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Rhode Island State Poet receives award from American Academy of Poets

East Providence resident Cane gains prestigious $50,000 grant

Posted 5/28/20

PROVIDENCE — The Academy of American Poets announced Tina Cane, State Poet of Rhode Island, has been named one of its 2020 Poets Laureate Fellows. Ms. Cane, a resident of East Providence, will …

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Rhode Island State Poet receives award from American Academy of Poets

East Providence resident Cane gains prestigious $50,000 grant

Posted

PROVIDENCE — The Academy of American Poets announced Tina Cane, State Poet of Rhode Island, has been named one of its 2020 Poets Laureate Fellows. Ms. Cane, a resident of East Providence, will receive $50,000 to support community-based poetry projects throughout the Ocean State.

The 23 individuals named by the Academy serve as Poets Laureate of states, cities, counties, and the Navajo Nation and will be leading civic poetry programs in their respective communities in the year ahead. They will each receive $50,000 for a combined total of $1.1 million.

“As we face the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people are turning to poetry for comfort and courage. We are honored and humbled in this moment of great need to fund poets who are talented artists and community organizers, who will most certainly help guide their communities forward,” said Jennifer Benka, President and Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets.  

In Rhode Island Ms. Cane will bring visiting poet workshops and residencies to underserved schools and community centers in Rhode Island. She will also organize and curate a reading series at the RISD Museum and local bookstores, as well as bring her Poetry-in-Motion RI program to every public school in the state through a broadside poster initiative. In addition, Ms. Cane will develop the Youth Poetry Ambassador program she launched in 2017, with Rhode Island Center for the Book, to further engage youth across the state.

Of the award, Ms. Cane said, "I love serving as poet laureate of Rhode Island and am thrilled beyond measurement to receive this recognition from the Academy of American Poets. Support for poetry and the arts is crucial--during this time especially--and I am so grateful to be able to do more of what I love."

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, added, “It’s been our pleasure and honor to support the work of our amazing State Poet. We’re delighted that Tina has received this national recognition, and we look forward to her continued good work on behalf of poetry in Rhode Island, supported in part by this generous award.”

Through its Poets Laureate Fellowship program, the Academy has become the largest financial supporter of poets in the nation. The fellowship program is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which, in January of this year, awarded the Academy $4.5 million. The award will fund the program in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Born and raised in New York City, Ms. Cane’s poems and translations have appeared in numerous publications, including The Literary Review, Two Serious Ladies, Tupelo Quarterly, Jubliat and The Common. She also co-produces, with Atticus Allen, the podcast, Poetry Dose and is the creator/curator of the distance reading series, Poetry is Bread. She is the author of four books and previously received the Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry, from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

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