Former Carrboro Poet Laureate, Gary Phillips, shares his thoughts on Fred Joiner becoming the new Poet Laureate. As members of the Carrboro Poets Council, these two poets have worked together closely on past festivals. Read this questionnaire answered by the man himself, Gary Phillips!
How do you feel about “passing the torch” to Fred Joiner?
“Fred Joiner is one of my favorite poets and a very valuable member of the poet’s council. He has a beautiful family and a powerful voice. I couldn’t be happier."
Looking back at the 2019 West End Poetry Festival, how did poetry make an impact in the community of Carrboro?
“I think we have brought poetry into the civic and public life of Carrboro in a powerful way: expanding the festival to 4 days, curating over 40 diverse voices with standing room only crowds on Thursday night, laying a poem down for every Board of Aldermen meeting; that’s the shit of legend, man.”
Is there a statement you’d like to give to the public? Will you still be engaging in the Carrboro’s Poets council?
“No, I’ll let my work and my poetry stand for me. Except to say this: poetry is essential. I will certainly stay involved in the council. We have a lot of work to do. I’m looking forward to it.”