The Lucas County Commissioners approved June 16 the appointment of Dr. Jim Ferris, UT professor and chair of disability studies, as the Lucas County poet laureate.The position was created in 2007, modeled after the national appointment, and Ferris is the second person named to the role. A poet laureate helps citizens develop a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry.
Ferris replaces Joel Lipman, UT professor emeritus of English, who held the position of poet laureate from 2008 to 2013. Lipman owns Abracadabra Studio of Poetics, located in Toledo’s Warehouse District.
As poet laureate of Lucas County, Lipman attended various outreach events to present poetry to the greater Toledo community.
“It’s a real honor, and it’s not something I was expecting,” Ferris said. “I’m following a fabulous poet and a compelling advocate for the arts in northwest Ohio. Joel left me with big shoes to fill.”
Ferris will serve a two-year term as poet laureate.
He is the Ability Center Endowed Chair in Disability Studies at the University. He also is a poet and performance artist, holding a doctorate in performance studies.
Ferris is the author of Slouching Towards Guantanamo, Facts of Life and The Hospital Poems. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, Text and Performance Quarterly, the Georgia Review, and many weekly newspapers.