Poet Laureate Finalists Present At Joliet Area Historical Museum

The search for Joliet’s first Poet Laureate has culminated in six finalists presenting their work at the Joliet Area Historical Museum’s Auditorium on Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Each finalist will read their original work based on the prompt, “Joliet,” as well as another original piece. They will then answer a few brief questions on what they can do as Joliet’s Poet Laureate. This will be a juried event. The winner will be announced at the Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park on Saturday, May 18 at their “Ye Olde Mayfest” event.

Finalists include:

Sharon Houk, a poet, multidisciplinary artist, and award-winning playwright. She works largely with sound (in poetry as well as other genres) to generate a playful yet deep shared experience that delights and surprises with honesty, but also redemption.

Jaden Easton, who has lived in Joliet all his life and is an aficionado of the English Language, writing stories, reading books, winning spelling bees, and of course, writing poetry. He has studied directing and screenwriting at Depaul University. His poetry often deals with themes of love, grief, nature, and nostalgia.

John Condron is a writer, performer, sometime rhetorician, and lifelong admirer of the written and spoken word. He has been a supporter and ambassador for original music, poetry, and art in the Joliet area for over two decades. He has been involved in programs at the Joliet Public Library, a guest performer at area schools including Lewis University and Purdue-Calumet and a guest lecturer at Ballyfermot College in Dublin, Ireland.

Amy Logan holds a BA in Speech Pathology, a MA in Teaching, and 10 years Leadership in the direct sales industry. Through her work and life experiences, Amy teaches that right now, right where you are, is exactly where you are supposed to be. Amy is currently a director of a non-profit, after-school program and continues to write, working on her eighth book, “The Storm”.

Uxmar Torres is the son and sibling of Mexican immigrants. Speaking both English and Spanish, he developed a deep love for verse at an early age, being heavily influenced by the hip hop culture he grew up in. Around age ten, he began writing his own original work and hasn’t stopped since. Uxmar earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing with a focus in Poetry. Today he is a proud father, husband, and artist. His written and spoken work have been showcased in dozens of cities throughout the United States.

Holly Coop is a lifelong resident. She is a wife, mother, grandma, and pet mom who loves writing, sketching, photography, and creating art. She is a founding member of the Romeoville Art Society and a member of WriteOn Joliet Writer’s Group. Holly believes poetry is a bridge uniting us in our community.