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In early 2007 Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and the Madison Arts Commission announced (Press Release) Fabu Phillis Carter (known as Fabu) as Madison's third Poet Laureate. He presented her with a Mayoral Proclamation on January 17th at the MAC Honors Event. Fabu is a gifted writer, a graduate of the U.W. Madison with a Master's in African Languages and Literature and also in Afro-American Studies. She serves the Madison community as both an educator and as a literary artist. She is passionate about the ability of each child to learn and has designed innovative curriculum to strengthen the learning abilities of African American children. As a literary artist, she creates and shares enchanting original, unique stories and poetry, most often from the perspective of women, children and African Americans. She is multicultural in perspective and encourages writing in many languages. This combination of a creative and literary background makes her an exceptional poet or storyteller in residence. She is wildly creative, drawing the best out of students, including special needs students and the gifted and talented.

As the third Madison Poet Laureate, Fabu put poetry in unusual spaces and places. Her poetry is located in the Atrium entrance of the Park Villager Mall, inside the South Madison Library and on the sidewalk on Williamson Street in front of the Weary Traveler. Fabu also published three books during her tenure, Poems, Dreams and Roses; Journey to Wisconsin: African American Life in Haiku; and In Our Own Tongues that describe her journey from a child poet in Memphis, to a young poet in Nairobi and an adult poet in Madison.

Southern Love

I want love to be like a good pot of greens
pick the tenderest parts
separate from the hard stem
wash gently and thoroughly
removing every bit of dirt and grime
rinsing over and over and over
with the clear clean water of forgiveness
season with savory meat, herbs and spices
and then simmer, simmer, simmer.

taken from the book,
Poems, Dreams and Roses by Fabu, 11/2009

Stamped into Williamson Street in front of The Weary Traveler, Poetry in Sidewalks

Image: Fabu Carter Mogaka, Photograph by Jonathan Gramling

Fabu Phillis Carter

Photograph by
Jonathan Gramling

Download the Image (JPG)