Pew Fellow Frank Sherlock Named Poet Laureate of Philadelphia

Frank Sherlock, 2013 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

Mayor Michael Nutter has named poet Frank Sherlock (Pew Fellow, 2013) as Philadelphia’s second-ever poet laureate. He hails Sherlock as one of the city’s “most talented homegrown artists.” He’ll serve for two years, during which time his duties will include mentoring young poets, official readings, and community-service work. He will succeed Sonia Sanchez (Pew Fellow, 1993) as poet laureate.

Sherlock calls himself lucky to receive the honor, saying, “This city raised me, beat the hell out of me a few times, and still reveals the magic of Philadelphia Otherly Love.” He views poetry as a call to action and a tool for encouraging interactions and conversations within public spaces. “Each poem can emerge as an insistent act when it does not simply describe existing certainties, but develops new forms, tones, and images that transvalue and transform,” he says.

The poet laureate position was conceived by the mayor in 2011 and is organized by the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy. The committee includes a range of writers, publishers, and cultural officials.

Read more about Sherlock’s new appointment in the Philadelphia Inquirer >

Collaborators & Colleagues

Rob Blackson has been the director of exhibitions at Temple Contemporary at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art since 2011.

Grants & Grantees

In 2003 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 63 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Filmon Mebrahtu is a media artist and a 2005 Pew Fellow.

Meg Foley presents an exhibition of improvisational research and performance documenting up to 750 dances, which Foley performs on a daily basis at 3:15pm.

An actor, director, stage designer, and playwright, Thaddeus Phillips “creates visual spectacles that take audiences to new frontiers.”

The Winter 2013 issue of Trust, the official magazine of The Pew Charitable Trusts, features The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s artist residency program, established with arts colonies throughout North America.

Grants & Grantees

In 1993 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 16 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 13 dance organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Questions of Practice

We asked the 2013 Pew Fellow poets to share samples of their work. Watch Frank Sherlock read a selection from his poem “Little Sensation.”

The Library Company of Philadelphia hosts an opening reception for Common Touch: The Art of the Senses in the History of the Blind.

Raphael Xavier presents Raphstravaganza, a contemporary circus-style performance featuring street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Mariam Ghani is a multi-media artist, writer, and filmmaker.

A conversation with Pew Fellow Jumatatu Poe, Donte Beacham, and LaKendrick Davis on the underground dance style of J-Sette and how Poe drew on its legacy for Private Places, a new Center-funded work.