The Piedmont Laureate program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens. It is co-sponsored by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, the Durham Arts Council and the Orange County Arts Commission. The program's primary goal is to "promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region.”
The Piedmont Laureate, appointed for one year and from a different literary genre each year, offers the following activities in Durham, Orange and Wake counties:
Readings at designated public sites (libraries, arts centers, schools, universities, and other community gathering places).
Encourages creative writing for all age groups by offering workshops or other types of outreach.
Promotes literature at select public events.
Brings attention to literature in less traditional settings.
Mimi Herman, 2017 Piedmont Laureate
Mimi Herman is Director of the United Arts Council Arts Integration Institute, and a teaching artist, writer and editor. Since 1990, she has engaged over 25,000 students and teachers with writing residencies, as well as designing and providing professional development in arts integration for teaching artists, teachers and administrators throughout the country.
She has taught in the Masters of Education and EdD programs at Lesley University, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and has been an associate editor for Teaching Artist Journal. Mimi holds a BA from UNC-CH and an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College.
Her writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Crab Orchard Review, The Hollins Critic, Main Street Rag, Prime Number Magazine and other journals. She has performed her poetry and fiction at venues ranging from Why There Are Words in Sausalito, California to Symphony Space and the Civic Center Synagogue in New York City.
With her partner, John Yewell, she offers Writeaways retreats for writers in France, Italy and on the North Carolina coast.
Mimi does her own carpentry and plumbing, and can milk a cow and a goat, though not at the same time.
For more information, go to www.piedmontlaureate.org.