On Wednesday, September 29, at 7 p.m., join the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in welcoming Louisiana’s newest poet laureate, Mona Lisa Saloy, at her inaugural reading in the post. As Louisiana’s literary ambassador for two years, the poet laureate travels the state encouraging fellow Louisianans to explore and engage with poetry, supporting Louisiana’s vibrant and thriving poetry scene. Saloy, a renowned poet and folklorist on faculty at Dillard University in New Orleans, will present her inaugural reading virtually and free of charge to audiences across Louisiana and beyond.
Mona Lisa Saloy is the 2021-23 Louisiana Poet Laureate. A native New Orleanian as well as a poet and folklorist, Saloy is the Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professor of English at Dillard University in New Orleans. Her first collection of poetry, Red Beans & Ricely Yours: Poems (Truman State University Press) won the 2005 T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry as well as the Pen Oakland-Josephine Miles 16th Annual National Literary Award in 2006.
Her second published collection, Second Line Home: New Orleans Poems, was published by Truman State University Press in 2014. Saloy holds a PhD and an MFA from Louisiana State University, an MA from San Francisco State University, and a BA from the University of Washington. Her work has been published in numerous academic and literary journals, including Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, Callaloo, Southern Journal of Linguistics, African American Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and more.