Here’s a look at Sacramento’s poet laureate (via Sacramento Bee)

Andru Defeye shouldn’t be here.

Sacramento’s current poet laureate, a 38-year-old Oak Park resident, was selected for his title in February 2020 with little published poetry. Born without stomach muscles, which led to serious childhood health issues, he tells people his first poem, at age 13, was a suicide note. He moved to Sacramento in 2009 after a hip hop career in the Bay Area led to substance abuse.

But Defeye, who was born Andrew Bell and grew up in Manteca, has never been one to sit idly, instead working diligently to grow Sacramento’s poetry community and make it more inclusive.

“We’ve been making history out here for the last 12-plus years,” Defeye told The Bee, in an interview weeks ahead of April’s National Poetry Month. Locally, Defeye is organizing Sunday events at McKinley Park that he’s called the First Church of Poetry.

Defeye’s History:

Defeye doesn’t live on poetry alone, with the poet laureateship paying $3,000 per year. For his day job, he works as a communications consultant. Still, he manages to stay highly active in local poetry, both as poet laureate and in his years in Sacramento before.

“One of my favorite things about Andru is just his community orientation,” said Megan Van Voorhis, who became the city’s director of convention and cultural services in December and was previously its creative economy manager.

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Sacramento Bee

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