Frank Sherlock is the new Philadelphia Poet Laureate

Posted on January 31, 2014
Back in 2011, I organized a Poetry Walk with my students and some friends so we could traipse South Philly and read the poems Frank Sherlock had in newspaper boxes all along Passyunk Avenue. In the photo, you can see him holding one of the broadsides featuring his work. It was a rainy day during the Italian Market Festival. I didn’t know Frank well, knowing him from readings around town, but he was gracious enough to join us when I reached out to him. I’ve gotten to know Frank better since. He’s a fixture at Dirty Frank’s, where he works as a doorman, a place I frequented more often years ago with poet Valerie Fox, long before Frank worked there. (Valerie and I collaborated on poems at the time. I still recall the day she got an ankle tattoo and we washed away her pain over a pitcher of Yuengling as we wrote.)

Anyway, Frank’s project was part of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, an initiative to tell the stories of immigrant groups who have made the Market home. I loved how this poetry/history project was happening in my own backyard. Frank read his poems at each stop, and also hung out awhile after. Today I learned he’s the new Philadelphia Poet Laureate. Frank’s kind spirit has been rewarded more and more of late. It’s nice when good things happen to talented, kind people. Kudos! –Kelly McQuain

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20140131_Frank_Sherlock_is_Phila__s_second_poet_laureate.html

Photo by John Green

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