Local writer named Flint’s first Poet Laureate


FLINT TWP. — Flint Township resident and local poet/writer Semaj Brown has been named Flint’s first Poet Laureate for her efforts to promote childhood literacy through poetry and the arts.

Brown, author of “Bleeding Fire! Tap the Eternal Spring of Regenerative Light,” was selected to the Academy of American Poets’ Fellowship for 2021. The Academy of American Poets, with support from the Mellon Foundation, will fund 23 individuals to serve as Poets Laureate of states and cities across the United States.

Each of the selected poets will lead public poetry programs in their respective communities in the year ahead and will receive $50,000 to fund their programs (or $25,000 each in the case of the shared Poet Laureate position in Montana) for a combined total of $1.1 million.

In addition, the Academy will provide over $100,000 total to 14 local 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations that have agreed to support the Fellows’ proposed projects.

As Poet Laureate, Brown will use her Fellowship funding to develop an interdisciplinary, integrated on-line platform named The Poetry Pod Project (P3). This project will utilize Brown’s pedagogy, coined TiSiWiDi (Think it, Say it, Write/Work it, Do it), which integrates music, visual art, performance and games to enhance literacy and the appreciation of poetry through the listening to, reading and writing of poetry.

P3 will launch the intergenre seminar, “Poetry Letters: Poetry as a 2nd Language,” which will include three continuous, yearlong workshops entitled Poetry Voices, Poetry Painting and Poetry Pen Pals.

Brown will launch the Poetry Pod Project in collaboration with the Flint Zeta Foundation.

Along with her background as a poet, Brown is a playwright, Thought Leader, university lecturer and K–12 curriculum builder/ facilitator whose work is an amalgam of the arts and sciences.

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