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Meet Columbia’s new Poet Laureate

Bartell Boykin (photo by Lester Boykin).jpeg

Jennifer Bartell Boykin was named Columbia’s second Poet Laureate and will serve a four-year term that begins January 2023. | Photo by Lester Boykin

DYK that Columbia is one of only a few southern cities that recognize the position of Poet Laureate?

Ed Madden, the first Poet Laureate named after the Mayor and City Council passed a resolution in 2014, has served the position well by promoting an appreciation of poetry and acting as a spokesperson for poets and writers in the Soda City.

After eight years, Ed will pass the torch to Jennifer Bartell Boykin — chosen by One Columbia for Arts and Culture and the City of Columbia.

Jennifer’s roots run deep in the Columbia community. She is originally from Johnsonville, SC, and for most of her career has been an English teacher at Spring Valley High School. It’s there that she sponsored the Poetry Out Loud competition and W.O.R.D. (Write.Organize.Read.Dream), Spring Valley’s poetry club.

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