N.C. A&T Selects 2023-24 Aggie Poet Laureate

By Markita Rowe / 10/17/2023 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 17, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University graduate student Essence Connor-Barringer has become the sixth Aggie Poet Laureate after being competitively selected for the 2023-24 role. 

Connor-Barringer is a M.A. student in English and African American literature from Charlotte, North Carolina. She holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing from N.C. A&T. She serves as a writing consultant in the University Writing Center and has published two books of poetry, “Maple Sunrise” and “An Ochre Road.”

Connor-Barringer’s selection as Aggie Poet Laureate comes as a result of her achievements as a writer, commitment to craftsmanship and tireless efforts to cultivate her unique voice within the literary landscape, according to A&T’s Aggie Poet Laureate selection committee. The committee, comprised of professional writers and F.D. Bluford library staff, carefully reviews application portfolios and selects the most qualified poet.

“I look forward to influencing other young Black writers to pursue their dreams in the literature field,” said Connor-Barringer. “I am honored and excited to meet many of the faculty members as well as my collegiate peers, and believe I will be able to leave a monumental mark on A&T’s legacy as poet laureate."

According to A&T’s Creative Writing Program, a poet laureate is considered an ambassador of poetry who raises the consciousness of the community to poetry and its value, both written and spoken.

The Aggie Poet Laureate serves for one year and during that time, gives public readings and initiates projects to help promote poetry awareness and literacy.

“Essence promises to be one of our finest Aggie Poet Laureates,” said Jason DePolo, Ph.D., chair of the Department of English. “Her poems drive at the heart of not only the craft of poetry but also the emotions and aesthetic sensibility that fine poetry inspires.”

To book the Aggie Poet Laureate, contact DePolo at jdepolo@ncat.edu.

Media Contact Information: mcrowe@ncat.edu

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