HomeAchievementsMottola Named Poet Laureate of Cheshire

Mottola Named Poet Laureate of Cheshire

The town of Cheshire, Conn., has announced the appointment of its inaugural poet laureate, Pat Mottola, MFA ’11, who will serve a two-year term through December 31, 2025.

A poet laureate is a literary ambassador, a person recognized for his or her longstanding involvement in poetry, and represents the community through the art of poetry, promoting its cultural richness and fostering a love of literature among residents.

Mottola, an esteemed poet and educator, brings a wealth of experience and passion for poetry to her new role. As a creative writing instructor at Southern and president of the Connecticut Poetry Society, she has devoted her career to inspiring, educating, and connecting individuals from myriad backgrounds and diverse experiences.

Mottola earned her MFA in creative writing from Southern in 2011; an MS in art education from Southern in 1990; study in the Art Psychotherapy Institute, SCSU Department of School Psychology, in 1988; and a BS in art education from Southern in 1987.

In recognition of her outstanding teaching, she received the CSCU Board of Regents Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award for 2019 and the J. Philip Smith Part-time Faculty Teaching Award for 2021.

In addition to her teaching and leadership roles, Mottola served as the editor of the Connecticut River Review from 2012-2017. She is an award-winning poet and Pushcart Prize nominee, with her work featured in esteemed literary journals such as War, Literature & the Arts, Connecticut Review, and Paterson Literary Review.

Her commitment to poetry extends beyond the borders of her community, as she mentors Afghan women writers and collaborates on global poetry projects. She recently mentored and edited a book of poems by two Afghan women, the collection titled Maybe I Should Fly, published by Grayson Books. Mottola herself is the author of two collections of poetry, Under the Red Dress (Five Oaks Press) and After Hours (Five Oaks Press). Her third book, A Town Like That, is forthcoming from Grayson Books.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the new role, Mottola remarked, “I am honored to serve as the inaugural poet laureate of Cheshire, CT. Poetry has the unique ability to capture the essence of our experiences and emotions, to document events and to give new perspectives on our world. I am eager to share its transformative power with the residents of our town.”

Mottola initiated the appointment of a poet laureate for Cheshire to ensure representation of the town in the Connecticut Council of Poets Laureate.

As a respected member of the literary community and a board member of the Coalition for a Sustainable Cheshire, Mottola recognizes the importance of the arts in enriching the cultural fabric of the town, believing that the arts are essential to the health and vivacity of every community. “Poetry is something people turn to for solace, enlightenment, and delight,” she said.

“I believe that poetry is not just a form of artistic expression, but also a vital component of our collective history,” said Mottola. “Poets are the true historians. As poet laureate, I look forward to developing and implementing creative programming and educational resources for all residents to experience the value of poetry in society.”

Residents of Cheshire are encouraged to connect with Mottola, the newly appointed poet laureate, via email at poetlaureate@cheshirect.org for inquiries, collaborations, and poetry-related initiatives.


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