Although it was the home of famed poet John Greenleaf Whittier, Amesbury has never had an official Poet Laureate, which is something that six-year Amesbury Cultural Council member David Andrews plans of rectifying very soon.
“We are appointing Amesbury’s first Poet Laureate,” Andrews said.
Also the Cultural Council’s treasurer and a published writer himself, Andrews will be serving as the chairman of the six-person independent selection committee which hopes to name the city’s first Poet Laureate this autumn. An Amesbury resident for the past eight years, Andrews will serve on the selection committee alongside local poetry enthusiasts Peter Fulton, Elizabeth Stockwell and Joanne Sullivan as well as Whittier Home Association president Chris Bryant and Interim Superintendent of Schools Gary Reese.
“I am glad this is happening,” Andrews said. “The Amesbury area is a hotbed of poets and poetry activity. There are poetry slams and meetings practically every night where people get together and work on writing and poetry. So I think this great.”
Created by the Cultural Council, the appointment (which the Council anticipates will pay a grant and local sponsor-funded $1,000 stipend,) will require a two-year term. The Cultural Council also plans to name Greenleaf Whittier Poet Laureate Emeritus of a city which has inspired generations of poets.