City of Asylum Poet Laureate of Allegheny County, 2020-2022

Celeste Gainey is the author of the poetry collection, the GAFFER, (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press), cited by O, The Oprah Magazine as one of “8 New Books of Poetry to Savor.” Her chapbook, In the land of speculation & seismography (Seven Kitchens Press), was runner-up for the prestigious Robin Becker Prize. She has been a Hedgebrook Writer in Residence as well as a presenting poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Graduating with a BFA in Film & Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, as well as earning an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Carlow University, Gainey was the first woman to be admitted to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees as a gaffer, and has spent many years working with light in film and architecture. 

Read Celeste’s poem “in the days of early polyester.”

Poet Laureate Project

With Eco-Justice for All! Poetry Confronts Climate Catastrophe, Poet Laureate of Allegheny County invites you to join us through reading, writing, and live performance, in the following inquiry:

How can poets use language to reveal, grapple with, even influence the urgent climate crisis and all those it affects? What happens when we explore this intersection in community to make a caring way through the Anthropocene?

Return to Poet Laureate Program page

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