Judy Kaber will be Belfast’s poet laureate until December 2022. She was approved by councilors at the City Council’s April 6 meeting.

Search Committee Chairman and former Poet Laureate Tom Moore said the committee “enthusiastically” nominated Kaber because of her contributions to the Belfast poetry community.

Kaber has been in the community since the ’80s and has been active in community poetry efforts, according to Moore. She is a leader of the Wheelbarrow School of Poetry and is a contact person for the Gather, which is an occasional meeting writing enthusiasts attend.

“Belfast has a reputation for being a center of poetry in the state, a place where all voices are heard and respected,” he said. “And Judy pledges to organize readings and reach out to audiences in myriad ways. She will make an excellent poet laureate.”

Councilor Mary Mortier said she was impressed with how Kaber “took the reins” when the city was between poets laureate. She said Belfast has always been a place that believes in supporting poetry.

Kaber has published poems on several media platforms, including publications like The Guardian, Crab Creed Review, The Café Review and Off the Coast. She was awarded second place in the 2016 Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest. She has published three chapbooks, "Renaming the Seasons," "In Sleep We Are All the Same" and "A Pandemic Alphabet."

She said she is really excited to continue working with the poets in Belfast and try to connect everybody with the power of poetry, an art form that has been important in her life. “I’m just really thrilled, I appreciate it so much,” she said. “Thank you all.”