Michael "Chief" Peterson, New Britain's First Poet Laureate

Michael "Chief" Peterson, New Britain's First Poet Laureate



NEW BRITAIN—Mayor Erin E. Stewart and the New Britain Commission on the Arts will host a celebration in honor of the appointment of the city’s first Poet Laureate, Michael “Chief” Peterson, on Sunday, April 17th at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

The celebration will take place from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the Stanley Works Center at the museum, which is located at 56 Lexington Street. Admission to the event is free.

The event will feature refreshments, a welcome by New Britain Museum of American Art Director Min Jung Kim, remarks by Mayor Erin Stewart, and poet laureate performances. The program will feature performances from Peterson along with other poets laureate from the state: Rennie McQuilkin, State of Connecticut and Simsbury laureate; Hugo DeSarro, East Hampton laureate; Joan Hofmann, Canton laureate; and Julia Morris Paul, Manchester laureate.

Peterson was appointed New Britain’s first poet laureate in the fall of 2015, joining only 15 other towns in the state that have a poet laureate—or ambassador of poetry. Peterson was born and raised in New Britain and marries social consciousness with mellow poetic verses. He declares himself a man dedicated to his family and focused on helping the city’s youth. He not only speaks about social inequities and individual struggle, but acts to change the cycle. He is the playwright of and actor in his one-man show, “I Wish Life Had Training Wheels.” He is the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Connecticut Spoken Word Grand Slam Champion. He has performed in London, Helsinki, on the TvOne series Lexus Verses and Flow, and at many high schools, colleges and other venues all across the United States. He currently resides in New Britain and has worked the past 12 years at New Britain High School as the Dean of Students. 

View an episode of “Around New Britain with Mayor Stewart” featuring Peterson as a guest by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfwavfAvk3w


David Huck

(860)-826-3302 – desk