Grab your literature textbooks; Rhode Island has a new poet laureate. Appointed by Gina Raimondo after our last state poet, Rick Benjamin, resigned to take a position in California, Tina Cane of Rumford is the new state poet laureate.
Established by law in 1989, the Rhode Island poet laureate serves as an advocate for poetry and the arts in Rhode Island. Tina will be the sixth poet laureate since its initial inception.
Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and English from the University of Vermont and the University of Paris, and a Master’s Degree in French Literature from Middlebury College. She has had her work featured in many publications including Barrow Street and The Literary Review. Her book-length poem, The Fifth Thought, was published in 2008. She has two other books: Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, with art by Esther Solondzand Once More With Feeling, which will be released by Veliz Books in February 2017
She is also the founder and director of Writers-in-the-Schools RI, a program that brings professional writers into schools to help students write, revise and even perform their own imaginative writing. Tina says of her new position, “During my tenure, I hope every Rhode Islander gets a chance to develop a love of literature, to explore self-expression and to understand that poetry, because it is such a flexible form, truly belongs to everyone.”
Governor Raimondo says of Tina’s appointment: “I am thrilled to have Tina serve as our new state poet laureate. She is a people’s poet. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to make the arts more accessible, bringing poetry and a spirit of creative self-expression to Rhode Island schools. Tina truly embodies the powerful role art will play in Rhode Island’s future, and I can’t wait to see what she will achieve.”