Louisiana’s next poet laureate is Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, an English professor and folklorist at New Orleans’s historically Black college and university (HBCU), Dillard University.
In his announcement, Governor John Bel Edwards said that Saloy’s work “beautifully captures the culture and essence of Louisiana.”
Saloy grew up in New Orleans and has worked at Dillard University since 1991. While there, she taught other famous poets, like 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown.
As poet laureate, Saloy will travel the state for two years as a literary ambassador.
“I’ll be encouraging people to tell their stories in verse. Especially our unique cultures. We have so many,” she said. “I want our state to revere our ancestors and reveal those nuances.”