poet Laureate do?

If selected, the Aggie Poet Laureate must be able to perform the following duties:

An Aggie Poet Laureate is someone selected in part because of her or his achievements as a writer and should be a poet of good craftsmanship and one who has made an effort to study this craft and to hone his/her individual voice. The Poet Laureate as a community leader should be comfortable with public speaking, appearances and interviews, and should be able to speak clearly and capably. The position of Aggie Poet Laureate includes duties that involve adapting well to a variety of occasions such as writing poems for a specific occasion or to commemorate an event past or present, for example. Not only is the Aggie Poet Laureate a position of high honor, it is a position of community service. Principally, the duties of an Aggie Poet Laureate are bound by the following activities:

  • Aggie Poet Laureate must give a reading or presentation to inaugurate their term.
  • Aggie Poet Laureate must select a project to initiate during their term.
  • Aggie Poet Laureate should be prepared to write poems for specific occasions.
  • Aggie Poet Laureate must give a reading or presentation to close their term.

Meet the Aggie Poet Laureate 2017-2018: Veronica Kelley 


Hello, I'm Veronica Kelley, the new Aggie Poet Laureate! I'd say I'm from around here, but the reality of it is a lot more complicated. To make a long story short, I currently live in Rockingham County, but have also lived in Virginia Beach and Montreal for many years of my childhood. Currently I'm a rising senior, an English major and also a recent transfer student, so I'm still learning what it means to be a true Aggie.

Funny enough, I didn't have much experience with poetry outside of my English studies until I came here to A&T and took the intermediate and advanced poetry classes. I was astounded by the success I found, but since I'm a relatively new poet I haven't gotten published anywhere just yet. But I feel truly blessed to have this title. It's an amazing responsibility to be apart of something so important and I hope I will do well to help establish this legacy of poetry writing going forward. I'm trying to take this new position one day at a time, but I am excited to see what the future holds for the role of the Aggie Poet Laureate and how it will develop over the coming year and beyond.

As a whole, I am hoping to increase poetry awareness in our local community. This means we will be hosting more events that showcase the talents of our community of writers and poets. This is a simple goal but is only the beginning of what we have in store for this Aggie Poet Laureate position. I'm really looking forward to bettering my skill as a writer and a poet by working closely with all of the talented people here at A&T. I hope through this program, not only will I get better as a poet, but it will inspire other people to consider taking up poetry-- be it as a craft or even as a hobby. I believe that anybody can become a poet, and I hope that this program will open a lot of eyes to just how diverse poetry can be as an art form. 

Original Poems by our Poet Laureate

I, Strangelove

It’s time to resign

Bloodshot exhaustion weighting my chest

It anchors me to this seat

Heavy enough that I might fall through the floor one day

And if I did fall

How could I climb back up?

The skin of my hands is already worn to the white

Raw from untying the knots

The endless knots

Like the rope in gym class that no one was ever asked to climb

But I’m trying to get them undone

Even though I know there’s someone upstream

Making more

Though, sometimes they send me remarkable things

Tight hitches

Celtic butterflies

Handsome nooses

It’s easier to tie knots than to get them undone

I’ve trapped myself

In some divine punishment

But I’m not Prometheus, chained

I’m the eagle, picking at the knots

These goddamn knots

Looking for satisfaction

Or sustenance

Or retribution

Till either I

Or the knot-maker

Find our end

Siberian Breaks

They move as a mass

And shuffle to the rising of the east

Time pulls on sleeves of light

Slowly reeling in the long shadows of morning

As they reach back towards night

Even the sun didn’t dare look for long

It swells and dips

Peaking low on the horizon

The sky avoid that blinds in blues and the occasional gold

Dim and submarine

While the cold

Working as patiently as ever

Made nostalgic disparity

The fever

The grief

Where only ripples reside in place of self

A hollowness that broke upon the shores of dissolution

It’s not the heretic’s fate of funeral pyre

But an end by ice

Preserved instead of purified

Another Haunt 

I beg for identity in concrete terms

If you ask for perspectives

I can be a shattered mirror

Bleed myself with the voice of others

Til I bend pale with exsanguination

I know I'm past due a bleed or two

When I'm an outsider in every circle

An outlier on every graph

Struggling to condense substance from a void

I’m not a blank slate

It’s the world that’s bleached

Washed white in my eyes

I have to be told what to value

I can't see it anymore

And if you don’t watch me

I’ll gnaw past the sugar down to the bone

Scribble on these empty walls in your name

Wear your skin

And stumble around as you do

Though I'll always babble on in my own tongue

Unintelligible even to kindred intangibles