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City Poet Laureate

City Poet Laureate 2023

City of Rockford Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Program 

The Rockford Area Arts Council, in partnership with the Rockford Public Library and the City of Rockford, established the City of Rockford Poet Laureate and Youth Poet in October, 2020. A City Poet Laureate is an honorary position; Poets Laureate promote literacy and literature among residents of all ages. The Arts Council and the Rockford Public Library develop programming, and complementary resources, to provide the recipient with opportunities to promote their personal work, host workshops for residents, and appear at important City events. The official honor of City of Rockford Poet Laureate, is awarded for a period of two years and is a grant-funded position. The City of Rockford Youth Poet is awarded for a period of one year. 

What to Know


Jenna Goldsmith, City of Rockford Poet Laureate & Trinity Rucker, City of Rockford Youth Poet


January 23, 2023 & January 29, 2024


Rockford City Hall, 425 East State Street, Rockford IL

“Inspired by poetry itself and memorable poetry readings, I hope to collaborate with Rockfordians to facilitate encounters with poetry that surprise, excited, foster local pride, and awaken others to the institutions that connect us.”

Jenna Goldsmith Rockford Poet Laureate 2023 and 2024

Current City of Rockford Poet Laureate, 2023 and 2024: Jenna Goldsmith

Jenna Goldsmith is a writing professor at Rockford University and is the recipient of accolades, awards, and scholarships across the United States, including Winner – Baltic Writing Residency Chapbook Contest, Up to Us Fellowship – Project Pericles, Oregon State University Women’s Giving Circle Grant, Writer-in-Residence – Write On, Oregon State University Cascades Faculty Executive Council Grant, Finalist, Swedish Residency – Baltic Writing Residency, and the Oregon Cultural Trust Oregon Poet Laureate Selection Committee.

Current City of Rockford Youth Poet, 2024: Trinity Rucker

Trinity Rucker is the 2024 City of Rockford Youth Poet.

Trinity is a 7th Grade student at Maria Montessori. Her poetry received an Honorable Mention in the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards, where Trinity’s poem was published, and she received the opportunity to spend a week in Orlando, Florida with the Kim Myers Applauding Rising Talent at the Arts. Trinity hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams and be their best selves. She is interested in hosting workshops and/or poetry readings at local homeless shelters.