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UT professor named Lucas County poet laureate

The Lucas County Commissioners approved Tuesday the appointment of Dr. Jim Ferris, chair and professor of disability studies at The University of Toledo, as the Lucas County poet laureate.

The position was created in 2007, modeled after the national appointment, and Ferris is the second person appointed to that role. A poet laureate helps citizens develop a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry.

Ferris replaces Joel Lipman, former UT professor of English and art, who held the position of poet laureate from 2008 to 2013. Lipman currently owns Abracadabra Studio of Poetics, located in Toledo’s Warehouse District.

In the position, Lipman attended various outreach events to present poetry to the greater Toledo community.

“It’s a real honor, and it’s not something I was expecting,” Ferris said. “I’m following a fabulous poet and a compelling advocate for the arts in northwest Ohio. Joel left me with big shoes to fill.”

Ferris will serve a two-year term as poet laureate.

Ferris is the Ability Center Endowed Chair in Disability Studies at UT. He also is a poet and performance artist, holding a doctorate in performance studies. Ferris is the author of Slouching Towards Guantanamo, Facts of Life and The Hospital Poems. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including POETRY, Text & Performance Quarterly, the Georgia Review and many weekly newspapers.

Media Coverage
The Blade (June 21, 2015)
The Blade (June 22, 2015)


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