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Molinaro Re-Appoints Dr. Lucia Cherciu as 2022 Poet Laureate

Published: 3/9/2022

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced he has reappointed Poughkeepsie resident Dr. Lucia Cherciu as the County’s Poet Laureate for 2022. Dr. Cherciu will continue to bring poetry to the community through a series of reading events throughout the year.

County Executive Molinaro said, “The bold creativity of the artists within our Dutchess County arts community have helped to bolster our spirits, strengthen our relationships, and build us all up during some of the most trying times we’ve been through. I am confident, as we find our way back to normalcy, the arts and our artists will continue to keep us connected and improve our quality of life. We are proud to continue our commitment to the arts and look forward to Dr. Cherciu’s continued contributions as our 2022 Poet Laureate.”

Dr. Cherciu was born in Romania and came to the United States in 1995. She received her Ph.D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2000 with a dissertation on women and laughter, titled “Ludicrous ‘Scribbling Women’: The Politics of Laughter and Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers.” She is a Professor of English at SUNY/Dutchess Community College, where she has been working for twenty years. She enjoys working with her students and in spring she usually conducts a Service Learning Project at Morse Elementary School.  

"These are difficult times, when people around the world understand how important it is to work together, support one another, and use writing in order to communicate, show compassion, and help in the process of healing." Dr. Cherciu said, "The crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated to us how words can be used to show solidarity and work towards making peace. Poetry, story-telling, and all the arts can contribute to changing the world, making us more empathetic and kind, so we can reach out to our neighbors and help them out. We should all work together to ensure that all schools have access to resources in order to teach Visual Arts, Music, Poetry, and use creativity in the spirit of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion."

Dr. Cherciu writes both in English and Romanian and is the author of five books of poetry: Train Ride to Bucharest (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017), which received the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize, Edible Flowers (Main Street Rag, 2016), Lalele din Paradis / Tulips in Paradise (Editura Eikon, 2017), Altoiul Râsului / Grafted Laughter (Editura Brumar, 2010), and Lepădarea de Limbă / The Abandonment of Language (Editura Vinea, 2009). Dr. Cherciu’s poetry was nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize, twice for Best of the Net, and her work has appeared in numerous publications.

Arts Mid-Hudson manages the Poet Laureate selection process, which includes inviting a panel of literary professionals and community members to review nominations and make their recommendation. Public nominations for the unpaid role of 2023 Dutchess County Poet Laureate will be accepted this summer.

“We are so appreciative of Dr. Lucia Cherciu, our Dutchess County poet Laureate for 2021 and are thrilled with the decision to reappoint her for another year in 2022,” said Alyson Pou, Executive Director for Arts Mid-Hudson. “Poetry enriches all our lives. Many thanks to County Executive Molinaro for his continued support of Arts and Culture in Dutchess County.”

Dr. Cherciu will speak at the County Executive’s 2022 State of the County address, details of which will be announced soon.