Carrboro was the first town in North Carolina to have a local poet laureate and 20 years later is still continuing that advancement of poetry during National Poetry Month.
National Poetry Month is celebrated annually in April — and the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are both celebrating this year. National Poetry Month was first launched in April 1996 by the Academy of American Poets.
“The town of Carrboro has been a poetry-loving community since at least going back as far as 2002, when we established the poet laureate,” Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils said.
He said he has always loved poetry and enjoys sharing and celebrating it with his neighbors.
“It’s been an arts-loving town for a long time now," Seils said. "Whether it’s poetry or the visual arts or music, it’s just been a place where artists, musicians and others have found a home. I don’t know what to attribute that to — obviously, the proximity to the University has a lot to do with that."
Liza Wolff-Francis, Carrboro’s current poet laureate, will be involved in a line-up of events in April to celebrate the month in Carrboro.
Wolff-Francis said eco-poetry is important to her, especially since Earth Day is also celebrated in April. On April 22, Earth Day, Wolff-Francis will be at the Carrboro Farmers' Market for a seedling giveaway and community poem event.
During her tenure as poet laureate, Wolff-Francis said she is trying to get poetry out in the community in whatever way she can.
"Anybody can write a poem, and probably people have many, many poems within them," she said.