Frederick-Douglass Knowles II named Hartford's poet laureate
Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, who is an associate professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, has been named Hartford’s First Poet Laureate.
In this role, he will promote awareness and appreciation of poetry, spoken word, and writing in Hartford, and he will endeavor to instill pride in the community.
Knowles says, “I am truly grateful for this opportunity. My grandmother, Marjorie Sloan Bell Knowles, was a Hartford native and this gives me a chance to extend my family roots. My goal is to bridge the gap between literary and performance poetry with a literacy campaign that will stretch into schools and the Hartford Public Library system. I want to stress what a role poetry has played in my life and how it led me down this path of authorship, leadership, professorship, and civic activism. It is so important to follow our passions, and it has led to this monumental moment in my life.”
Knowles has taught at Three Rivers for 11 years in the English and Communications Department. He also teaches classes at a local prison as part of the Three Rivers Community College Second Chance Pell Grant program. In addition to serving as the Three Rivers representative on CSCU’s Students First Consolidation Committee, he co-founded the Men Against Domestic Violence Artistic Expression annual event, which consists of music, poetry readings and performances, and a live artist painting. Knowles also chairs the TRCC Community Involvement Committee.
Three Rivers President Mary Ellen Jukoski congratulates Knowles on the appointment saying, "This is a wonderful honor for Professor Knowles. We take pride in his positive achievement and wish him continued success on this auspicious occasion."