A Georgia Poet Laureate and assistant professor at Mercer University was recently selected as a 2021 Poets Laureate Fellow by the Academy of American Poets, a nonprofit poetry organization. 

Chelsea Rathburn is one of 23 chosen fellows this year, according to a press release. She joined Mercer University in 2019 as an assistant professor of English and creative writing, and her latest full-length poetry collection, “Still Life With Mother and Knife,” was published in 2019. Her works have appeared in publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and The Southern Review. 

Chelsea Rathburn, an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Mercer University, is one of 23 2021 Poets Laureate Fellows recognized by the Academy of American Poets.

Each fellow is expected to lead poetry programs in their communities, according to the press release. Rathburn is partnering with the non-profit literary organization Georgia Center for the Book and the DeKalb Library Foundation to develop an interactive poetry program. 

The program will be called “Poetry in the Parks,”and feature trails with stops along the way that showcase Georgia poets and offer creative prompts for those interested in writing poetry of their own. 

“The Poets Laureate Fellowships are unique in that they simultaneously support a laureate’s creative work and that poet’s larger community,” Rathburn said in the press release. “It’s a tremendous honor, and I can’t wait to get started on the Poetry in the Parks program. I’m also looking forward to finding opportunities to involve Mercer students who are interested in serving our community and the arts.”

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.