Dutchess County announced on Thursday (April 1) that Lucia Cherciu has been named as its 2021 poet laureate.
Cherciu, a native of Romania who lives in Poughkeepsie, came to the U.S. in 1995. She holds a doctorate in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has been a professor at SUNY/Dutchess Community College for 20 years. She is also the author of five collections of poetry, including, most recently, Train Ride to Bucharest.
“Poetry can serve as a form of prayer, of healing, and of reaching out to others in difficult times such as the pandemic,” Cherciu said. “Poetry can bring us optimism and hope; it can teach us to be kind and honest.”
Arts Mid-Hudson managed the call for nominations, and a panel of literary professionals and community members recommended Cherciu to Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
Cherciu succeeds Raphael Kosek, a Hopewell Junction resident who served two, 1-year terms.
The duties of the volunteer position include public activities with schools, community groups and the press and contact with writers and readers by mail and online. The poet also presents his or her work at the State of the County address and makes presentations at other public events, such as during National Poetry Month.