Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone recently named Lloyd Schwartz to serve as the city’s third poet laureate. A longtime Somerville resident and widely published poet, Schwartz will serve a two-year term.
The city created the poet laureate position in 2015 to enhance the profile of poetry in Somerville and surrounding communities. lThe laureate — who earns a $2,000 annual honorarium — is asked to bring poetry to segments of the community that currently have less access or exposure, including students and seniors.
Schwartz was chosen based on a series of criteria, including excellence in craftsmanship, professional achievement, and creating a vision for the position. A panel composed of four local poets — Doug Holder, Harris Gardner, Linda Conte, and Hilary Sallick — reviewed applicants’ work, interviewed candidates, and ultimately recommended Schwartz’s selection.
“Lloyd’s work is poised and insightful, and I think it will really resonate with the Somerville community,” Gregory Jenkins, director of the Somerville Arts Council, said in a statement.
Currently the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Schwartz has published poetry collections that include “These People,” “Goodnight, Gracie,” “Cairo Traffic,” and most recently, “Little Kisses.”
His poems also have been published in journals and magazines including The New Yorker, Paris Review, and Ploughshares, and have been selected for the Pushcart Prize, “The Best American Poetry” annual anthology (three times), and an edition of “The Best of the Best American Poetry” anthology.John Laidler can be reached at email@example.com.