Current Poet Laureate: Tammi Truax

Tammi J. Truax is the 12th Poet Laureate of Portsmouth.

Tammi Truax is a recent MEd graduate and has worked as a teacher in a variety of settings from preschool to prison, always with an emphasis on literacy. She has lived and worked throughout New England and Germany, now residing in Eliot. In 2008, with New Hampshire poet Kyle Potvin, Tammi founded the non-profit The Prickly Pear Poetry Project to share the healing power of poetry for people whose lives have been impacted by cancer. She is the editor of The Poet’s Tale; Lady Wentworth (illustrated) by Henry W. Longfellow (Bookbaby, 2013), and released her debut novel Broken Buckets as an eBook the same year. She works daily for the Portsmouth School librarian, and is on-call with the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail as a guide and the NH Humanities Council as a facilitator of the Connections literacy program.

Her poetry has appeared in ten anthologies, including The Widows’ Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival with a foreword by Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg (Kent State University Press, 2014). A YA novel in verse, For to See the Elephant, (Piscataqua Press, 2019), was released in May and two volumes of poetry are forthcoming. Tammi recently signed with Oghma Creative Media for a two-book historical novel, the first due out in 2021. She has short stories in Compass Points (Piscataqua Press, 2015) and The Mud Chronicles: A New England Anthology (Monadnock Writer’s Group, 2018). Her work can be found in several journals, newspapers, magazines, and online, including The Huffington Post. She was a columnist for The Portsmouth Herald for ten years and still contributes to the paper periodically. She has maintained a blog at www.aintiawriter.blogspot.com for many years.

In 2014 she was the first winner of The Provenance Prize for creative short fiction, and in 2013 and 2015 was selected to be one of the writers at A Room of Her Own Foundation’s retreat at Georgia O’Keefe’s ranch in New Mexico. In 2015 and 2016 Tammi was awarded the Buffler Poetry Residency at Portsmouth High School. She was also chosen in 2015 to attend Vermont’s When Words Count writing retreat. The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance awarded her a scholarship to attend the 2016 Slice Literary Writers’ Conference in NYC, and she was selected in 2017 to attend The Tin House summer workshop and The Salty Quill Writers Retreat for Women. Tammi is a member of many writing and historical associations. She is concurrently serving as the Maine Beat Poet Laureate. More info can be found at www.tammitruax.com.