On January 24, 2017, the town council of Derry, N.H., issued a proclamation naming Robert W. Crawford the first Poet Laureate of the town. The proclamation was initiated by Cara Barlow, the director of the Derry Public Library, and recognized the town's many links to poetry.
Robert Frost lived in Derry from 1900 to 1911, and attributed many of his poems to the time spent at the his Derry farm. In addition, the town boasts many writing groups and events, and is the home of the Frost Farm Poetry Conference on metrical poetry, held at the Frost Farm and founded by Mr. Crawford. In addition, he is the director of the Hyla Brook Reading Series and the co-founder of the Hyla Brook Poets, a monthly writing group that meets in Derry.
Mr. Crawford is a two-time recipient of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award and the 2011 winner of the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award for his collection The Empty Chair. His poems have appeared in First Things, Measure, Forbes, and many other national publications.
He will appear at various events in Derry and around the area during the course of his two-year appointment, and he will have a writing space at the Derry Public Library.