Bringing the presence of poetry to Carrboro is a responsibility that few people officially hold.

The Arts Committee just selected local award-winning poet Gary Phillips as the new Poet Laureate of Carrboro, where his role is to do just that.

“Carrboro is very fortunate to have had Gary selected to serve as our Poet Laureate for the next two years. His perspective on Carrboro will inform his poetry in a unique way that will be available for generations to enjoy,” said Mayor Lydia Lavelle.

The role of the Poet Laureate includes engaging in poetry-related activities around town like participating in Carrboro Day and helping organize the annual West End Poetry Festival that is sponsored by Carrboro.

“I have been in downtown Carrboro since 1982 and lived here as a student in the early ’70s. My poetry is like homemade bread, simple, warm and sometimes strongly flavored,” said Phillips.

“A singer and storyteller, I believe words are important and poetry is an essential part of our public life. Teaching, performing, gathering poets together – that’s all sweet gravy for me. I look forward to it.”

Previous Poet Laureate, Celisa Steele says Phillips is ideal for the role and that Carrboro is “lucky to have him.”

Phillips will hold the position until June 30, 2018.

You can meet and hear Gary Phillips read poetry, along with other local poets, at the West End Poetry Festival on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 in Carrboro.

More information about the festival is available at the West End Poetry Festival website.

Phillips is also listed as the co-founder of Weaver Street Realty on the company’s website.