Hartford Poet Laureate and HIV/AIDS activist Frederick-Douglass Knowles II reads his works in collaboration with Rhonda Ward, former New London Poet Laureate (2017-2021), and Summer Tate, Hartford area teacher and poet. This event is being held in acknowledgement of World AIDS Day and as a tribute to Shawn Lang, the longtime AIDS activist and former deputy director of AIDS Connecticut who passed earlier this year. The event is also hosted in conjunction with Discovering Rose Fried’s Nephew by Alice Neel. Free virtual program.
Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is an educator and activist fervent in achieving community augmentation through literary arts. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Hartford. His works have been selected as a finalist for the New England Association of Teachers of English Poet of the Year Award, as well as a two-time nominee for a Pushcart Prize. He is a recipient of the Nutmeg Poetry Award and the Connecticut Office of The Arts: Artist Fellowship for Artistic Excellence Award in Poetry / Creative Non-Fiction. Frederick-Douglass is the author of BlackRoseCity, and a Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.
Rhonda M. Ward served as the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of New London from 2017 to 2021. Her poems have appeared most recently in Poetry, Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets Respond to the Global Climate Crisis, Connecticut River Review, Connecticut Woodlands, and online at the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Project. She cohosts the annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading celebrating 14 years in 2022.
Summer Tate has been writing and performing poetry for 20 years. She teaches English in Hartford, Connecticut. Summer holds a Masters in English Education and received her MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing from Fairfield University.