Piedmont Laureate


As the 2017 Piedmont Laureate in Poetry, Mimi Herman is committed to bringing the residents of the Piedmont together through poetry. She'll hold workshops, readings and other events in libraries, museums, parks, city and town council meetings - and online - throughout Wake, Durham and Orange Counties.

“How can I know what I mean until I see what I say?” E. M. Forster once said. I believe we can do this best by writing poetry. Write a draft. See what you’re trying to say to yourself. Play with the sound and language of it. Say it better, so it’s not just you talking to yourself, but you sharing what’s in your head and heart with other people in a way that inspires them to say, “That’s exactly what I felt. I just hadn’t figured out how to say it."

In the animated film, "Ratatouille," the great chef Auguste Gusteau says, “Anyone can cook.” I believe anyone can write. My goal as Piedmont Laureate is to create opportunities for people to do that: for experienced poets to hone and share their craft, and for new writers to discover their voices. I believe this is a particularly important time in history for us to find our voices. I plan to provide occasions for older people to share the stories of their lives and for younger people to imagine theirs—all through poetry. And for those of us in the middle (and my father used to say, “Middle age is ten years older than whatever you happen to be right now,” so I think I can safely say that many of us are in the middle!), maybe we can use poetry to help us understand our own lives and our world a little better.


The Piedmont Laureate Program is co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. For more information, go to https://piedmontlaureate.org/.