Alexandria Peary was appointed by the Executive Council as New Hampshire Poet Laureate on October 23, 2019, to serve until March 2024. The state’s poet laureate serves as an ambassador for all poets in New Hampshire and works to heighten the visibility and value of poetry in the state.
Alexandria Peary holds a MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, a second MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a PhD in English/Composition from the University of New Hampshire.
Alexandria brings to the position of poet laureate over eighteen years’ experience directing college and university writing programs. She has designed innovative workshops and large-scale initiatives. She is committed to helping other poets increase their writing confidence, enjoyment, and success.
Alexandria is the author of nine books, including five books of poetry and two books on the teaching of writing: Fall Foliage Called Bathers & Dancers (2008); Lid to the Shadow (2011); Control Bird Alt Delete (2014); Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century, with Tom C. Hunley (2015); Prolific Moment: Theory and Practice of Mindfulness for Writing (2018); The Water Draft (2019); COVID Spring: Granite State Pandemic Poems (2020); COVID Spring: More Granite State Pandemic Poems (2021); and Battle of Silicon Valley at Daybreak (2022). Her poetry has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Bombay Gin, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, Barrow Street, North American Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and the Yale Review.
Her work has received a 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, the Iowa Poetry Prize, Slope Editions Book Prize, Joseph Langland Award, and Best of NH for Inspiring Artist. In 2021, she was selected by students for the Outstanding Faculty Award at Salem State University, where she is a full professor in the English Department.
Alexandria specializes in mindful writing and has been invited to speak in many regional and national forums. In 2021, she delivered the keynote address for the Secondary Schools Writing Association Conference. She is the host and architect of the 2020-2022 webinars at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) as well as a frequent presenter for the NH Humanities Council. Her other mindfulness presentations include a 2019 TEDx talk, “How Mindfulness Can Transform the Way You Write,” and a 2021 webinar for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
As state poet laureate, her signature initiatives to date include two anthologies of residents’ poetry, the 2021 North Country Young Writers’ Festival and 2022 North Country Writers’ Festival, Submit-a-thons, the 2021 Poetry Census, the establishment of the teen magazine Under the Madness Magazine, and her workshops on mindful writing for individuals impacted by New Hampshire’s opioid crisis. Alexandria has collaborated with many members of the state’s vibrant writing community, including partnering with New Hampshire Public Radio and New Hampshire Magazine to celebrate National Poetry Month. She also participated in the 2021 Dear Poet Program, and her correspondence to students from across the country are available at the Academy of American Poets.
More information about Alexandria’s poetry or initiative as state poet laureate can be found at:
Her connections to New Hampshire run deep. Alexandria was born in New Hampshire (Dover); she was educated in this state (PhD from the University of New Hampshire, Durham); and she has written most of her books here (Nashua, Milford, Londonderry). She is deeply honored to serve the poets and poetry readers of the state of New Hampshire. May every moment be a prolific moment for the writers of the Granite State