Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is an Educator and Activist fervent in achieving community augmentation through literary arts. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Hartford. His works have been selected as a finalist for the New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE) Poet of the Year Award, as well as a nominee for a Pushcart Prize. He is a recipient of the Nutmeg Poetry Award, and the 2020 Connecticut of The Arts Fellow in Artist Excellence for Poetry/ Creative Non-Fiction. Frederick-Douglass is the author of BlackRoseCity, and an Associate Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.










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.


2020 Tour

January 29     Reading.  HPATV Community Gallery Opening.  Hartford, CT 6pm

February 2      Reading. Poetry On The Streets. Charter Oak Center. Hartford, CT 3pm


February 7      BeatLit Workshop.  CT River Academy School. Hartford, CT 8am

February 14    Reading.  Capitol Prep School. Hartford, CT 7am


February 19    Reading. Black Student Union. Asnuntuck Community College.

                         Enfield, CT. 6pm.  ​


February 23    Reading. Poetry Rocks. Vernon Art Center. Vernon, CT 3pm


February 24     Reading. Corrigan Correctional Facility. Montville, CT 2pm


​February 28    #BeatLit Workshop. Hall High School. West Hartford, CT 9am.


February 28     Reading. University of St. Joseph School of Pharmacy.

                         West  Hartford, CT 11am


March 3           Reading. Resistance & Resilience Black Arts Movement. Three                          Rivers Community College. Norwich, CT 6:30pm


March 6           #BeatLit Workshop.  Hall High School. West Hartford, CT 9am.


March 11         Reading. Confluencia. Naugatuck Valley Community College.                          Waterbury, CT 6pm​


March 14        Judge. Poetry Out Loud State Finals. Online


April 3            Reading. Night Flight Basketball Teen Summit. Kelly Middle                         School. Norwich, CT 6pm


​April 15           Reading. Mad River Literary Festival Northwestern Community                         College. Winsted, CT. 6:30pm​


April 25           Reading. Elm City Lit Fest. New Haven, CT.


April 26           Moderator. Mandell JCC 2020 Book Fest. West Hartford, CT 1pm


May 20            Reading. New Haven Poetry Institute. New Haven, CT. 6:30pm


May 21            #BeatLit Workshop. Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)                           Hartford, CT


May 30           Reading. 2nd Annual Hartford Book Festival. Hartford Public                                        Library. Hartford, CT 12:30pm


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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