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Get to know Kansas City, Missouri's first poet laureate, Melissa Ferrer Civil

A woman wearing a hat and clasping a book smiles.
Alec Vanderboom
Local poet and organizer Melissa Ferrer Civil was named Kansas City’s first poet laureate last week by Mayor Quinton Lucas.

During her year-long appointment by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Civil will work with local organizations to foster interest in poetry. “I want to plan programming that will help people find themselves,” she told KCUR’s Up To Date.

Kansas City named local poet and organizer Melissa Ferrer Civil the city's first poet laureate last week.

The poet laureate “encourages the teaching, reading, and writing of poetry as an avenue for education, culture, and entertainment in Kansas City,” according to the city’s website.

Civil told KCUR’s Up To Date that she will collaborate with local organizations over the next year to get the word out that poetry can be a powerful tool for change.

“It is my perspective that poetry is not just meant to stay on the page,” Civil says. “I want to plan programming that will help people find themselves…to help bolster community solidarity.”

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