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Salem State University Professor Alexandria Peary Named New Hampshire State Poet Laureate

Salem State University Professor Alexandria Peary was named New Hampshire’s Poet Laureate for her commitment to helping others advance their writing and for her accomplishments as a poet. Peary has taught in the English department at Salem State University since 2011.

Peary’s nomination by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu was confirmed by the Granite State’s Executive Council on October 23, 2019. She was sworn in as Poet Laureate at the Londonderry Town Hall on Friday, November 1. 

Peary, who holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a PhD in English from the University of New Hampshire, will serve in this office until March 2024.

“I am experienced in building systems and opportunities for people around writing, and I will be transferring this experience into the Poet Laureate position. I've several initiatives already in mind,” said Peary.

Some of the initiatives Peary is considering include developing a writing retreat for New Hampshire children who are survivors of the opiate crisis, a young poets’ conference for the state’s North Country and a series of statewide mindful writing workshops. 

Peary's resume and list of published works and poems is substantial. She is the author of six books and more than 150 other works that have appeared in leading literary journals and publications. She is also a recipient of the Iowa Poetry Prize and has 18 years’ experience administering college and university writing programs, including the First-Year Writing Program at Salem State University. 

Peary specializes in mindful writing theory to help others reduce writing blocks and apprehension, a subject that she recently presented on at the 2019 TEDxSalemStateUniversity event held in September. Her talk, “How Mindfulness Can Transform the Way You Write,” can be viewed online.

Learn more about Peary and her role at Salem State University. 

Lillian Wall
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