Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has appointed Hopewell Junction resident Raphael Kosek as the County's 2019 Poet Laureate. Ms. Kosek will serve a one-year term in this unpaid role and bring poetry to the community through a series of readings and events, the first of which will be to read her poetry at the County Executive's 2019 State of the County Address.
County Executive Molinaro said, "Dutchess County is privileged to be home to so many talented men and women who contribute to our tourism industry and improve our quality of life as part of a robust arts community. We are proud to continue our commitment to the arts and look forward to Raphael's inspiring and educational contributions as our new Poet Laureate."
Ms. Kosek has received numerous awards for her poetry writing, including the Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition with Rough Grace. She has organized poetry events for youth including a Poetry Slam for Special Education students, participated in numerous poetry readings with fellow poets at libraries, bookstores and galleries, and participated in Writing Across the Arts panel at the Millbrook Literary Festival. Ms. Kosek has a full-length book coming this year, Brick Road Poetry Press: American Mythology.
Ms. Kosek said, "As Poet Laureate, through a series of poetry workshops and performances, I hope to empower communities to find their voice for their dreams, goals, and aspirations."
Arts Mid-Hudson managed the process of the public call for nominations, inviting a panel of literary professionals and community members to select from the nominations. Public nominations for the 2020 Dutchess County Poet Laureate will be accepted this summer.
"We appreciate County Executive Molinaro's dedication to Dutchess County's arts community, and his selection of Raphael Kosek as our 2019 Poet Laureate is one we can all celebrate," said Linda Marston-Reid, Executive Director for Arts Mid-Hudson. "The promotion of poetry throughout Dutchess County benefits residents of all ages and backgrounds, and we applaud County Executive Molinaro for his continued appreciation of the arts."