City of Alexandria Names Amy Young as New Poet Laureate
- The City of Alexandria has appointed Amy A. Young as the new Poet Laureate.
- Ms. Young succeeds Mary McElveen, who served as Poet Laureate since 2007.
The City of Alexandria announces the appointment of Amy A. Young as the new Poet Laureate. Young, a resident of Alexandria, has read, studied, and written poetry since she was a child growing up in Washington, DC. For the last 11 years, she has led the Writer’s Lab for 11- and 12-year-olds with learning disabilities at the Lab School of Washington. She also has taught writing workshops for learning disabled adults. Young has studied poetry in George Mason University’s Master of Fine Arts program and has been trained to lead intensive writing workshops for people from a variety of backgrounds. In her role as Poet Laureate, Ms. Young will create programs to foster an appreciation of poetry as an art form, to encourage creative writing and reading, and to promote literacy through poetry.
Poet Lore, a prominent journal, recently published Young’s work, and Anukriti Sud Hittle, a visual artist in St. Louis, is producing and selling collage paintings inspired by one of her poems. A leading classical ensemble, the 21st Century Consort, will perform the world premiere of Thomas Albert’s Characters, a series of Young’s poems set to music, as the centerpiece of a special concert at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in May.
City Council re-established the Poet Laureate program in 2006, and Mary McElveen was selected to fill the post. Prior to McElveen’s appointment, City Council last appointed a Poet Laureate in 1979. Jean Elliott, an Alexandria resident, served as the City’s “Poet in Residence” until her death in 1999.
To select Ms. McElveen’s successor, the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and the Office of the Arts issued a call for nominations in the fall of 2009. A Selection Committee representing Alexandria residents reviewed nominations, interviewed three finalists, and recommended the appointment of Amy Young as the next Poet Laureate to the Mayor and City Council.