New U.S. Poet Laureate


Stacia M. Fleegal

York Daily Record multiplatform journalist

Charles Wright, a native of Tennessee, author of 24 collections of poetry and winner of a National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Critics Circle Award and a Bollingen Prize, has been appointed the next poet laureate of the United States.

According to The Washington Post, “In an advance copy of Thursday’s announcement, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, ‘Charles Wright is a master of the meditative, image-driven lyric. Wright’s body of work combines a Southern sensibility with an allusive expansiveness, for moments of singular musicality.’”

Learn more about Charles Wright by visiting The Poetry Foundation, or by picking up a copy of one of his books. The author himself, in the Post’s story, recommends 1984′s “The Other Side of the River” and his most recently published book, “Caribou.”

Maya Angelou Passes

Today I am too sad for words, too sad to write anything poetically.  Maya Angelou not only inspired so many of us, her words were some of the most powerful and moving things I have ever heard or read.  We all lament her passing, and we all strive to be half the poet she was.

“Listen to yourself, and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God”—Maya Angelou’s final message

A Song for the Faeries

I wrote this song to celebrate the incredible experience of the Fairie Festival—enjoy!

Spoutwood Faerie Song

Come out, sweet Faeries, come out to play,

To celebrate Spring and the month of May.

The Green Man proclaimed a Festival day

For frolic and fun, both Mortals and Fae.


We’ll gather the Tribes from far and near:

Woodland and River will surely appear,

Mountain and Meadow, their air so clear

Bid welcome to Nature’s royalty dear.


Flitting and feasting and bubbles for some.

The Green Men protect and bless as they roam.

Fiddle and harp and pipes and drum

Delight King and Queen and all those who come.


The Bards will tell tales and stories of old:

Courage, adventure, and journeys unfold,

Copper bells gleaming and fortunes foretold

As Beltaine fires flame and turn all to gold.


“Kubiando” will echo all through the glade,

Music and dancing and wings arrayed,

Embers and Magick to light our way.

So come out, dear Faeries, come out and play!

© JD

A Rainy April Night

Sometimes I wish I could just sit down and write poetry, instead of setting up all this social media stuff—poems are much more fun!  Ah, well, it’s for a good cause if it gets the word out there.  So much wonderful poetry and writing information, and so many events!  I love that I am getting to meet new people who have such interesting and diverse points of view! 🙂

Hanover Poet Laureate

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.