In April, the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program announced that PSNH member Tammi J. Truax would serve as their 12th Poet Laureate of Portsmouth. Her term will span 2019-2021. Truax works with young readers and writers at a Portsmouth elementary school and as a Connections program facilitator for the NH Humanities Council teaching new adult readers. She is an MEd candidate in school librarianship. She is also serving as the Maine Beat Poet Laureate for 2018-2020.
Her latest novel in verse, For to See the Elephant (Piscataqua Press, 2019), tells the story of an enslaved boy tasked with caring for the first elephant brought to America. Upon arrival in the city of New York, he and the elephant are sold together and spend decades walking through the country until the day they can be together no longer. The realities of William’s life and the lives of elephants forced to live away from their herd and home are realistically portrayed. The novel, based on real events, is told in a series of poems and incorporates songs, news clippings and diary entries from the period. Much of the story is set in Maine and New Hampshire. A book launch will be held at the Portsmouth Public Library on June 29 at 2 PM.