The City of Asylum Poet Laureate of Allegheny County is an award and two-year service position offered to an emerging or established poet who seeks to engage with residents of Allegheny County through poetry.
Meet our Poet Laureate of Allegheny County 2022-2024
Doralee Brooks holds an MEd from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA from Carlow University. She is Professor Emerita of Developmental Studies at the Community College of Allegheny County. In 1995, Doralee became a fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, a national writing project for teachers of kindergarten through college who endorse the practice of writing instruction in every discipline. In 1997, she led a community group for girls in Homestead who called themselves The Spice Writers. In 1997 and 1999, Doralee received fellowships to Cave Canem. Currently, Doralee facilitates writing workshops in poetry at Carlow University, and her poems have appeared in several journals including Voices from the Attic, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Uppagus, Dos Passos Review, and Paterson Literary Review. Her chapbook, “When I Hold You Up to the Light,” won the 2019 Cathy Smith Bowers Poetry Prize sponsored by Main Street Rag.
The Gulf Tower Forecasts Rain: A Pittsburgh Poetry Anthology
The Gulf Tower Forecasts Rain is an anthology that celebrates poetry inspired by Pittsburgh places, history, colloquialisms, and quirks. This project was created by Doralee Brooks, City of Asylum’s poet laureate of Allegheny County 2022-24. The anthology is currently open for submissions. Learn more about the theme and guidelines.
Meet the Poet Laureate Final Judge
Paisley Rekdal is the author of ten books of poetry and prose, including Animal Eye, Nightingale, The Broken Country, and Appropriate: A Provocation. Her work has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship Trust and various state arts councils. She was guest editor for Best American Poetry 2020 and is the former Poet Laureate of Utah.
Meet the Poet Laureate Nomination Committee
Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collections You Don’t Have To Go To Mars for Love, which won the Believer Book Award for Poetry and Hemming the Water, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She co-wrote with Roxane Gay Marvel’s World of Wakanda and co-wrote with Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther & the Crew. She has also worked with teenagers writing about mental health issues in collaboration with Creative Nonfiction magazine.
Adriana E. Ramírez is a Mexican-Colombian writer, critic, and performance poet based in Pittsburgh. She won the inaugural PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize in 2015 for her novella-length work of nonfiction, Dead Boys (Little A, 2016), and from 2016-2020 she served as Critic-at-Large for the Los Angeles Times Book Section. She the recipient of the Pittsburgh Foundation’s 2019 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award. Ramírez is the author of poetry collection The Swallows (Blue Sketch Press 2016) and co-edited the anthology In the Shadow of the Mic (Bridge & Tunnel Books 2020).
Celeste Gainey is City of Asylum’s inaugural Poet Laureate of Allegheny County 2020-21. She is the author of the full-length poetry collection, the GAFFER (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press). 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.