This week New Hampshire’s Executive Council confirmed Governor Maggie Hassan’s nomination of Alice B. Fogel of Acworth, N.H., as the next New Hampshire Poet Laureate.
For the first time in its history, the New Hampshire Poet Laureate position includes an honorarium of $500 for each year of the five-year term to help the next poet laureate achieve his or her stated mission. Funding comes from contributions made to the Walter Butts’ New Hampshire Poet Laureate Fund, created in memory of the most recent New Hampshire Poet Laureate, and coordinated through the Poetry Society of New Hampshire.
Fogel is an award-winning poet, author, teacher and well-respected figure in the New Hampshire poetry community. Her third book, Be That Empty, was a national poetry bestseller in 2008, and Strange Terrain (on how to appreciate poetry without “getting” it) was published in 2009. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 1993, guest edited by Louise Gluck. Fogel's newest book, Interval: Poems Based upon Bach’s Goldberg Variations, won the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature, and is forthcoming from Schaffner Press.
Fogel was the 2012 Poet in Residence at the Carl Sandburg Historical Site National Park and has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other awards. She has provided professional development and served as a judge for the N.H. Poetry Out Loud high school competition and currently teaches writing at both Keene State College and Landmark College in Putney, Vt.
“I am deeply pleased, honored and grateful for the opportunity to give back to our wonderfully art-nurturing state,” said Fogel.“I believe that poetry – along with other arts – is life-enhancing, opening us to necessary reflection and empathy. As Poet Laureate, I hope to bring more readers to the personal and communal experiences of poetry, through the many works available to us by poets here in New Hampshire and beyond.”Seventeen nominations were received from across the state and reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the New Hampshire Writers’ Project as well as other select members from the New Hampshire literary community.
“Alice is a nationally recognized poet and teacher with a gift for making poetry accessible, inclusive and relevant to a wide audience and we know she will draw on these talents to promote poetry in New Hampshire as our next state poet laureate,” said Kyle Potvin, president of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, the organization charged with submitting a recommendation to the Governor.Established by the state legislature in 1967, New Hampshire’s poet laureate is an honorary five-year position held by an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of poetry. The impressive list of former New Hampshire poets laureate includes Walter Butts, Patricia Fargnoli, Marie Harris, Donald Hall, Cynthia Huntington, Jane Kenyon and Maxine Kumin.
In 2006 there was a special edition of Book Notes (in the print incarnation) on the NH Poets Laureate.