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Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green to read at UNCP

Jaki Shelton Green
Jaki Shelton Green
Photo by Sylvia Freeman

Since being named N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green has been touring the state sharing her literary works on college campuses and with community groups.

On Monday, January 27, Green will hold a public reading at UNC Pembroke. The presentation will be held at 10 a.m. in the University Center lounge.

It is free and open to the public.

Recently appointed by Governor Roy Cooper, Green is North Carolina’s ninth poet laureate, the first African American and only the third woman to receive this recognition.    

A native of North Carolina, Green currently teaches poetry at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She has published eight books of poetry and been honored for her contributions to the literary world on multiple occasions, including a 2003 North Carolina Award (literature), the state’s highest civilian honor for significant contributions to the state and nation in fine art, literature, public service, and science. 

Scott Hicks, professor and director of the Teaching & Learning Center, says, “I’m thrilled for our UNCP community to meet this dynamic, unforgettable, and uplifting poet, this leading light of North Carolina letters. 

“During her reading at UNCP, guests will get to immerse themselves in her poetry, poetry that celebrates the people and places of our state and seeks to welcome the stories that make us who we are. You can see, hear, feel, smell, taste her poems; it’s like she once told an interviewer, ‘So when I'm writing, it's like I want to turn the words and look at the back side of the words. And that's where I go.’”  

Following the public reading, Green will offer a Creative Writing Workshop open to UNCP faculty, staff, and students. Seating is limited, and preregistration is required. To register, email Scott Hicks at

This event is sponsored by UNC Pembroke’s Teaching & Learning Center and Pembroke Magazine. To learn more about N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, visit