Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is a poet, educator and activist involved in community education. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Hartford. His collection of poetry, BlackRoseCity was featured at the 2018 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). His works have been featured in the Connecticut River Review; Sinkhole Magazine; Poems on the Road to Peace: A Collective Tribute to Dr. King Volume 2 by Yale University Press; Lefoko magazine, and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora by Third World Press. His poem “Mason Freeman Cuts Jenkins Down,” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His sonnet "Sunday School in the 90's (the way I understood it)" won the 2019 Nutmeg Poetry Award. Frederick-Douglass is an Associate Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College










Imagine a young poetic voice that is powerful, yet fearful. It fears that no one wants to hear about its innermost vulnerabilities due to a cultural absence of empathy. Or a powerful young voice that is fully aware of its magnitude, but unaware of how to articulate its experience utilizing literary techniques designed to amplify its story. Now imagine those same voices expressing themselves to the heartfelt rhythm of #BeatLit.




#BeatLit illustrates an interactive, creative writing campaign designed to amalgamate the literary and performing art of poetry.  #BeatLit combines the element of active reading with generative creative writing exercises to compose literary and/or performance poetry in order to improve the competency and confidence of aspiring writers. 




#BeatLit establishes working relationships with local schools, libraries, community organizations and institutions, as well as, artistic venues throughout Greater Hartford to encourage young writers to achieve their literary dreams.


Tour Dates


September 1st   Reading. Trinity College Block Party. 6pm. Hartford, CT.

September 9     Reading. City Council Meeting. 7pm. Hartford, CT.

September 20   Reading.  UCONN Barnes & Noble 2nd Annual Books on Pratt Book                               Fair. 11am. Pratt Street. Hartford, CT

September 23  Reading. Poetic Vibes. 8pm. Troy Kitchen. Albany, NY.

September 27   Reading. Guilford Performing Arts Festival. 2pm. Breakwater Books.                               Guilford, CT.

October 5          Reading. Connecticut Literary Festival. 10am-6pm. Real Artways.                                      Hartford, CT

October 16         Host.  6th Annual Men Against Domestic Violence Art Expression                                    (MADV). 6pm. Three Rivers Community College. Norwich, CT.


November 21   Reading. Wintonbury Poetry Series. 7pm. Wintonbury Branch  Library.                            Bloomfield, CT             


Commencement Speaker: Three Rivers Community College 54th Commencement Ceremony:The Day Newspaper:  https://www.theday.com/article/20190522/NWS01/190529788?fbclid=IwAR0WwtYrjyrrDxBQzVBFrkH7XTVhMGZa0jwnM484nTtuUkfRrCtN7mku0zs

Commencement Speaker: Three Rivers Community College 54th Commencement Ceremony:Norwich Bulletin Newspaper:   https://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/20190522/three-rivers-grads-urged-to-cultivate-your-community


2019 Nutmeg Poetry Award Winner:  "Sunday School in the 90's"



Three Rivers Community College 2018-2019 Commencement Speaker:



Poem:  "Emerie Enters Her Grandmother's Garden"


Article: Who Is Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, Hartford's First Poet Laureate?"

Hartford Courant. 



Article: Hartford Poet Laureate. New London Day: 


Article: Hartford Poet Laureate. Hartford Courant: 






Featured  Speaker: Connecticut College Mellon Mays Undergraduate  Fellowship (MMUF)            Lecture Series. "Journey in the Academy  and Research."  September  11, 2017  7pm.


Featured Speaker: Nichols College First Year Experience Hip-Hop Forum.  The                             Sociopolitical  Power of Hip-Hop: Tupac Shakur 'Martyr or Menace?'  September 26,             2017.

Host: 4th Annual Men Against Domestic Violence (MADV) Artistic Expression. Three                  Rivers Community College. BlackRoseCity (Norwich), CT. October 24, 2017.


Presenter: Wheelock College 2016 National Race Amity Conference:  The Impact of  Law            and  Finance on The Other Tradition.  "The  Sociopolitical Power of Hip-Hop: Tupac              Shakur Martyr or  Menace?' (November  2016).


Presenter: 51st Annual  Two Year College English Association  Northeast (TYCA)                           Conference: Making Connections: Creative  Collaborations for  Critical Literacy. "The              Sociopolitical Power  of  Hip-Hop: Tupac  Shakur 'Martyr or Menace?'  (October  2016).


Teaching Fellow:  Cambridge Writer's Workshop  2016   Summer Writers'                                        Workshop Summer in  Granada (Spain)  Writing Retreat.  "The Sociopolitical Power of           Hip-Hop: Tupac  Shakur  'Martyr or Menace?'  (August 2016).

Presenter: Three Rivers Community College: Learning Across The  Board (LAB) Lecture               Series. "The Sociopolitical  Power of Hip- Hop: Tupac Shakur 'Martyr or Menace?'                  (April 2016).

Session Chair: 2016 National Conference on College  Composition  and Communication               (CCCC). "The Archival Turn in Rhetoric and  Composition: Avenues for Research and              Methodology" (March 2016).

Presenter: 10th Annual Trinity College International Hip Hop  Festival. "The Sociopolitical             Power  of Hip-Hop: Tupac  Shakur  'Martyr or Menace?' (April 2015).

Presenter: Connecticut College (host)  Black Man Can Institute  (TBMC): “Social                            Responsibility of  Individual Behavior.  (November 2014).

Presenter:  49th Annual Conference of the Two-Year English   Association Northeast                     Region  (TYCA) Conference.  "Creative  Space: Innovation in Building Conversations             with an Adjunct   Community" (October 2014).



Phone:        860.222.5524 (c)                      

                     860.215.9444 (0)


Email:         HartfordPoetLaureate@gmail.com     



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