The ninth North Carolina Poet Laureate and the first African American, Jaki Shelton Green ’71 is using her post to promote not only poetry but social justice. On February 4, 2020, she headlined the annual Writers’ Night at Friends School of Wilmington, and on April 25, she will present at the Literary Changemakers Youth Symposium in Durham.
Influenced by her George School education, she remarked that her “Friends experience helped to shape my moral compass relative to human rights and social activism.”
When she isn’t speaking as poet laureate, Jaki teaches at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies; owns SistaWRITE, which “brings women and spaces together for writing, community, sisterhood, and shared experience.”
Jaki also promotes literacy, takes part in writing retreats and travel excursions for women writers, and works with individuals who are incarcerated, homeless, chronically and mentally ill, immigrants, and victims of domestic violence.
Jaki has written eight books of poetry and has had poems published in anthologies and magazines worldwide.