Welcome to the official website of the Piedmont Laureate program!

The Piedmont Laureate program is co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. Its primary goal is to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. The program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens.

Each year, a Piedmont Laureate is appointed for a one-year term and conducts the following activities in Durham, Orange and Wake counties:

  • Readings at designated public sites such as libraries, arts centers, schools, universities, and other community gathering places;
  • Workshops or other types of outreach that encourage creative writing for all age groups;
  • Online activities that promote literature and encourage creative writing.
  • Promotion of literature at select public events;
  • Events that bring attention to literature in less traditional settings; and
  • Other original activities that expand appreciation of the literary arts.

The 2023 Piedmont Laureate is poet and spoken word artist Dasan Ahanu. To request his participation in public events, please contact us.

If you would like to be kept informed on the Piedmont Laureate program, including receiving notices about when applications for next year’s laureate open each year, please sign up for the newsletters of our program’s sponsors.