Jaki Shelton Green

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Jaki Shelton Green is an American poet. In November 2009, she was named the first Piedmont Laureate by a collection of Triangle-area arts councils.[1][2] She currently resides in Mebane, North Carolina.[3]

In 2003, the North Carolina Award for Literature was bestowed on Green for "outstanding performance (and achievement) in literature".[2][4] Green was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2014. She was recognized and appointed to be the 9th North Carolina Poet Laureate in June 2018 and is North Carolina's first African American to receive this recognition. She was installed in the position on September 19, 2018.[5]

Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University within the Center for Documentary Studies.

Green is a graduate of the George School, which is a private Quaker boarding school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She also has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Greater Hartford Community College in Connecticut (now Capital Community College).

Shelton Green is a lecturer and workshop facilitator, travelling and teaching at numerous conferences and events.[6]

Early life[edit]

Shelton Green was born in Alamance County, North Carolina and grew up in Efland, North Carolina, which is in Orange County.[7] She has said that as a child she was "fidgety" and that her grandmother gave her a writing pad, which she has credited with starting her passion for writing.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Shelton Green is married and has at least one daughter, Imani, who died of cancer in June 2009.[9]


Shelton Green is the founder of SistaWRITE. She created the organization in order to "to bring women and spaces together for writing, community, sisterhood, and shared experience."[10]


  • Shelton Green, Jaki. Mask. Carolina Wren Press, 1981.
  • Shelton Green, Jaki. Dead on Arrival. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Carolina Wren Press, 1983.
  • Shelton Green, Jaki. Swiss Time. Mud Puppy Press, 1990.
  • Shelton Green, Jaki. Conjure Blues: Poems. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Wren Press, 1996. ISBN 9780932112378.
  • Shelton Green, Jaki. singing a tree into the dance. Carolina Wren Press, 2003.
  • Shelton Green, Jaki. Breath of the Song: New and Selected Poems. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Wren Press, 2005. ISBN 0932112498.
  • Shelton Green, Jaki. Feeding the Light. Jacar Press, 2014.
  • Shelton Green, Jaki. I Want to Undie You. Jacar Press, 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Past Laureates". Piedmont Laureate. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Metro Magazine: Books". December 2008. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  3. ^ Libraries, Richard Cox, ERIT, University. "Green, Jaki Shelton, Author - North Carolina Literary Map". library.uncg.edu. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  4. ^ "Biography". Piedmont Laureate. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Jaki Shelton Green Poet Laureate Induction Ceremony Scheduled Sept. 19 | NC DNCR". www.ncdcr.gov. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  6. ^ "Full CV" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Jaki Shelton Green". North Carolina Arts Council. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  8. ^ Stasio, Dana Terry, Frank. "Poet Of The People – Meet Jaki Shelton Green". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  9. ^ "Jaki Shelton Green". North Carolina Arts Council. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  10. ^ "SistaWRITE". SistaWRITE. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  11. ^ "North Carolina Poet Laureate: Jaki Shelton Green" (PDF).