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Landmark Adjunct Alice Fogel Named NH Poet Laureate

by Solvegi Shmulsky

Alice Fogel, an adjunct instructor at Landmark College’s Drake Center for Academic Support (DCAS), was named Poet Laureate of New Hampshire on November 6, 2013. New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice Fogel

An active presence in local poetry circles, Fogel—who lives in Acworth, N.H., and is pictured at right (photo by Mariah Edson)—has published three volumes of poetry with a fourth upcoming, raised a family, and taught at postsecondary institutions including Keene State College and Colby-Sawyer College. Her non-fiction work, Strange Terrain: A Poetry Handbook for the Reluctant Reader, is a nationally recognized guidebook about how to appreciate poetry without “getting it.” As a DCAS instructor, Fogel works one-on-one with Landmark College students.

What is a poet laureate? This honorary title is given by a government to a living poet whose work is significant in the contemporary community or society. Dating back to ancient Greece, “laureate” refers to a crown of laurel given to special artists, politicians, and even warriors. In the United States, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry is “the nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans,” according to the Library of Congress. Many U.S. states also name poets laureate, and Fogel will be the 12th to serve New Hampshire, which has filled the position since 1967. Past poets laureate of NH include Maxine Kumin and Donald Hall, both of whom were later distinguished as U.S. national poets laureate.

“New Hampshire has a great history of nurturing the arts,” Fogel says about earning the top poetry post in New Hampshire. “I’m thrilled to have benefited from some of that support, and to be able to do my part in sharing it with others … I hope to bring more readers to the many good poets in New Hampshire and beyond.”

“I’ve known Alice for about eight years,” says Lesle Lewis, a friend of Fogel and Landmark College professor of English. “Our paths cross often in the local poetry world.” Lewis shared her enthusiasm and respect for Fogel’s work in a nomination letter to the New Hampshire Council for the Arts. “I am excited to think that Alice Fogel might serve as New Hampshire’s Poet Laureate,” wrote Lewis.  “I can’t imagine a better person for the job. In addition to her own continually evolving poetry practice, her interest in the larger poetry community is something I’ve always admired. Her energy and commitment to workshops, readings, and all kinds of literary and artistic events is tireless.”  

In a time when science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) often reign over visions of the future, Fogel reminds us of the distinctive power of literature. “I believe that literature in particular provides an opportunity to deepen and broaden our relationships to others, to ourselves, to the natural world, to history, time, and the mystery of being alive,” says Fogel.

In her new post, Fogel’s perspective may reach and benefit a wider audience. Lewis said, “She asks the questions poets should ask, have to ask, can’t avoid asking: Who are we and what can poems do? As New Hampshire Poet Laureate, she will undoubtedly help us all ask those questions.”

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today Landmark College, offering two and four-year degree options, a graduate level certificate in universal design with technology integration, and summer programs for students who learn differently, is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, ADHD, and ASD. Students, faculty, and other professionals from all over the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model—designed through research and practice to help all students who learn differently become confident, self-empowered, and independently successful learners.

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