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The Poet Laureate

The Poet Laureate of Northwest Florida is an area resident honored by Emerald Coast Writers for his or her record as a published poet and whose work is regarded by the community as representative of this region. Former poet laureates include Adelia Rosasco-Soule (1986), a world traveler and author of several books including Panhandle Memories; Leonard A. Temme (1989), PhD, a research physiologist with Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab; Mary Hood (1992), PhD, a professor of microbiology at University of West Florida; Laurie O'Brien (1995), the Director of the Creative Writing Program and Associate Professor of English at University of West Florida; Dr. Henry Langhorne II (2003), MD, a Pensacola cardiologist; Juliet Z. DeMarko, MA, former restaurateur and chef; and Jamey Jones, MFA, college instructor and author; Katherine Nelson-Born, Award-winning Poet, Editor, and Author.

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Asia Samson

Writer, Spoken Word Poet, Performance Artist

Asia Samson has been seen on HBO Def Poetry Jam and has shared the stage with such artists as Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, DMX, Mos Def, Dead Prez and KRS-One.  Accompanying him on the guitar is his brother-in-law Jollan who uses music to create an atmosphere that brings poetry to emotional levels you would never expect. They have been featured on HBO Def Poetry, Button Poetry, TEDx, NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, SoFar Sounds, Story Conference, and Entrepreneur’s Organization. They have worked with companies such as the US Military, Nokia, Disney, To Write Love On Her Arms and AEvolve. They have broken college-booking records for the most booked poetry act in the college market garnering them the awards of APCA College Performer of the Year and thrice APCA Spoken Word Artist of the Year.

Since 2009, The Asia Project has toured over 2000 colleges with an acoustic music poetry act that has amazed audiences all over the country.

Touring universities across the country, “The Asia Project is the highest booked poetry act in the college market”

 "When I first stepped in front of a microphone to 'read' a poem I wrote in 2004, I didn't know that would be the start of an incredible journey that would lead us to theaters and venues throughout the country.     And yet here we are, with over 600 universities under our belt, still in love with this art form I found so         many years ago. 

 "Words. It has the power to move and inspire; the power to reframe thought; the power to change lives. But when we step on that stage, those have never been our goals. We don't "aim" to make someone feel something. Our job- our only job- is to tell a story wrapped in music and let everything fall as they may.  Sometimes these stories are full of joy and exuberance. Sometimes they're full of heartbreak and             sadness. Sometimes they're pretty. Sometimes they're ugly. But no matter what, it will always be             beautiful.

 "So I hope you listen to our stories. I'm sure you will find yourself in one of them. Then maybe you'll             understand why we started doing this in the first place: to remind everyone that we are all on this             journey together and no one should have to face anything alone.


See you all on the road. Asia Samson

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