Welcome to the National Writers Congress
Welcome to The National Writers Congress Conference to honor our national Poet Laureates.

Why the poets laureate?

The term "laureate" refers to the ancient custom of crowning victorious athletes with a laurel wreath, and, historically, the poet laureate is the champion of the literary world. Their work is to express the highest level of understanding and artistic insight in the fewest number of words. But the post comes with a responsibility: to promote within the community a greater appreciation of poetry—its ability to express insights into human experience that seem to elude "ordinary" language.

The poet laureate is also the single writer in each state who, for a time, has the loudest, clearest voice. The laureate has the potential to have the ear of government officials and educational leaders who can most effectively generate change—in the classroom and the community at large.

But why a poet laureate? With the exception of an occasional artist laureate or writer laureate, this honor seems reserved for poets. Poetry and People: Nations of the Mind will explore what it is about poetry that warrants this kind of attention and importance—and the effect poetry can have on the community at large.

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