Alexandria Commission for the Arts Names Ryan Wojtanowski as New Poet Laureate

SOURCE: Alexandria City

Theo nguồn tin trên trang mạng thành phố Alexandria trong tiểu bang Virginia

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2016

The Alexandria Commission for the Arts announces the appointment of Captain Ryan Wojtanowski as the new Poet Laureate. A resident of Del Ray since 1977, Captain Wojtanowski has worked the Waterfront since 1988. Currently serving as the Head Captain of the Dandy Dinner Boats, “Captain Ry” received a B.S. in Communications Arts Education and is a Master Mariner in the US. Merchant Marine. He has published a collection of poetry entitled “Science and Sentiment” and has been published in Boston University’s Journal 309, and Montana Fly Fishing Magazine. He has also recently been accepted for publication by Regina Williams’ “The Story Teller.”

Captain Ry’s poems are about ideas, events, places, people, literature and science. His poetry is well-researched, precise, and written to be read aloud; using alliteration, meter and occasional rhyme to please the ear, amuse, and provoke a thought or two. He loves English and believes it is an unabashed thief — if it lacks a word it simply steals the best from abroad; a boon to the poet and a diverse thread in our social fabric.

The role of the City’s Poet Laureate is to promote appreciation of poetry as an art form; to encourage creative writing and reading of all forms of literature; and to promote literacy through poetry. The Poet Laureate serves a three-year term.

City Council re-established the Poet Laureate program in 2006, and Mary McElveen was selected to fill the post. Ms. McElveen served as Poet Laureate from 2007-2010. Ms. Young served from 2010 -2013 and Tori Lane Kovarik served from 2013-2016 as Poet Laureate. Prior to McElveen’s appointment, Jean Elliott, an Alexandria resident, served as the City’s “Poet in Residence” from 1979 until her death in 1999.

DASHing Words in Motion – Winning Poets Named
The City of Alexandria Office of the Arts and the Alexandria Transit Company joined forces to host a poetry contest “DASHing Words in Motion.” The poetry contest encouraged quality writing by writers and poets 16 years or older, who lived, worked or studied in the City of Alexandria.

Seven poets were selected from thirty-two submissions. Tori Lane Kovarik, Poet Laureate, City of Alexandria and the winning poets: Veeteebee, Sarah Paez, Beverly C. Weaver, Teddie Dyson, KaNikki Jakarta, Wendi Kaplan, and Caitlin Fitzsimmons have their poems published inside the DASH buses and Trolleys in April and May.

April 21, National Poem in Your Pocket Day
Did you know that this Thursday, April 21 is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Encourage colleagues, clients or youth you work with to put a poem in their pockets, share your favorite poem, or encourage reading poetry in one of Alexandria’s neighborhood pocket parks.

The final activity for National Poetry Month is scheduled for April 21. It is a community poetry celebration. The Ryan Wojtanowski, new Poet Laureate for the City of Alexandria, a few past laureates, the “DASHing Words in Motion” poetry contest winners, individuals who have entered poetry in the contest along with Alexandria residents are invited to read their poems. A meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. and program at 7 p.m. This event will be held at the Athenaeum, 201 Prince St. For more information, call 703.548.0035.

Don’t forget, put a poem in your pocket on Thursday, April 21 and share it. Also, plan to attend the April 21 community poetry celebration at the Athenaeum!!

For more information on Office of the Arts programs, activities and initiatives, contact Cheryl Anne Colton, Regional Program Director, at 703.746.5588 or

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