The Jersey City Municipal Council established the position of Poet Laureate by resolution on November 7, 2018. In December 2018, the City of Jersey City named Rashad Wright as Poet Laureate.
Wright was chosen from a call for nominations that was open from June through September 2018 through the Jersey City Arts Council.
Mana Contemporary will provide working studio space for the Poet Laureate, and Wright will be in residence there for the duration of his two-year term, 2019-2020.
About Rashad Wright:
Rashad Wright is the Poet Laureate of Jersey City, the first person to hold the title since 2004. He is also a graduate of New Jersey City University, receiving his BA in English: Creative Writing. On campus, Wright was most known for his work with Peers Educating Peers (PEP) as a certified peer educator.
Wright’s poetry has been heard from both local and national stages through slam poetry, and is currently the first and only person titled Grandslam Champion of Jersey City Slam twice. He has also competed in the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California, and then again in the 2017 National Poetry Slam in Denver, Colorado. Since 2016, Wright has been coaching through Jersey City Slam. At the 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam in Spokane, Washington Rashad placed 25th in the country. At the 2018 Individual Poetry Slam in San Diego, California, Rashad placed 20th in the country.
Wright has been awarded: First Place for the Walter Glospie American Academy of Poets Prize. Outside of poetry Rashad’s work expands into memoir, fiction, short story, performance art, and music. His work has been published in several online magazines and journals. He is currently working on a book length manuscript titled A Prince In His Cadence.