Philadelphia library names new city poet laureate

PHILADELPHIA — A poet who originally moved from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia for graduate school has been named the city's new poet laureate.

Raquel Salas Rivera was named the poet laureate for 2018-2019 in a ceremony at the Free Library of Philadelphia on Monday.

Thirty-two-year-old Rivera is a bilingual poet, writing and reading work primarily in Spanish, and later translating into English.

Rivera is the first poet laureate selected by the Free Library, which adopted the program from City Hall last year. The position comes with the expectation that the poet will be a community leader.

WHYY-TV reports Andrew Nurkin, who administers the laureate program for the Free Library, says Rivera was selected in part because of the poet's eagerness to engage with the diversity of Philadelphia communities.

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