I am incredibly excited to be named as the new Poet Laureate for Hanover, PA. What an opportunity! I will be able to share my poetry with the community in so many new ways! I can hardly wait to begin my tenure, sharing not only through this blog, but through a variety of public appearances and workshops. A copy of the press release and my acceptance speech appear below:
HANOVER, PA: JoAnne Diodato will be appointed as the new Poet Laureate for the Hanover, PA area at the regular Hanover Borough Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hanover Municipal building. The Poet Laureate position was established to promote, encourage, and seek ways to share poetry with the citizens of the Hanover area.
The Poet Laureate is charged with specific duties, including:
Penning poems to commemorate public events and community traditions
Encouraging and educating young people to produce poetry,
Rhetorical recitations before public gatherings as required, and
Encouraging community enthusiasm for poetry.
Ms. Diodato brings to the position her unique combination of skills and background, with degrees in both Nuclear Engineering and Education, as well as several technical publications, to her credit. One of the first members of Hanover Poets, she has garnered various poetry awards, and her poems have been featured in a number of anthologies. She participates in regional poetry readings, critiques, and juried shows, and she has appeared in “Culture and Main” on WRCT-TV. Her work blends whimsicality with science and everyday observations to give voice to a rational yet touching view of the world around us.
Ms. Diodato hosts the Hanover Young Adult Writers Group at the Guthrie Memorial Library in Hanover. She is active in community choral and theatre groups, and she also performs as a festival musician/vocalist.
I would like to say thank you to the former Poets Laureate and to the Poet Laureate Selection Committee for choosing me for this honor. I would also like to thank Mayor Adams and the Hanover Borough Council for supporting the establishment and continuation of the Hanover Poet Laureate position.
This is my goal: to gather poetry from the people of the community, to provide a forum for their voices as well as mine. The skills of writing poetry are part mechanics and part art, and they are skills that can be learned and honed like any craft. To this end I am pleased to announce that, as my first endeavor, and in celebration of National Poetry Month this April, The Teen Advisory Group at the Guthrie Memorial Library – Hanover’s Public Library and I are organizing a Teen Poetry Contest for students in the Hanover area. I hope that this activity, and many more, will help make poetry a dialogue and shared experience for us all.
In today’s world, we sometimes forget that poetry is a form of communication, and as such it demands a dialogue, a two-way street, in order to mean anything. It can’t just be written for people and read to people, it must come from the people themselves. This is what I hope to achieve during my two-year tenure.